2014 New York Morgan Stallion Service Auction Recap
February 4th, 2014
Submitted by Diane Garrow
The 2014 New York Morgan Stallion Service Auction (NYSSA) was all about the stallion owners who strongly believe in their horse as a breeding sire. The owner of Latours Fabuloso, Kathy Janes, not only wanted her own foals to be eligible for the Sweepstakes classes at the New York Regional, she also wanted her horse to be in the top ten and therefore, in the second round of bidding, she bid $2,500 on her own horse before bowing out. That's a lot of faith in your horse! Latours Fabuloso, who stands the 2014 season at Josh Merritt's Meadowmere Farm, brought the second highest bid of the night.
Ivan Beattie of East of Equinox Farm has donated a stallion service to every one of the 26 New York Stallion Service Auctions. Last year, his stallion, Issues 'N Answers, sold for the opening bid. This year, Issues 'N Answers brought the fifth highest price of the night which was just under $2,000. There have been years when Ivan has purchased his own horse's contract just so that the babies he produced would be eligible for the Sweepstakes classes at the New York Regional.
Another loyal supporter is Astronomicallee's owner, Tony Lee, who already has decided that he will donate to the 2015 NYSSA. Tony is backed by Broadmoor as his agents, also longtime supporters of the NYSSA, who had three stallions in this year's auction. In addition to "Astro," contracts for Stand And Deliver and The Master's Touch were donated by Broadmoor clients Tara Good and Cindy Nord.
The sale was topped by Futurity French Command, another stallion whose owner, Rick Lane, had the foresight, belief in his horse, and the generosity to make his service available to the NYSSA. His service was purchased by Terry King who also had the high bid on Latours Fabuloso and SpringMill Superstition.
Some of the newer (read younger) stallion owners made a huge effort to promote their stallions through Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the more traditional avenues. Julie Irvine, owner of The Ignitor, standing at Merriehill Farm, and Roxanne Sardelli Greenway, owner of Minion Millennium, standing at Triumph Stables, come to mind. Diane Conrady, agent for SpiceOLife Present Tense GCH, also made a strong showing via Facebook.
The daylong event started with a presentation from Mark James of the New York Farm Bureau. The New York Farm Bureau is a member organization of the American Farm Bureau which is a grassroots-dominant organization that supports farmers with education, legal advocacy, and lobbying; and the Farm Bureau considers horse owners to be farmers, with all of the tax benefits and grants that are available to farmers. Many in the audience were surprised and delighted to find out about the resources available to them through the Farm Bureau.
The Farm Bureau presentation was followed by a presentation and reading from the book, America's Own, a collection of 50 stories (one for every state) about a Morgan horse who was important to the history of the state. This book, and the video based on it, is a great promotional piece for the breed as it expands the audience beyond the faithful. The book and free video are available through the America's Own Facebook page. The book can be donated to libraries through the Morgan Horse Heritage Foundation, Inc. Contact Anne Brown, 1380 Old Stage Road, Westford, VT 05494 for more information.
There was an expert panel made up of Terri Travers of Horse Show Wire, Dwayne Knowles of Broadmoor, and Lynn Peeples of Waterford Farm answering questions about marketing your Morgan. A major point was that you should sell (not keep for yourself) your best horses in order to promote your program. It was mentioned that only about 20 percent of mares will produce a show horse and that you should develop your market for the rest. The entire panel seemed to be in favor of open competition as a good way to do that. When asked, "Where do you see the market for Morgan horses in five and ten years," every one of them said that unless we keep putting babies on the ground, there will be a real shortage as they have seen the market start to improve and expect the trend to continue. Finally, they stressed the importance of seeking experienced professional help by trainers who are successful in marketing the horses they represent.
The NYSSA is a social event as well. In addition to the networking opportunities experienced during the day, Turning Stone has a fabulous nightclub that drew the after-party. Andrew Wood, Terri Travers, Dwayne Knowles, Josh Merritt and others took full advantage and had a blast.
This auction is the last for committee chair Diane Garrow, who would like to thank the other members of the committee: Carol Stone, Marion Gaigal, Annette Bakic, Bob Westrick, Lynn Peeples, and Pam Turner for helping to make it all possible. The money raised this year was $41,990. Diane will be replaced by Danielle Neidlinger of Lingering Hills Stable, who brings great enthusiasm and new ideas to the Auction.
A reminder that the New York Regional, held September 10-13, will feature the NYSSA Sweepstakes classes for Weanlings and Four-Year-Olds.