By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: Grant Watson, president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (BC Division), isn’t one to pull any punches. “Our business is fragile,” he says. “It’s tough everywhere.”
In the next breath, though, Watson adds: “But when push comes to shove in British Columbia, we have the support of breeders and owners who are always there for the industry. It’s gratifying.”
To say he was pleased with the results of the 2019 CTHS-BC Yearling Sale this past week would be an understatement. He was ecstatic.
“Our numbers are up across the board,” Watson pointed out at the conclusion of the proceedings at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley. “Sales grossed $106.65 million compared to $989,000 last year. The true strength of the sale was the median prices that increased 90 per cent from $7,500 in 2018 to $14,250 this year.”
Of the four most active buyers, three were in the category of what Watson described as “always there with their support” and a fourth created quite a stir as the proverbial new kid on the block.
Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. purchased four yearlings for a total of $157,000, including the top price of the sale at $61,000. Peter Redekop B.C. Ltd. was next with four purchases totaling $134,500 with its high price being $59,000. Riversedge Racing Stables out of Alberta paid $85,000 with four purchases and the newcomer – Dave Bauman – ranked fourth overall with three buys totaling $82,500, the highest being $49,000.
“Mr. Bauman and his daughter have been frequent visitors to the races at Hastings and his presence at the sale was encouraging, to say the least,” Watson noted. “It was also encouraging to see Swift Thoroughbreds step up with purchases of some quality horses and Peter Redekop’s involvement is always appreciated.
“Riversedge Racing generally takes its new purchases back to Alberta to get them into training and eventually brings them back to Hastings.”
There is a deep and successful history of yearling purchases at the CTHS-BC Sale, highlighted by Nick and Pauline Felicella’s 2003 purchase of Spaghetti Mouse who retired in 2012 with career earnings of $948,686. The popular Mouse ran exclusively at Hastings and was named to the BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014.
Spaghetti Mouse, Delta Colleen, Police Inspector, Roscoe Pito, Dancing Allstar, Alabama Rain and Tommy Danzigger are all previous CTHS-BC Sale graduates who earned more than a half a million dollars in star-studded careers.