Bringing together yearlings and performers of a quality never seen before at auction, “The Auction by Arqana, Act II” proved a commanding success under the mighty dome of the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris.
Defying the transport strike and taking advantage of the ability to bid online, all the big names of show jumping attended this new kind of event, and for once it was not at a competition held over obstacles, but around a sales arena that they clashed. The 10 horses sold (out of 18 presented, i.e. 55%) achieved an aggregate of 1.952 million Euros, a sign of the strong interest that the selection had aroused among professionals around the world. The owners who had the final say on these future champions are of course French and Belgian, but also American, Dutch, etc.
Performers: DAKOTA DE L’ARDRAIS at the forefront
The 14 performers aged 5, 6 and 7 included horses that were absolutely remarkable in terms of their achievements, genetics and physical quality.
The top price of the evening went to DAKOTA DE L’ARDRAIS (lot 11), who was knocked down for €560,000 after a merciless bidding battle. The handsome son of Urlevent du Bary ranked 7th in the 6YO Belgian Championship and was described by expert advisor Virginie Coupérie Eiffel as: “Great class, he could be a top championship horse. He has a very good balance, power and that cleverness which the top French horses have.”
Another eagerly awaited highlight was the daughter of Emerald NOORTJE VAN HET HOUTERHOF (lot 5) who commanded a final bid of €400,000. The 6YO Belgian Vice-Champion was the talk of the trials, along with the Champion herself, CONMITAGE (lot 9), on which no less than 25 bids were placed before the hammer fell at €226,000 for the daughter of Conthargos.
The drop-dead gorgeous PINKI PAY (lot 4) boasted a title of 5YO Champion in Italy and was another to raise many hands until selling for €270,000.
While it is rare to find yearlings at sporthorse sales, this is the age group most often represented at the thoroughbred auctions organized by Arqana in Deauville. And the selection gathered by The Auction’s experts was of great quality, as reflected in the top price of €70,000 reached by Savannah de Muze (lot 14), a beautiful daughter of Emerald out of a daughter of the great Athens silver medalist Butterfly Flip.
At the end of this historic event, Eric Hoyeau, the President of ARQANA, said: “After a successful first experience in the embryo sector, we set ourselves a major challenge with Act II: to transpose the methods that have founded ARQANA’s reputation in the racing sector to the sporthorse market. Quality, professionalism and transparency were the key words of this project, whose success is indebted to the sellers, who entrusted us with horses of a quality rarely seen at public sales, to Christophe Ameeuw and his team, who made light work of strikes and other logistical constraints to orchestrate this magical evening, and to the buyers who supported this innovative approach. The market for high level performers is a narrow one by definition. The vendors legitimately have high expectations for such quality horses, while it takes a real crush from the purchasers to go to these price levels. All things considered, I find the clearance rate very encouraging for an inaugural edition. To use a comparison with the thoroughbred industry, we are not so far off the ratios observed at our ‘Arc Sale ‘, an auction of top level horses in training. I wish all buyers every success with their horses and look forward to seeing everyone on February 15 in Deauville or Hong Kong for Act III.”
Christophe Ameeuw commented “This spectacular evening is an important step towards our common goal to transform sport horses sale like the market for race horses or the Art World and I would like to thank the experts, the owners and the clients who gave our trust in our project.”