Half a million for El Saghira
The grand success of this year’s Janów Podlaski sale which brought in more than two million Euro last Sunday (August 18th) and a further 124 thousand on Monday (August 19th) can easily obscure the fact that there is still a lack of buyers for the average-priced horses. Transactions are sealed mainly for the biggest stars for sky-high prices and for bargain-horses, being good specimen at low prices. Decent horses, which should achieve decent prices, find buyers only when they are really inexpensive! It is extremely difficult to sell a weak horse. 63% of the overall outcome from the Pride of Poland Sale – 2,072,000 Euro – was “made” by just three mares: Belgica (410 thousand) and Ekspulsja (400 thousand), purchased by Shirley Watts (UK) and the record seller of this year’s sale, El Saghira, sold to Ajman Stud for a round half a million Euro. It remains a mystery why Spała, a price record holder of the Summer Sale from Monday (40 thousand Euro), was not featured in the Pride of Poland, while others that qualified sometimes did not find interest among the buyers even for 5 thousand Euro.
New and good ideas
Without a doubt the construction of the auction list in such a way to have the (potentially) most expensive horses accelerate the bidding turned out to be a good move. We all remember how the atmosphere sank in previous years when subsequent horses left the arena unsold. The level of optimism decreased with each horse that did not find a buyer. This time the sale received a huge boost when the price of Belgica (Gazal Al Shaqab – Belladona/Europejczyk), offered as Lot 1, soared to 410 thousand Euro. Right after Lot 2 – El Saghira (Galba – Emira/Laheeb), set the record of the 2013 sale: half a million Euro! El Saghira was won by Elisa Grassi (wife of Frank Spönle) for Ajman Stud. Lot 3 was a “return to reality”, achieving a still decent price of 45 thousand Euro. Eferada (QR Marc – Efuzja/Emigrant) will head for Saudi Arabia. In all a total of 12 mares from the main list will end up in the Middle East (beside those already mentioned: Alegra, 45 thousand, Wagira, 45 thousand, Figurantka, 21 thousand, Zmowita, 20 thousand, Ostoja, 18 thousand and Espinilla, 67 thousand – will head for Saudi Arabia; Perlahaba, 20 thousand and Prosna, 12 thousand – to Kuwait, Eudora, 33 thousand – to UAE). Remaining in Europe, beside Belgica and Ekspulsja, are: Pietra (95 thousand, will join the others at Halsdon Arabians of Mrs. Watts’), Dama Kier (50 thousand, France), Cerinola (25 thousand, Germany), Kraśnica and Złota Orda (65 thousand and 35 thousand, Sweden) and Enaam (33 thousand, Austria). Palatina and Poezja will not leave Poland (90 thousand and 22 thousand, PPH Parys Ltd.); Antaja will fly to the USA (21 thousand). As we can see almost half of the sale’s result (905 thousand Euro) cames courtesy of Shirley Watts, before which Janów Podlaski should roll out the red carpet and maybe even build a monumental statue. Out of the 27 mares in the offer only 5 returned as unsold to their maternal stables.
The successful result of the sale probably also had to with the fact of moving the Arabian Horse Days so that they would took place after the Ramadan. This date is definitely more suitable for buyers from the Middle East.
Another good move was the rescheduling of the sale, known previously as “silent”, to Monday and changing its formula. Bidding on horses in an empty arena gave a very sullen impression. This time the horses were led out onto the arena just like during the main sale. And though there was less public and VIPs than during Sunday, the noon-ish time of day made the auction less dreary than when held in previous years after the main sale. Only 8 mares out of the 26 offered were sold. The most emotions were stirred by Spała (Ekstern – Słonka/Wojsław), bred and owned by Bogusław Dąbrowski, for which a buyer from Saudi Arabia offered a higher price (40 thousand) than those offered by buyers the day before for several mares from the main list. Second placed Michałów’s Pustynna Fiesta (Ekstern – Pustynna Róża/Emigrant), secured by buyers from the UAE for 23 thousand Euro.
The new auctioneer from Ireland, Andrew Nolan, lived up to his task and conducted the bidding very well. It’s only a pity that the sound system in the arena was a bit shaky over on the “worse” side, as in the one on the opposite side of the VIP tables. It took a lot of effort to understand what the auctioneer and announcer, Anna Stojanowska, were saying.
The biggest income was made by Michałów Stud, which is a lovely result in a year when the stud celebrates its 60th anniversary: 1.194 million! Plus an additional 55,600 from the Summer Sale. Second placed Janów Podlaski with 816 thousand plus 10,500 from the Summer Sale. Third came the private breeders with 81 thousand (including the Summer Sale). Closing the field is Białka with 39 thousand from both sales.
An analog heritage park
Battling modern methods of coverage is tilting at windmills – you can delay the introduction of changes, but they are inevitable. Similarly to the coverage. The lack of broadcast from the National Show caused a wave of outrage among normal viewers, who could not come to Janów. Regardless of the organizer’s reason behind this, there simply is no other way – of course if we care about the promotion of Polish horses. If not, we can create a heritage park of sorts. We must add that the decision was not consistent – in the last moment it turned out that the auction was broadcast after all. So what, since many people convinced that there is no coverage, didn’t even bother searching for it. Either way, the confusion with the broadcast did not suit the promotion of the “Polish Arabian” brand, though we will find defenders of the non-broadcast concept who will say that it is better to meet in person than by means of the internet. That’s true, but the organizers of the Arabian Horse Days do not make these meetings easy for the Arabian community. Strictly divided zones, guarded by an army of security people are not a good idea for creating a pleasant atmosphere. Especially since many participants were unpleasantly surprised that their VIP passes were not what they thought they were. Breeders which gave up on the catering (there were complaints about it for years anyway) were additionally sentenced to separate entrances (one would want to say “from the kitchen”, though it was the kitchen that the breeders wished to avoid…), sitting behind high barriers in the indoor arena which made viewing difficult and on Monday – a lack of tables and water – unavailable outside the VIP sector. The Monday restrictions, which hit many interested breeders, were difficult to understand because the “better” VIPs were already few that day. Therefore the excessive protection could not have resulted from fear of a large crowd in the VIP sector. In turn the members of the PAHBS, who on Friday and Saturday had at their disposal the worse part of the tent, were outraged that they only saw a part of the arena – the rest was obscured by a curtain hanging between two sectors.
Since the better and worse guests did not have a chance to meet, it is hard to speak about a gala, a mutual celebration in the real world.
Let’s hope that in the future the National Show will not transform into a competition between just two studs. It is true that standing in the barns of Janów and Michałów are one of the most beautiful horses in the world, but the temperature of the contest would rise if other horse owners could have a feeling that it is also their show. Returning like a boomerang is the subject of qualifying horses for the main sale. Despite a clear decrease in numbers, motivated by the “elitism” of the group, the list still includes horses known colloquially as “monthly tender” horses, meaning they are of lesser value and lower the overall quality of the offer. In turn the auction, which today is known as the Summer Sale, each year brings surprises showing that a proper selection of private bred horses can bring a rather good result.
(Net prices in EUR)
Pride of Poland 2013
(27 mares offered)
El Saghira 500 thousand, Ajman, UAE
Belgica 410 thousand, GB
Ekspulsja 400 thousand, GB
Pietra 95 thousand, GB
Palatina 90 thousand, Poland
Espinilla 67 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Kraśnica 65 thousand, Sweden
Dama Kier 50 thousand, France
Alegra 45 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Eferada, 45 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Wagira 45 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Złota Orda 35 thousand, Sweden
Enaam, 33 thousand, Austria
Eudora 33 thousand, UAE
Cerinola 25 thousand, Germany
Poezja 22 thousand, Poland
Antaja 21 thousand, USA
Figurantka 21 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Perlahaba 20 thousand, Kuwait
Zmowita 20 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Ostoja 18 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Prosna 12 thousand, Kuwait
Summer Sale 2013
(26 mares offeres, 1 withrawn, 25 present)
Spała 40 thousand, Saudi Arabia
Pustynna Fiesta 23 thousand, UAE
Wieża Snów 14 thousand, UAE
Permila 18 thousand, Belgium
Cervinia 10,5 thousand, UAE
Dombra 7,5 thousand, USA
Ellanda 5,6 thousand, France
Zatoka Perska 5,5 thousand, Germany
Alcazara sold after the auction for a not publicly given price to Saudi Arabia
Bint Moleta sold after the auction for a not publicly given price to UAE
Ezygona sold after the auction for a not publicly given price to UAE
Warsa sold after the auction for a not publicly given price to Saudi Arabia
Read the whole article (Arabian Horse Days 2013: half a million for El Saghira, Norma Best in Show) here