Retraining of racehorses (ROR) held their first auction of racehorses for non racing homes on May 20th. It was a success despite the fact that they were unsure as to how it would be received. Every horse sold at the auction has a non racing agreement clause added to their passport, excluding them from racing. Horses included in the catalogue were any horse which qualified for ROR competitions. Some have just finished racing, where as others have already started new careers. 12 of the 28 horses in the auction sold, with the average price being £589.
I think it is brilliant that the ROR is starting to get more involved in rehoming racehorses and I think this is a great way to link the racing industry to the riding horse industry. However, the real point of this post is to try and come to a decision on whether auctions are a good way to buy and sell horses.
Personally, I am unsure if I would ever buy a riding horse from auction. I’m not sure on my reasons for this, it just gives me a funny feeling. However, saying that, I would happily buy a broodmare or blank canvas youngster from an auction. It may be because you never get to meet the horse in an environment it knows, therefore you may not be meeting the horses true character. Or it may be the fact that you can’t use your own vet for a vetting or might not even be able to ride the horse. All of these things would put me off I think. However, saying all this, if there was a horse I really liked, and it was cheap enough I might take the risk.
Although I have never sold a horse myself, I cannot imagine selling a horse at auction. This is because I would want to meet any potential owners and make sure they are good enough and will look after the horse properly. I feel it comes across very impersonal and gives the impression that the owner sees the horse as a business rather than an animal. – This may be why I wouldn’t choose to buy from auction.
I’m not trying to determine whether they are good or bad. Just thought I would share my thoughts trying to form my own opinion on them.
What are your experiences with horse auctions? Do you have an opinion on them?