Yesterday the Białka-bred Hun (Gazal Al Shaqab – Hula/Penthagonn) was named Champion Stallion in the category of 8 year olds and above during the 57th Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. This year this enormous event gathered more than 2,300 horse entries (including half breds).
Whereas last Wednesday (February 22nd) was all about the Signature Stallion Auction, where up for bid are breedings to selected sires. It is the most important auction of its kind in the world. 166 stallions were entered. The auction ended with a great financial success – an aggregate of around half a million dollars. The highest bid was for a breeding to ZT Marwteyn 2007 (Marwan Al Shaqab – ZT Ludjteyna/Ludjin El Jamaal), a recent arrival to the US from South America, owned by Michael Byatt and Gigi Grasso. The price reached as much as 20 thousand dollars! What’s interesting is that the stallion is rather unknown to the general public. There was even no picture of him on the list published prior to the sale. Because the bidding was very fast and the price sky rocketed almost immediately, it could’ve appeared to be a form of a marketing action, aiming at promoting the stallion.
The second place in the competition for a most expensive breeding was taken by the Spanish Shanghai E.A. (WH Justice – Salymah E.A/Khidar), bred and owned by Equus Arabians. The breeding to this young, but already very known stallion (World Reserve Champion, All Nations Champion & European Champion) reached an amount of 13,500 dollars after a feisty, thrilling bidding. This sum was offered Rae-Dawn Stud (USA-Canada).
A high price was also paid for a breeding to the Janów-bred stallion Pogrom (QR Marc – Pętla/Visbaden), Polish National Champion, currently leased to Midwest Arabians. An amount of 9,000 dollars allowed him to place within the top ten of the sale. The participants of the auction fought a hard battle for the chance to breed their mare to the Polish stallion.
What are the rules of the Signature Stallion Auction? Urszula Łęczycka (Arabhorsepromotion) who witnessed this years’ auction, comments on:
“The idea of the auction is that selected stallions are invited to participate and their owners designate breedings to these sires to be auctioned off at the sale. The buyer of such a breeding has the right to nominate the resulting offspring in subsequent editions of the Scottsdale show, in the signature classes (for ages from 1 to 3) and in under saddle classes (for older horses). The champions, reserve champions and Top Fives (or Top Tens, depending on the class) receive prize money ranging from one hundred dollars to thirty thousand dollars. This year the the overall amount of cash prizes for horses in signature classes amounted to almost 600 thousand dollars!
So it is kind of an opportunity for buyers to obtain a refund or even to make a profit from the money they investment in the breeding. And this year the Americans have shown that they are willing to invest (and risk) quite a lot. The semen auction of a large number of 166 sires lasted 6 hours (despite it being conducted by several auctioneers who replaced each other and at a speed which could make even Pride of Poland auctioneer Todd Watt appear slow)”.