How do prestigious horse auctions work?

How do prestigious horse auctions work?
Jude Cooley
ELITE SPORTS/RIDING
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

One way to acquire a horse is to purchase it through an auction. How do such prestigious events proceed step by step? What kind of horse auctions do we have to deal with in our country?

Pride of Poland – annual auction of Arabian horses

When discussing horse auctions it is impossible not to mention the Pride of Poland, which is an annual auction of Arabian horses that takes place in Janów Podlaski. During the auction horses from the studs in Janów Podlaski and Micha³ów, from the Bia³ka Stallion Stud and from private studs are auctioned off. The first horse auction in Janów Podlaski took place in 1970. Since 2001 it has been called the Pride of Poland.

The highest horse prices were achieved there in the eighties of the 20th century. Noteworthy price records include the stallion El Paso, sold for 1 000 000 dollars, or the stallion Bandos, whose price reached 806 000 dollars. In 2007 the mare Pieta was sold for 300 000 euro. The buyer was Shirley Watts – wife of the drummer of the famous band The Rolling Stones. The mare Zulejka was then sold for 205,000 euro and Altona – for 180,000 euro. They went to Belgium. The annual receipts from the Pride of Poland horse auctions in 2003-2007 amounted to about 1 000 000 euro.

An extremely important date in the history of the Pride of Poland was August 10, 2008. At that time, during the 39th auction, 37 mares were put up for sale, including the 13 year old Kwestura, bred by Michałów Stud, which was sold for 1 125 000 euro. This is the highest price ever achieved for a horse in Janów Podlaski. The mare was purchased by a businessman from the Middle East.

Equally record-breaking was the edition held in 2015, when the mare Pepita was sold for 1,400,000 euros. For many years, the organizer of the Pride of Poland auction was Polturf, a company dealing in horse brokering. Since 2016, this function has been fulfilled by the Poznań International Fair. During the first auction organized by them, horses were sold for a total of 1,271,000 euros.

In 2019, the jubilee 50th Pride of Poland auction took place. The highest price – 400,000 euro – was then obtained by the mare Galerida from SK Michałów. The mare Potentilla from Janów Podlaski Stud was sold for 215 000 euro. As far as the Pride of Poland 2020 is concerned the mare Perfinka from Bia³ka Stud was sold for the highest price of 1 250 000 euro.

Horse auctions – the most important rules

The organizer of this type of event directs invitations to a specific group of addressees to submit bids on a proposed contract. From among them he chooses the one which is the most advantageous. The organizer of the auction can be an entity interested in concluding a contract, i.e. the current owner of horses, as well as an entrepreneur who deals with conducting the auction.

The organizer of the auction has the right to stipulate that in order to take part in the auction, a deposit, i.e. an appropriate amount of money as security, must be paid. It entitles each horse to participate in the auction and is tantamount to accepting the terms of the contract. The paid bid security is credited toward the purchase price of the horse. Auction participants whose bids have not been selected will receive their deposit back.

In accordance with the Civil Code, if an auction participant evades the conclusion of a contract, the organizer has the right to retain the bid security. When it is the auctioneer who refuses to conclude a contract, the participant whose bid has been selected has the right to demand compensation for damages or payment of a double deposit.

Horse auctions are conducted using the bidding system. For events of this type, a minimum bid is set, which is the amount by which the predecessor can be outbid. The sale of the horse occurs when the horse is nailed down.

In standout photo: Horse Auction World Trade Center; photo: Anshad C P, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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