The CTHS Alberta Thoroughbred Sale held on Friday, September 18th at Westerner Park in Red Deer had a strong start with an announcement from Horse Racing Alberta CEO, Kent Verlik, who offered positive news on the state of the industry going forward. Verlik emphasized that the record handle and slot machine revenue numbers since the re-opening of horse racing and the racing entertainment centres have surpassed the expectations of Horse Racing Alberta and provided a stable financial position from which to grow the industry.
“Over the course of our 2021-2023 business plan, we are planning to make significant investment in our Horsepersons. Next year, increases in both breed improvement and purse funding will be increased by more than 16% over what was planned BEFORE the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Similar increases are being planned for in 2022 and 2023.
We want to encourage horse owners, trainers and others that may have either left the industry or wish to join it, to look at making horse racing in Alberta a part of your future. We now find ourselves on stable ground, rejuvenated and brimming with optimism for an even stronger 2021 and beyond.”
65 yearlings were offered in the 2020 catalogue with 39 selling for total gross sales of $327,400. The yearling book was somewhat smaller than normal this year due to the general uncertainty created by Covid-19 but overall results were extremely positive showing an increase in both the average and median. The average yearling price this year was $8,395 which represents a 25% increase over the previous 2019 sale average of $6,736. The 2020 median sale price of $4,500 is an impressive 67% higher than the 2019 median of $2,700.
The high seller at the 2020 sale was Hip #53, an Alberta bred yearling that sold for $44,000. This lovely filly by the stakes winning sire Exhi was consigned by Highfield Investment Group Inc., Agent and sold to Greg Tracy, Agent. Exhi is a stakes winning racehorse who has sired 30 winners including Alberta runners Pacioretty ($112,440), Victory Day ($78,398) and Norm’s Big Bucks ($53,201). The dam of the high seller is the stakes winning Forestry mare, Eustacia, who earned $189,540 in her race career with an impressive record of seven firsts, three seconds and one third from fourteen starts. The stakes wins for Eustacia included races such as the Freedom of the City Stakes, the Bird of Pay Stakes, the R.K. (Red) Smith Handicap, the Wild Rose Handicap and the Chariot Chaser Handicap. This yearling is her second foal as her first foal is a two year old of 2020.
Four of the top five selling yearlings were Alberta bred yearlings giving their purchasers the opportunity to participate in the Thoroughbred Breed Improvement Program which in 2020 paid to owners of horses foaled in Alberta a bonus of greater than 20% on eligible earnings.
This province will be an exciting place to breed and own Thoroughbreds in the years ahead. Your best bet is an Alberta bred!
For further details and full sale results, visit the CTHS Alberta website at www.cthsalta.com