Nutrien Classic horse sale at Tamworth breaks Australasian sales records - petsitterbank

Nutrien Classic horse sale at Tamworth breaks Australasian sales records

A record-breaking sale of Australian performance horses over the past week is being described as “breathtaking” by those involved.

The 2022 Nutrien Classic at Tamworth fetched more than $17 million over five days of sales, making it the most valuable event in the auction’s 15-year history.

Three-year-old filly Bad in Black fetched the highest price of $550,000, breaking all Australasian sales records for a performance horse.

The stunning black mare was sired by Stevie Rey Von, the offspring of iconic stallion Metallic Cat.

Bad in Black owner Holly Clayden of Loomberah Lodge Performance Horses said she was still focused on the record.

Holly Clayden still can’t believe her horse was sold for $550,000.(ABC New England North West: Lara Webster)

“We’re so blown away, so grateful that people came and enjoyed the filly we bought – she’s really special,” she said.

A man in a black hat and shirt stands in front of a sales ring.
Isaac Westerhuis rode the beloved filly into the sales ring.(ABC New England North West: Lara Webster)

Isaac Westerhuis presented the filly, bought by Willinga Park and Terry Snow AM.

Mr Westerhuis said he could hardly believe it when the hammer fell.

“There was quite a bit of talk about what she was going to do,” he said.

Prior to the sale of Bad in Black, a number of horses sold for between $100,000 and $300,000.

Horses mounted in a large ring of sand.
Auctioneers say the 2022 sale was the strongest in the event’s 15-year history.(ABC New England North West: Lara Webster)

What is driving demand?

Horses at the event sold for an average of $27,113 and the clearance rate was 92%.

Records were broken in the mare and gelding categories.

Nutrien auctioneer Joel Fleming said a number of factors are increasing the demand for performance horses, which are ridden in cutting and camp drawing competitions.

Prices for mares and fillies have particularly increased, he said, amid good seasonal conditions and improved bloodlines.

“The flavor this year is definitely mare lines, and mare embryos have become a huge thing in this industry over the last five or six years,” Fleming said.

“So it gives people the opportunity to be able to compete on very competitive mares, in addition to breeding from those mares at the same time – so you don’t lose your competition horse, so there’s a lot more money for them.

A man wearing a hat and a black vest stands at the edge of a large competition ring.
Auctioneer Joel Fleming has sold the record filly, Bad in Black, and says the prices are the best they have ever been.(ABC New England North West: Lara Webster)

A new addition for sale

New records weren’t the only additions to the classic sale this year – former racehorses in harness were also auctioned off for the first time.

Six standardbreds were retrained to track and butcher cattle for campdrafting, hoping to have a life after racing.

All the horses were sold and started a new life away from the track.

Some will head to a major northern cattle station, some have gone to Wollongong to a riding school and others are staying in the Tamworth area

A woman in a pale blue shirt stands with a bay horse.
Emma O’Shea retrained one of the standard-bred horses.( ABC New England North West: Kemii Maguire)

Cootamundra-based trainer Emma O’Shea said she hoped the repatriation scheme would be the start of change in the industry.

“I was looking forward to seeing how far I could take this horse and what I could make him do,” she said.


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