Returning Format a Key to September Success

Returning Format a Key to September Success

Majority of buyers and consignors agree that a consistent format in September is beneficial

Keeneland’s sales team works diligently to stage the September Yearling Sale in a way that permits the young equine stock to be evaluated in the best manner possible. The goal is to have robust trade from start to finish, with yearlings cataloged according to their projected commercial value based on breeding and conformational traits. Keeneland’s inspection teams will inspect at least 60% of the sale’s entrants in order to assist with their ideal placement.

Based on the success of the 2021 September Sale and building towards a consistent format that works for buyers and sellers alike, this year’s September Sale format will mirror that of 2021. (Finer details may vary based on the number of entries received.)


September Sale Format: At a Glance

Book 1: Monday-Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Book 2: Wednesday-Thursday at 11 a.m.

Dark Day: Friday

Sale continues daily at 10 a.m.

Critical Mass Before Break

The 2021 September Sale format consisted of a two-day Book 1 with a 1 p.m. daily start time, followed by a two-day Book 2. A break in the sale after the first four days allowed time for sale participants to regroup and begin the inspections for Book 3 and beyond.

Having 1,100 horses on the grounds before the dark day was something that, combined with the elevated atmosphere around Book 1, helped to create the energy at the start of the sales that was sustained through the second week.
Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach

Thumbs Up from Agent Ryan

For prominent bloodstock agent Mike Ryan, whose September Sale purchases include this year’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1) winner Zandon, the sale format is all-important as he and his wife, Mary, inspect yearlings. Ryan liked the book placement and sale start times in Book 1 during the 2021 September Sale.

I was happy with it and I hope a lot of other people like it. For Book 1, you need that extra time (for inspection) in the morning. I was very appreciative of the fact they didn’t start until 1 p.m.
Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan

Consignors Appreciate 2021 Format

A number of regular consignors at the September Sale echoed Ryan's sentiment on the structure of the sale.

Huge props to Allaire Ryan, the CBA and all the new leaders at Keeneland for communicating and working hand in hand with the consignors and streamlining the juggernaut of the Keeneland September Sale.
Carrie Brogden, Machmer Hall
Thank you! Better for buyers and sellers alike.
Consignor Tommy Eastham in response to the 2021 September format
The September Sale needs a defined beginning, middle & end. Last year's format provided that structure. I believe the format was one that has worked historically & tells both buyers & sellers when certain types of yearlings will be on offer.
Kerry Cauthen, Four Star Sales
Whatever works best for the buyers is exactly what we should be doing. I think Keeneland believes that & has taken that to heart. We've certainly had enough time to show horses, and I feel like the buyers have had enough time to look at the horses.
Bret Jones, Airdrie

Veterinarians Appreciated 2021 Format

Not unlike agents and principals, equine veterinarians on the sale beat have time-consuming tasks, including inspecting radiographs and video endoscopic exams of yearlings’ airways and performing physical exams. The 2021 September Sale format allowed their clients sufficient time to make decisions that were not rushed.

Starting later in Book 1 gave buyers more time to come up with short lists and then vet lists. Consistency is key to success but so is flexibility. I find Keeneland is more user friendly.
Dr. E.C. “Pug” Hart

Another Positive Format Change

In addition to the first week format change for Books 1 and 2 at the 2021 September Sale, there were benefits to Week 2.

For the first time, sellers on both days of Book 3 had two days to show under this format, due to the barn rotation. Additionally, both sessions of Book 6 were combined into a single session, which was cataloged as a third session of Book 5.

This resulted in buyers being presented with a critical mass of 1,279 yearlings in Book 5, which grossed $26,500,000. Book 5 had an average of $29,770 and a median of $22,000. The RNA rate was a paltry 8%.

I have never vetted as many horses as I did last September and my workload was the same start to finish. Every day was strong and when one group of buyers left, another group showed up so there was never any downtime, which reflected the overall market.
Dr. E.C. “Pug” Hart
I’m not kidding when I say this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a @keenelandsales September sale. Book 5 was an absolute blast.
Taylor Made's Liam Benson (on Twitter)
Everyone has seen the pics and videos of @keenelandsales I’m just gonna say it again this is the best horse sale I’ve ever seen. Absolutely unreal, we’re in session 10 and you bring one in there they halfway like it brings 6 figures.
Spendthrift's Mark Toothaker (on Twitter)