Southland and Aussie headline stunning sale


Australian buyers and Southland breeders led an incredible day of selling at the national yearling sales in Christchurch on Wednesday by producing the $170,000 equal top lots.

Invercargill breeders Mark and Debbie Smith took an already buoyant sale to new levels when their Bettor’s Delight colt from classy former racemare Pemberton Shard was knocked down to powerhouse Sydney buyers Emilio and Mary Rosati for $170,000.

Later in the day, Otautau breeders Dave and Dawn Kennedy’s Bettor’s Delight colt from Beaudiene Maja Babe also reached $170,000 when another topline Australian buyer put their hand up.

The colt was secured by leviathian Melbourne owner Jean Feiss, who races her horses from the powerful Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen stable.

The equal top lots helped cap an incredible first venture in to the standardbred yearling market for New Zealand Bloodstock.

All three of its sales this week – the North Island sale and Christchurch trotting and pacing sales – have seen increased returns to vendors compared to last year.

Wednesday’s pacing yearlings sold for a total of $6.3million.

That represented a total increase of $800,000 on the equivalent sale last year, which had 65 more horses catalogued.

The sale average rose from $26,233 to a whopping $40,959.

Both the Kennedys and the Smiths said they were more than happy to share the top-lot status at the Christchurch sale with their provincial counterparts.

For Dave Kennedy there was an incredible sense of irony that it was the Pemberton Shard colt that matched his Beaudiene Maja Babe colt.

Kennedy endured a horror 24 hours leading up to the sale of his striking black yearling.

And his trouble started when he was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and got kicked by the Smith’s Pemberton Shard yearling.

“I got kicked in the leg by the other $170,000 yearling.”

Kennedy was not badly injured in the incident, but that did not mean his luck had turned.

He got devastating news on the Wednesday morning before the pacing sale.

“I lost a Bettor’s Delight filly this morning after she got caught in a fence.

“I just had her broken in and had kept her to breed from.

“Things started terribly, I was thinking what could go wrong next because these things come in threes.”

Kennedy’s horror run came good when his colt from Beaudiene Maja Babe caught the eye of Jean Feiss.

Even after Wednesday’s sale was completed, he could not quite believe how much his bad luck had turned around.

“It is that bloody good it is unbelievable – we didn’t think we would get anything like $170,000.

“I thought we might get close to $100,000, I knew I had a nice colt.

“But when you see the buyers buying other ones you get a bit worried.”

While the Kennedys were taken by surprise at how much their colt fetches, the Smiths weren’t quite as off guard.

Their classy former race mare Pemberton Shard had produced a stunning colt and the couple were hopeful of a good result.

“Pemberton Shard’s colt was absolutely one out of the box and we were hoping we would be able to get nice money,” Mark Smith said.

However, to top the sale and reach $170,000 still left the Smiths floored.

“It was unbelievable it was just fantastic for Southland.”

Southland producing the top two lots at in the pacing section of the Christchurch yearling sale had extra meaning for Mark Smith.

He is the president of the Southern Bred Southern Reared organisation that markets yearlings bred and offered by breeders in Otago and Southland.

“To do what we have done, as a group of really good people and vendors, is simply unbelievable.”


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