Autumnal Reduction in Racing and Sport Horse Competition

The last week has definitely seen the usual autumnal reduction of activity in the racing and sport horse competition, not there has ever been that much in the sport horse world anyway this year. There was a horse trials event in Tryon in the USA – a 4 star Long in which 53 declared for the dressage faze, mostly unsurprisingly from the USA and a few from Canada. With all the covid restrictions, this was actually the biggest and most prestigious horse trials held in the USA in 2020. In the thoroughbred world, the week concentrated more on the future with most studs announcing their stud fees for the up and coming season in the spring.

Eventing – Horse Trials in Tryon

Martin Boyd – winner at Tryon – photo courtesy Shannon Brinkman

After the second day of the dressage at Tryon, Marilyn Little from the USA was in the lead on a score of 21 50 penalties riding RF Scandalous. She was nicely ahead of Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp riding Deniro Z who finished on 24.50 and Boyd Martin riding Tsetserleg 26.50 in third. Both Scandalous and Tsetserleg were having one of their first outings at this level as they are still both very young horses, the former is an 8 year old and the other being only 7. In the cross country section, the leader board changed after some very competitive rounds. Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z went clear with only 1.60 penalties for time to the lead position. She was just two points ahead of Boyd Martin, who ended the day on 28.10 and Phillip Dutton riding Z, came up a place to fill the third spot before showjumping with a score of  28.80. The riders reported that there were several points on the course which were very muddy and deep at that, so needed some careful riding so the horses did not get too fatigued, nor did they make any silly mistakes. In the show jumping, there were seven horses which were within a fence, so the top was tight.  The Show Jumping phase was in the balance until the last horse, who happened to be Boyd Martin riding Tseterleg, who went clear to win the top spot and ending on a score of 28.10. In second was  Phillip Dutton with another clear round and a final score of 28.80R. Third place went to Woods Baughman riding C’est La Vie by finishing on his dressage score of 29.10..Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, leader before the show jumping would have finished in top spot but for a rail down on the final fence. She finished in fifth. The winner was keen to congratulate the organisers at Tryon who he said made a herculean effort to run the competition despite the huge amounts of rain which caused considerable damage to the cross country course earlier in the week and the fact that the event had to be held behind closed doors. There was also two other 4 star FEI CCIs this week, both the short version, one at Tryon and the second in Australia at Albury Park.

Dressage in The USA

Dressage was held in California, again behind closed doors, but this was a World Cup Qualifying event, although only a 3 star level. Stephane Peters took the Grand Prix with Suppenkasper and 77.413% with Anna Buffinin coming second some 9 percentage points behind the winner riding Davinia La Douche. Gunter Seidel was third. In the Grand Prix Special, again Stephane Peters took the honours with 76% with Anna Buffini coming second on 70.% The leader board showed that Dawn White-O’Connor was third with GP third Gunter Seidel coming fifth. In the Freestyle, Charlotte Jorst won with 75.715 in a four runner field as most decided to opt for the Special rather than the Freestyle. Carly Taylor-Smith was second. All the competitors were representing the USA.

Stud Fees Announced

Dubawi remains at the top of his game as a sire and fee remains the same for 2021

While the yearling sales around the world, particularly in the USA and at Tattersalls in Newmarket held up remarkably well, most studs have cut fees for their stallions between 20 to 30% on 2020 prices. The very top stallions have maintained their fees, such as Dubawi who will still command a fee of £250,000 for 2021 and Frankel who will remain at £175,000 as is the case with a few other sires of winning machines on the racecourse. However, most have seen a cut to reflect the difficult times.

Sixties Icon – a prolific winner producing stallion

One of the eye catching fee reductions has to be Sixties Icon by Galileo, who has never had the headlines as a stallion and as a result has never had a really star studded book of mares. However, he is responsible for 50% of winners to runners, which in itself is quite remarkable, and his fee has been slashed from £6000 to £1000. The Irish National Stud have clipped Invincible Spirit’s fee to 80,000 euros from 125,000, another prolific winning producer. Coolmore have announced that pretty well all their fees are reduced, save for Camelot who has had a brilliant season this year, he is raised a small amount from 40,000 euros to 45,000. The notable change for Coolmore however, is the price hike for Wotton Bassett, who will now stand at 100,000euros from only 40,000 this year. Most of the Coolmore band have seen a 25% reduction on fees. At Darley, fees have also been reduced by an average of 25%, with the exception of Dubawi is unchanged. Pinatubo is new to their roster next year and will stand at 35,000. Regarded in much the same light at was Too Darn Hot who went to Darley in 2020 for £50,000, this is a fee which Darley have compromised on. They have also dropped Too Darn Hot by 5,000 to £45,000. There is a whole list of stallion price reductions and news in the UK, Ireland and France, never mind the USA, and to list them all would be very boring to read. However, all the main thoroughbred breeding centres throughout the world have all taken quite a hit with their fees for 2021. Frankly, in many ways, not a bad thing!

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