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Dr Tattersalls10

01 May 2019

#1 - Foals rush in

I’ve no idea why my occasional blog on Studlife should have been given the misnomer ‘Rant’? Those that work at Tweenhills will attest I have the most level temperament.

There are, however, things I simply cannot understand; issues that seem so mind-bendingly obvious that it’s beyond comprehension that nothing has been done.

I’m a month late with this blog, but take, for example, the lotting of foals at Tattersalls December Foal Sales.

It never ceases to amaze me, or anyone else I have spoken to for that matter, that all the best-bred foals are sold on the Friday, when in many cases there is less than a day’s viewing due to double standings with earlier lots. Buyers have all the time in the world to inspect foals in the bargain basement end of the sale. We can go back inspect them to our heart’s content, have them vetted from top to bottom, inside and out. Yet when we need to spend time looking at the stock that will walk into most select yearling sales on paper, we have scarcely enough time to see them twice let alone vet them thoroughly.

I’m sure someone at Tattersalls will have an excellent reason, and they are welcome to reply and post their response here but I do know that the vast majority of buyers and vendors of good foals equally loath the current system. They know that the good foals are not receiving a fair viewing.

The only counter arguments I have heard is that buyers from the foal sales are unlikely to hang around for the mares if they have to wait for a couple of days of cheaper foals before the mares start selling. Maybe this was true before they invented aeroplanes but surely not now. Secondly, there is the estate agent’s view that the more time buyers have to look at something the more faults they find with it. They should be rushed into a purchase. I’d like to think we’re a bit more professional than that.

What I do know is that at Tweenhills we go into the sale as agents for both buyers and sellers. Wearing both hats we need to do the best for all of our clients and in the current format I believe both buyers and sellers of good foals suffer equally.

Two of the most common reasons (after pedigree and conformation) for not buying a foal is lack of action and/or temperament. We go to the sales actively wanting to buy good stock and if one of the team ‘cans’ a foal for lack of action, we have seen time and time again that the foal has given a completely different show the next morning, removing the opportunity to see the well-bred foal again due to lack of time whilst enabling numerous views of the lesser bred specimen appears barking.

Will Tattersalls please change it? Non-rant over.


Dr Tattersalls10