Breeder soldiers on with yearlings
QUEENSLAND thoroughbred breeder Ben Lucas says he will continue to support the Capricornia Yearling Sale in whatever form it may take, but concedes COVID-19 will impact his offering.
Mr Lucas operates Lucas Bloodstock at Croftby, a family run farm which was built from the boundary fence up, about 100km south-west of Brisbane.
He had seven yearlings in this year’s Capricornia Yearling Sale catalogue, but that number will be affected by the coronavirus situation if sale organisers manage to salvage the postponed event.
Mr Lucas said following news this week that the April 5 yearling sale in Rockhampton had been postponed, he would still support a Capricornia Yearling Sale at a later date in some fashion.
“We’ve had our yearlings in for eight weeks’ preparation and the truck was booked for next Wednesday to come up to Rocky,” he said.
“We’re still going to do our photos and videos of our horses, we’ve got that booked in this Sunday.
“A few of our clients, we’re waiting to hear back from.
“Some of them are still going to, no matter what, run the horses through the Rocky sale regardless of when it is.
“But we’re in a situation where some of them just can’t - they’ve already paid for eight weeks’ prep, they need to get some sort of return.
“So a couple of those horses will probably be sold online (on other platforms).”
Mr Lucas said he’d had some experience with the yearling sales post the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We went to the QTIS sale (Gold Coast Magic Millions),” he said.
“We had pretty good success there - we sold some horses for $50,000 and $70,000, but there was a few of those bottom-end horses that just didn’t make their money.
“You know those horses between the $10k and $25k mark, that’s where there’s no money.”
The Rockhampton Jockey Club manages the Capricornia Yearling Sale and its CEO Tony Fenlon wrote to stakeholders informing them of the postponement.
“Unfortunately, we have to admit defeat to COVID-19 and the restrictions that have and will be put in place going forward,” Mr Fenlon said in that correspondence.
“As mentioned in earlier correspondence the health and safety of all our team, vendors, buyers and other interested parties is paramount to our decision making.
“The situation will be reviewed again by Friday 29th May 2020.”
Some breeders and vendors told The Morning Bulletin this week they could not afford to hold onto their stock and would look to sell their lots on social media and other online auction sites.
The Rockhampton Jockey Club is attempting to organise an online yearling sale auction incorporating the drafts from the deferred Capricornia Yearling Sale.