Day Two, Mares and Fillies Friday’s Mares and Fillies drew the crowds but very few buyers came with deep pockets and those who signed their names on the ring clipboard were again getting great bargains.
To give an idea of prices on Day Two and compare with last year’s prices, (which were already below the glory boomtime days) I decided to use 3 categories to give a birds-eye view using the Blog’s random catalogue markings These categories are;
A,Yearling Fillies: B, Two and Three yr old Fillies: C, Mares Four yrs. and older.
A Among the Yearling fillies average prices ranged from a low of about €250 up to €1,400 with only a small minority achieving €1,000 or more. The majority were in the €400 – €700 category. Best yearling filly price in ’09 was €2,400
B From the 2 and 3 yr. old Fillies, prices ranged from a low of about €300 up to €2,750. The majority were below the €1,000 mark with €1,700 achieved for one 3 yr old scanned in-foal mare and €1,200 and €1,300 being the best prices paid for a couple of 2 yr. old fillies. Best 2yr old filly price in ’09 was €3,250
C Among the older mares 4yrs old and up, (some from Day One), many scanned in foal and some with foals at foot, prices ranged from €390 to €2,300. One brood mare made E 3,000 and the top price achieved was 5,000 Euro. Best price in ’09 was €3,900
NEW PICTURE OF LOOKOUT CALLA SURPRISE. The top price 3yr old filly Lot 310, Lookout Calla Surprise by Canal Laura’s Boy – Lookout Flashy Lady, which achieved €5,000 for a Co. Cork vendor, and was purchased on behalf of Clifden’s Noel Noonan (who had just sold 3 colt foals at Clifden) by England’s Sarah Challinor ( who -with a Dartmoor Stallion – took the recent Ridden M&M Supreme Championship at HOYS). [Reserve Supreme went to Henrietta Knight’s Connemara Lecarrow King ridden by Jayne Webber ] P.J.Watson kindly supplied this last piece of information as well as a recent picture of Lookout Calla Surprise Sarah Challinor plans to bring on the filly and show her in Britain where she has already gained kudos.. Her pedigree reads mainly Native pony with a touch of Arab blood, and with Coral Prince, Dun Aengus, Killyreagh Kim, and Village Belle and Village Laura lined up in her back pedigree.
Now remember the above is only a random sample of the current market for Connemara Mares and Fillies but everyone knows it’s all a very far cry from the top and average prices of 3 or 4 years ago and many will question whether it is worth continuing to breed the ponies with the marketplace already flooded and no immediate signs of a climb out of the recession. Currently it is not viable for the breeder – who now pays more than ever in covering fees (€150 to €400, blood typing and vets fees for mare scanning ) – to bring a pony from conception to the Sales.
Gelding prices were not quite so bad as that for prospective breeding fillies because riding ponies (especially the Connemara who is a ‘good doer’ and can be easily managed) will always be in demand for leisure riders as well as competitive riders. I stress once again CANNY BUYERS WILL BUY NOW.
However the atmosphere at the Sales was not overly pessimistic with many vendors now resigned to the current situation. The Connemara pony is also a way of life too and not all about money. Their owners lgenerally love them. The Mart is a great social meeting place for old friends and new. One cheerful vendor not too concerned with prices was 74 year old Jim Downes from West Limerick who accepted with equanimity the €600 offered for his 2yr old bay filly which would, he says, have made five or six thousand a few years ago, but times had changed and that was fine by him. His grandfather and father before him were blacksmiths as was Jim also in his early years and he knew horses and ponies inside-out. A regular Sales visitor all his life he is glad to have the good health to enjoy the day out. Despite previous health problems, including multiple operations as well as overcoming cancer, he still likes to keep a few half-breds and Irish Draughts as well as Connemaras and is delighted to still play golf three days a week and look after his animals too.
Final Day, Mainly Foals Coming soon
All photos © Niamh’s weblog. See Books at WWW.MARNE.IE