The ninth Keeneland September yearling sale session was not expected to be a vibrant and lucrative affair based on previous actions this year, but it ended up a success, with increases in gross, median, and average sales prices. Yearling sales across the board had seen declines thanks to a tepid market, but that wasn’t the case at Keeneland this month.
The September 21 session saw both North American and International buyers spend to the tune of $11,120,100 on 274 yearlings. That number is up 4.1 percent from a year ago, where 280 horses sold for $10,684,100. The average sales price jumped 6.4 percent, from $38,158 to $40,584. The median of $30,000 was a 30 percent increase over last year’s $25,000 figure.
“The vibe is better than we have seen in sales all year,” said Keeneland Associate Director of Sales Operations Tom Thornbury. “I have never seen so many people out and about at this point in the sale.”
With Book 4 sales complete, the cumulative total came in at 1,916 horses for $259,841,500. That’s a 4.1 percent increase in average sales price, from $130,273 last year to $135,617 this year. The $80,000 median was the exact same figure as a year ago. With an emphasis on attracting foreign investors, Keeneland succeeded in that area.
“We have buyers here from five continents,” said Thornbury. “One of our greatest efforts is in outreach. We try our best to get the brand out there and get people here to buy.”