Busy Week in Newmarket, Madrid and Stockholm.

In a busy week of equine news, we look at the foals sales at Tattersalls in Newmarket, the dressage and showjumping world cup qualifiers in Madrid; the 5 star dressage and showjumping event in Stockholm; the announcement that Ben Maher’s ride Explosion W has been sold and the demise of multi-million dollar Phoenix Bloodstock.

Foal Sale Stats down at Newmarket.

Top Lot by Frankel at Newmarket

Tattersalls completed its foal sale on Saturday with only 58% of those on offer for the day finding a new home. As Nancy Sexton said, and so true, “the middle and lower market are very difficult with purchasers only wanting foals which ‘tick all the boxes’. They need to be by good/fashionable stallions, have good looks and a decent pedigree to boot.” As she rightly says, “if buyers want to re-sell the foals they buy, which many do, they have to be very particular as they cannot afford for the purchases to end up in a bad sale in 2020.” The stats were all down this year compared with last. Top price 2018, 1.7 million, in 2019, 600,000; the average down by 14% at 44,000 and the median down by 12% at 22,000. It is rather striking that in his end of sale statement, Edmond Mahony, the chairman of Tattersalls, naturally wanted to point up the success of the sale and with no doubt there were some great individual  highlights and results from the sale, but apparently he made no comment on the parlous state of the market for middle and lower end breeders. Foal breeders we talked to all had the same sentiments in that the market seemed to be changing, and not necessarily for the better. “It is much tougher out there now than it used to be” said one well known foal consigner. However from his statement, Edmond Mahony acted as if he was oblivious to the state of the market, which we are sure he is not, but some recognition and sympathy of facts might have made his statement more poignant. To this editor, the market seems to be more or less at the same levels as 15 years ago, but costs are rather more!! At the beginning of the sale, many said that Brexit would keep the better Irish bred foals in Ireland, sending their foals to Goffs, rather than the Newmarket equivalent which this year may well have been the case, which would have an impact on the final figures.

Madrid World Cup and Stockholm CDI Dressage

There were two major 5 star CDI’s this weekend. The first was a World Cup Qualifier in Madrid and the second was at Stockholm. In Madrid, there were 14 starters the best ranked of which was Dorothee Schneider and five riders from Spain as well as others from Portugal, Great Britain and France. The winner of the Grand Prix was unsurprisingly Dorothee Schneider riding Sammy Davis Junior on 78.217% with Spaniard Claudio Castilla Ruiz riding Alcaide with 74.348% In third was Hans Peter Minderhoud from the Netherlands riding  Glocks Zanardi with 72.717% In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Dorothee Schneider again won with 82.295% with the order of second and third remaining as the Grand Prix. Claudio Castilla Ruiz with his Lusitano stallion coming second with 80.230% and third was Hans Peter Minderhoud with 78.350% Despite the German dominance of dressage this year, Hans Minderhoud now stands at the top of the World Cup Western European rankings.

In Stockholm, another CDI 5 star took place. This time world number one Isabell Werth was in attendance and she won the Grand Prix with Weihegold OLD with her best score in the event of 83.652% In second was Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour riding Atterupgaards Cassidy with 80.870%. German rider Jessica Von Bredow Werndl was third with 77.869% riding Zaire E. In the freestle however, Cathrin Dufour mananged to reverse the placings with Isabell Werth, getting her best score of 89.445% with Isabell getting 89.310% with Patric Kittel, on his home turf coming third with 86.115% riding Well Done de la Roche. This competition had huge prize money for its third running, over $250,000.

Explosion W Sale

Earlier in the week, it was announced that the world number one show jumping horse, Explosion W, ridden so successfully by Ben Maher of GB has been sold for an undisclosed sum. Neil Moffitt, who had owned the horse for four years said he was keen for any sale of Explosion W to keep two main principles. The first was to keep the horse in British ownership and secondly for Ben Maher to keep the ride. It would appear that both principles have been met and the new owners are Ms Wright and Mrs Rossiter.

World Cup and Stockholm 5 star Show Jumping

The World Cup qualifying completion continued in Madrid over the weekend. There were 38 combinations starting which included all the top riders form Europe in a particularly strong contest. Eight of the starters retired during the first round with one elimination. Of the others, there were nine to go forward to the jump off with clear rounds. Of them, four jumped a second clear round with the fastest being Marcus Ehning from Germany riding Pret a Tout in 43.30 seconds. In second was fellow German Christian Ahlmann riding Dominator 2000 Z in 43.53 seconds and the third, in this very close contest was Peter Devos from Belgium in 43.66 seconds riding Espoir. Both the top world ranked Swiss riders had a pole down each and so took no further part.

In Stockholm, there were 19 riders taking their chance in this 5 star Grand Prix. This was won by America’s Jessica Sprinsteen riding Volage du Val Henry with a double clear and in 35.53.seconds. In second was Harrie Smolders from the Netherlands riding Une de l’Otaine. The third place was taken by Marlon Mondolo Zanotelli from Brazil riding Virtuose d’Eole in 36.70 seconds. There were six double clear rounds and ten went through to the jump off.

Phoenix Bloostock

As the bloodstock sales go on apace in Newmarket, news broke this week that one of the major new players in the market has gone into liquidation following accusations that the whole enterprise under Phoenix Bloodstock has been trading on laundered money. Phoenix Bloodstock, the brain child of Amer Abdulaziz Salman from Dubai started his ‘bloodstock investment company’ in 2017. It is alleged in a New York court that Amer Abdylaziz Salman used funds from the Onecoin cryptocurrency to buy into the thoroughbred world using millions of dollars. Phoenix currently have over 300 horses under their banner, employing 22 trainers worldwide. Following the news, the BHA have initiated an enquiry regarding the credentials of the operation and do have wide ranging powers to exclude those who bring racing into disrepute. Understandably, agents and others who have worked either directly or indirectly with Phoenix are all distancing themselves from the group.

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