In the sales ring at Tattersalls

16th October 2013

The National Stud at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale

October is the time of year when Newmarket echoes to the sounds of the yearling sales at Tattersalls. My name is Rob Stapleton and I am the Stud Assistant Manager at The National Stud.

Last week we had two yearlings we were selling as part of Book 1 - the most prestigious part of the sales - and so my days were spent in the yards at the sales complex, meeting clients and showing the yearlings to prospective buyers.

The second yearling we consigned was a lovely Sea The Stars filly who was foaled at The National Stud. This was one of the first times she had been off the farm since birth so it was a big learning experience for her.

She was stabled in the sales complex for the days leading up to the sales, surrounded by other yearlings, and she took the experience really well. She is a good looking athletic filly and a really lovely mover.

Preparing yearlings for the sales takes around 12 weeks and starts with bitting - getting them used to having a bit in their mouths, if they are not already.

We will also need to get them used to being walked and exercised in hand, eventually with a roller and side reins to help build up their top line and the muscles in their neck. Given that they will be on the go at the sales with prospective buyers wanting to see them, it is important that the yearlings have a good level of fitness as well as having good manners and knowing how to stand up and present themselves correctly.

They also need to look the part. Sales like this are our shop window to advertise our services, so the yearlings, mares and foals that we consign have to show what a great job we do. We aim to have our horses looking better than any one else if possible. In the case of this filly, she was stabled in at night and was well rugged up to keep her coat, as well as being groomed to remove all the dead hair and to give her a coat like a seal.

Yearlings are just one part of the sales preparation that we do, the December Sales of foals and mares are a bigger part of our business. Last year we consigned 25 foals to the sales and we ended up as 5th leading foal consigner and 6th leading mare consigner. Many studs will have a bigger draft of horses heading into the ring so to achieve that was something we were really proud of.

Rob Stapleton is Stud Assistant Manager at The National Stud