The Arqana Arab Sale, held on the 6th of September in Saint-Cloud, France, resulted in a tremendous outcome. Out of the 63 racing horses offered, 42 changed owners. The sale made an aggregate of 3,209,000 EURO, which was almost thrice the amount achieved previously in 2006. This year’s average price was 76,405 EURO and was higher by 50% in comparison to last year. As a reminder, the aggregate of the Pride of Poland Sale in Janów Podlaski this year, considered as a record one, was 2,451,000 EURO.
A breathtaking price of 1,050,000 EURO was given for the 8 year old stallion Dahess (Lot 29 in the sale catalogue). This handsome, strong and robust horse, bearing a correct built and elegant movement was presented in the ring by his trainer Alban de Mieulle. Dahess turned out to be the star of the auction. After fierce bidding between a couple of elite buyers the president of the French Bloodstock Agency himself, Jean Pierre Derobaix, secured the stallion for a syndicate of owners, in the most part of Tunisian origin. Directly after the sale the horse made his way to Turkey. Three days later, albeit the hardships of the journey and fatigue, Dahess was entered for the last time into the prestigious Malazgrit Trophy (with $850,000 in prize money). In previous seasons Dahess won this race twice. However this time he came in second, behind the phenomenal Turkish stallion Kafkasli (Cas – Malike 18 by Serhanbey), who in his career won over $2,000,000 in total. Dahess in his 5 year racing career took part in 41 races over various distances, out of which he won 27, including 13 international GR1 races in the United Arab Emirates, England, France, Germany and Italy. Beginning from next year Dahess will stand at a State Stud in France. The stallion was bred at Umm Qarn Farms owned by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the current prime minister of Qatar. The horse is the son of the superbly track-wise gifted sire Amer, who made his mark on breeding stamping his get strongly with racing abilities and correct body build. He is the sire of 50 splendidly racing offspring. Dahess’ dam is the bay Danie du Cassou 1994 (Dahr – Nerve du Cassou by Baroud III), who is a wonderful broodmare at Umm Qarn Farms. Dahess left 5 offspring in Qatar.
There were three other horses, beside Dahess, sired by Amer offered at the sale (Lots 42, 59 and 72). All were sold.
Three other horses also exceeded the amount of 100,000 EURO:
1. The yearling colt Pharafadet (Lot 45) was purchased by Kalif Bin Shahel Al Kuwari for 170,000 EURO. It was the highest price at the sale for a French-bred horse.
2. The mare (in training) Ouassila Thabet 2002 (Lot 3) was sold by the acknowledged trainer Sandrine Tarrou for 140,000 EURO to Shadwell Estate.
3. The two year old filly New Princess (Lot 55) bred by Haras de Saint Faust achieved a price of 130,000 EURO and will commence her racing career next year bearing the colors of Sheikh Mishal.
This year’s sale in Saint-Cloud owes its success to a fantastic cooperation and coordination of efforts between the organizers of the venue, which were: l’Association Francaise du Cheval Arabe de Course (l’AFAC), France Galop, the Arqana auction house and the main sponsor – Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club. The appropriate agreement was signed in 2005. The preparations took 2 years. During that time the new president of AFAC (Racing Arabian Horse Breeders’ Association), Jean Pierre de Gasté, actuated the structure and activeness and infused new blood into the Association. Together with France Galop (represented by Thierry Delègue) they established a suitable mechanism, coupling private breeders with the international Breeders Cup program. The prize money for 4 races that make up the Breeders Cup was increased during one year from 160,000 to 240,000 EURO. The main sponsor, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, declared to support the event for at least the next three years. The Arqana auction house organized an Arabian horse sale in Saint-Cloud for the first time, introducing many interesting solutions. Since 2006 the owner of Arqana is H.H. The Aga Khan IV, the 49th Ismaili Imam, and at the same time one of the largest breeders of Thoroughbred horses in the world. Up to now Arabian horses were sold by means of auction in France by Goffs France.
Usually the races and events accompanying the sale took place near Toulouse. This year all the events were transferred to Paris. The sale commenced a 3 day celebration of the French Arabian horse. One could purchase horses in training, which were entered to the races of the Breeders Cup. And so, the fresh owners could experience strong sensations admiring their horses at the races at the Longchamp track. Around the track a fair was set up, consisting of traditional, brown Qatarian tents, promoting the culture and customs of this 800,000-populated emirate.
The successful celebrations dedicated to French bred racing horses and the promotion of the Qatar emirate came to an end with a parade of the most beautiful individuals from Al Shaqab Stud, owned by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani. The 3 day event achieved its goal as a bond between the performance Arabian horse admirers and the French breeding program.