Turn it up! Stunning sales results

Simply, stunning.

I could barely believe what I was seeing when I was sat ringside at the national standardbred yearling sales in Christchurch on Wednesday.

Horse after horse was knocked down for good money at a pace that looked unsustainable.

It was not just sustainable; it got faster and faster.

And a key part of that were the quality Otago and Southland yearlings that buyers were determined to get their hands on.

It's been well documented that two top lots were produced by Southland breeders.

But a closer look at the top end of the market revealed Wednesday's stunning results were driven by a large number of Southern breeders.

Five of the top ten yearlings at the sale were offered by Southerners.

They were:

Mark and Debbie Smith's Bettor's Delight-Pemberton Shard colt: $170,000.

Dave and Dawn Kennedy's Bettor's Delight-Beaudiene Maja Babe colt: $170,000.

John and Katrina Price's Captaintreacherous-Arden Caviar colt: $110,000.

Mark and Debbie Smith's Bettor's Delight-Priscilla Shard colt: $100,000.

John and Katrina Price's Bettor's Delight-Surprise Party colt: $100,000.

These seven yearlings helped the Southerners achieve more success by fetching $80,000 or more.

Todd and Fleur Anderson's Bettor's Delight-Tandias Bromac colt: $90,000.

Michelle Caig's Love You-Sun Mist colt: $90,000.

The Cummings family's Bettor's Delight-Tuapeka Maddy colt; $90,000.

John and Judy Stiven's Art Major-Venus Serena colt; $90,000.

John and Judy Stiven's Captaintreacherous-Southwind Arden colt; $82,500.

Gavin Chin's Bettor's Delight-Dudinka's Angel colt: $80,000.

Phil and Bev Williamson's Muscle Mass-Nice One Kenny colt: $80,000.

On those results, buyers clearly have confidence in southern-bred horses.

Obviously, that is driven by the kind of yearlings breeders are able to present on sale day, both in the flesh and on the pedigree page, as well as the market conditions that they meet when their horses get in the ring.

Thankfully, breeders were met with the most incredible market conditions this year.

New Zealand Bloodstock made a stunning mark on the market in their first attempt.

There was certainly an air of excitement about their entry in to the market before the sale.

While that added some real positivity to the mood of vendors, I did not think it would have such an incredible impact on the market as it did.

Yearling sales in Australia recently had showed the standardbred yearling market this year had been solid, but not stunning.

It would not have surprising to see the New Zealand market perform similarly.

Cheers rang out from breeders as it exceeded those expectations, and it is hard to argue that New Zealand Bloodstock did not have a huge part in that.

Beyond market factors, the marketing of the southern product must be a factor in the success of southern yearlings.

The way southern breeders have banded together through the Southern Bred Southern Reared organisation is incredible.

It is the same recipe that is used for the administration of harness racing in the south through the Southern Harness Racing group.

That group - which administers all Southland harness racing clubs and some in Otago - has now seen the stakes of maiden races boosted to $10,000.

The basis for the success of these two groups looks simple.

They are built on co-operation and working together for the good of the sport.

Imagine what could be achieved across New Zealand if other areas took the same approach.

Imagine if that was the attitude of everyone to racing from a national perspective.

Then things would really get done.

Happy trails.

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