Goffs year ends on a high note with strong December NH Sale
Goffs year concluded with another excellent example of the "quality over quantity" approach to all Goffs sales in 2009, when the one day December National Hunt Sale recorded significant increases in turnover and aggregate over last year's two day equivalent.
Top lot of the December NH Sale was the dam of Grade 1 Galway Hurdle winner Indian Pace sold in foal to Presenting. By Sadler's Wells, Blend Of Pace is an own sister to Grade 1 hurdle winner Archive Footage. The 13 year old mare was sold by Castlefield Stud to Tom Meagher for €40,000.
Heading up the select foal section was Moygannon Stud's Old Vic colt out of Grade 2 winning dam Glens Music. He was bought by Adrian Keatley for €28,000. Two sons of Presenting shared the next top spot, with the Galbertstown Stud consigned colt (Lot 36) out of a half sister to The Hurl, dam of recent Grade 2 Monksfield Novice Hurdle. The colt was bought by Hugh Bleahen for €26,000. Richard Rohan meanwhile paid the same amount for another colt by the leading sire from Walshtown Stud. The colt is out of a half sister to Grade 1 performer Gentle Buck.
Commenting on the good trade witnessed at the December National Hunt Sale, and reflecting on the past year for Goffs, Chief Executive Henry Beeby said:
"Today's sale has followed recent trends with those most commercial types proving hardest to buy. Again a focus on quality rather than quantity has achieved our goal of providing what the buyers want in a condensed format that has led to an improved clearance rate and average price (up 15%), whilst it is certainly noteworthy that turnover is 13% ahead of last year despite cataloguing less than half the numbers".
Quality over quantity has been the theme at Goffs throughout 2009 and we believe that we took the right decision to focus on the horse this year after a very painful autumn 12 months ago. Indeed we took a long hard look at our entire sales programme and slashed 8 days from our calendar - 30% - to ensure we concentrated on (relative) quality throughout. The results have been dramatic with better than expected sales in every category, good clearance rates and a real buzz in Kildare Paddocks that, frankly, had been missing in 2008.
A really good catalogue of classy potential racehorses for the Orby Sale gave rise to a sale that defied all predictions as our clients appreciated our focus on the individual and that, in turn, led to a November Foal Sale that was as strong as any in the boom years. We are indebted to those Irish breeders who have supported us magnificently in a time of uncertainty and thank them most sincerely, always recognising we are nothing without that support.
And it really wouldn't be going too far to say that the way the bloodstock industry has reacted over the last year is an example which others would do well to follow. Simply putting one's head down, concentrating on what we can influence and not complaining endlessly about what we cannot has meant that a corner has been turned in autumn 2009 and we can all face next year with some degree of the optimism and positivity which is the lifeblood of the industry.
The Goffs team are fortunate indeed to work alongside Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and I want to repeat my November Sale comments as to the vital contribution they make to the Irish Bloodstock Industry. All over the world the welcome that is provided by Goffs and ITM is near legendary and we will continue to work together to seek out new markets and consolidate Ireland's reputation with existing buyers. This has never been more relevant at a time when disposable income in this country is not as plentiful as in the past but Goffs has always been about selling the best Irish Bloodstock to the world. With buyers from 24 different countries throughout the year that will be ever more crucial in 2010 and beyond.
An obvious consequence of reduced numbers (we offered 1600 less lots this year by design) is reduced turnover but I am pleased to say that we have hit our budget targets this year when we have looked to consolidate our position and ensure we plan for the medium and long term as well as dealing with the here and now. That has involved some incredibly tough internal decisions and some very real short term pain but we are committed to continuing to provide the very best service possible from a Bloodstock Auction House. At this juncture it is fitting to pay tribute to our excellent staff, both front of house and behind the scenes. There may be less of them these days but I defy anyone to find a more committed and dedicated bunch who work tirelessly on behalf of every vendor and purchaser, however big or small.
Of course any drop in annual ring turnover goes directly to our bottom line but we are in a much better place than 12 months ago. We budgeted for it, planned for it and feel that we have laid more solid foundations for the next few years, having taken the hard decisions to put Goffs on the sound platform we need for growth. This will allow us to serve the industry from a position of strength and provide our clients with a more focussed and dynamic service.
In closing I want to restate our ultimate goal which is to be the first and most obvious choice for the very best Irish bloodstock. 2009 has only underlined the excellence of the Irish horse and we truly believe we can provide the best market place for them every year and every sale. As an independent Irish Bloodstock Auction House with unrivalled facilities and a focussed and dedicated team of lifelong bloodstock professionals we have proved we can do it time and again. We just want to do it more and more".
December NH Sale Comparative Figures
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Goffs Comparative Annual Figures
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