Horsemanship, Jr. - Ocala, Florida Breeders' Auction

in #auctioneer3 years ago (edited)

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I want to expand further on the last post,
February 1, 2018, entitled, Horse Capital of the World. As
I mentioned in that post, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales,
also known as Auctions, are held in Ocala, Florida
(Marion County.) Several of these auctions are
held during the year, and I recently attended one of
these auctions offering two-year old thoroughbreds
that are in training to be race horses. Sit back and
pretend you are watching this auction as I describe it
to you.

Thoroughbred horses are flown in
and transported from all over the world and from
all over the United States. The Ocala Breeders’ Sales
Company has beautiful stalls and extensive
accommodations for these horses. The Sales complex
is huge and very inviting to both spectators and
visitors watching the event. I was there strictly as an
interested person, and not as a bidder! But I enjoyed
the event as it was a gala and exciting experience.

There is no cost to watch the auction and
everyone is given a book containing information on every
Thoroughbred horse that will be sold. I will discuss
these books later in this post.

The auditorium for the auction is inside and
air conditioned. The spectators, visitors and those who
will be bidding all choose their seats themselves, so I
might have been sitting next to someone who was
bidding. But it is hard to tell who is bidding, and I will
also explain that later.

The seats are similar to plush seats in
a move theater and they are arranged in a semi-circle.
Starting at the back of the room each row is lower
than the one above continuing down to a stage in the
front of the auditorium.

The “stage” is very impressive and the
Auctioneers, who sell the horses, are extremely proficient.
They sit at a raised enclosed platform at least 15 feet
above the stage at the rear of the stage. Their platform
is wide enough to seat 5 or six people, with desk area in
front of them.

Their platform takes up a great deal
of the width of the stage, leaving room on “stage left”
for a horse to be led by the trainer through a door
and around in front of the raised platform. The horse
stands there facing the audience. After the bidding
is finished for this horse, the trainer will lead the
horse off the stage through a door “stage right.”

If you had never heard the “chant,”
or “communication” of an auctioneer, you would
find it difficult to follow. Their words are rhythmic
and repetitive. First you hear the “current bid,”
followed by the “suggested bid” – i.e.: the suggested
bid asks to raise the bidding. And finally, the “question
bid,” which asks for an even higher bid.

Here is an example of what
the auctioneer might say:
(I am bid five hundred dollars)
(five hundred dollars, eight hundred dollars)
(Do I hear one thousand dollars)
As this is very rapid speech,
the bidding is going up quickly and the
auctioneer inserts filler words to give a few
seconds for the potential buyers to think
about their next bid and remind them of
the last bid. The filler words are not
relevant to the bidding and might be a
reference to the obviously beautiful coat
of the Thoroughbred, or his exquisite
coloring.

But the auctioneer is not the
only person conducting the sale. The “bid
catchers” stand throughout the auditorium
taking note of every bid and communicating
each bid to the auctioneer by a loud “yell.”
Then the auctioneer must revise his chant
and mention the last bid, the new suggestion
bid and the new question bid. This is a very loud
and fast process and those bidding must pay
strict attention. The bidders raise their hands
and are spotted by the “bid catchers.” As I
stated earlier, it is difficult for me sitting in
the audience to see who is bidding as those
bidding may be seated to my side or behind
me or in front of me. But it is easy for the “bid
catcher” to spot each bid as he is standing in
front of the audience. Also, it is very common
for just two or three persons to be bidding
against each other, as most bidders have previously
decided the worth of the Thoroughbred they
want to buy.

Above I referred to a book that is
given to everyone attending. Each page in the
book contains a lineage (1) chart (also called a pedigree
chart or family tree) for one of the Thoroughbreds
being sold. The pages are numbered by Hip No. and
this number is placed on both hips of the horse for
easy identification. This particular book has
pages ranging from Hip No 1 through Hip No.

As an example, I will turn to
Hip No. 62. At the time the book was prepared, no
name had been given to this horse, so the page
is entitled “Chestnut Colt.” This entire page is
a pedigree chart or family tree for this colt and
in order to understand this page, it is necessary
to learn the following equestrian terms that
are used in the pedigree description.

  1. Colt – male horse
  2. Filly – female horse
  3. 1st Dam – mother of the horse
  4. 2nd Dam – grandmother of the horse
  5. 3rd Dam – great grandmother of the horse
  6. Sire – father of the horse
  7. Damsire – grandfather of the horse on the
    Mother’s side

Using this terminology, the entire pedigree
of Chestnut Colt is given on page Hip No. 62, going
back three generations. And this information includes
the amount of money each of Chestnut Colt’s
family members have won in the racing field. This
gives the bidder ample information to make his or
her decision as to the worth of this Thoroughbred;
Chestnut Colt sold for $300,000.00. During the
time I watched this auction, the amount paid for an
individual horse ranged from $4,000.00 to
$1,100,000.00

Hope you found this interesting.
See you next time as we continue our lessons
in Horsemanship, Jr.

  1. Lineage – pedigree or family tree of the Thoroughbred
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