Jul 11, 2008


Last Christmas I received a note from Keeneland’s Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell informing me that I had sold the sales graduate of the week.

“Congratulations on pinhooking such a nice horse. Sorry it wasn’t profitable!”, he wrote, taking damning with faint praise to a new level. The steed in question is Paradise Dancer who has gone on to earn some $600,000 after being purchased by me as a weanling for $l0,000. I felt like Jesse James robbing a train after finding a Langfuhr offspring for such a paltry sum.

I sold half to a partner and we entered the colt in Keeneland’s September yearling sale, anticipating a healthy resale profit, particularly after he aced his veterinary exams. It soon became apparent, however, that my enthusiasm for Langfuhr was unmatched by the Keeneland audience. By now this camp included my partner who said he wanted out. Sell him without reserve he said.

To my eye the only sin committed by the Langfuhr colt was he didn’t grow much since we bought him. We let him go for a ridiculous price of $7,000 to a buyer from Florida.

A cheerier bit of news showed up yesterday in the current Blood Horse. It seems that we landed in exalted company, ranked fourth among consignors selling graded stakes winners from 200l-05 under the Dan Kenny Bloodstock banner. Since we blended DKI into Four Star Sales in 2002, our finish was based on the 2001 season. Must have been a good year. But it doesn’t necessarily mean we made any money. It is entirely possible to breed and raise a good horse and still lose money.

That’s why we need to constantly press the case for broodmare awards. It can keep a horse farmer afloat who produced a good horse for the market yet made no direct profit.