The magnificent Val De Vie Estate hosted the second renewal of the BSA Val De Vie Yearling Sale on Sunday afternoon.
Buyers and vendors were able to enjoy the surroundings of one of the Cape’s most exquisite estates, as some of the Cape’s best bred yearlings were paraded in front of them.
However, the sale’s overall results were down, with the aggregate dropping by 40% from R15 780 000 last year to R9 920 000. Both average and median prices fell markedly as well, with the average falling (by 28%) from R192 439 to R139 718, and the median dropping by 13 percent.
The sale was also marred by the number of horses who failed to make their reserves, with 33 of the 118 horses catalogued failing to find new homes. This was an increase on last year, when just 15 lots failed to sell.
Not for the first time, the progeny of leading sire Var proved popular with buyers, and it was a son of Forest Wildcat who duly topped the 2016 Val De Vie Yearling Sale.
Catalogued as lot 9, the colt was consigned by Varsfontein Stud (as Agent) and has been named Varlocity.
A half brother to the ill-fated Gr1 Golden Horseshoe winner War Horse (by Victory Moon) and Gr2 Supreme Cup winner Deputy Jud, Varlocity was bought by the latter’s owner, Adriaan Van Vuuren, for R1.5 million.
Van Vuuren not only bought the sales’ topper, but also received a magnificent diamond necklace, courtesy of Anthony Peter.
Varlocity is the most expensive yearling yet sold at a Val De Vie Sale, with his price setting a new record for the sale.
Varsfontein also consigned the top filly, a Captain Al daughter named Princess Peach. A full sister to Listed East Cape Nursery winner Princess Alberta, the bay miss, catalogued as lot 11, was sold to Glen Kotzen for R700 000.
Adriaan Van Vuuren’s Misty Meadows operation topped the buyers list, with Misty Meadows acquiring 3 lots for a total of R1 620 000, while Cape trainers Glen Kotzen and Mike Bass also enjoyed notable sales.
Glen picked up six yearlings, for R1 430 000, with his tally including the top priced filly, while the Bass buys’ including six lots for R555 000 –including a half brother to the yards’ very promising 2yo Bombs Away.
Not surprisingly, Var was the sales’ leading sire by aggregate, with the sprint king’s two yearlings grossing R1.76 million and averaging R880 000. Second leading sire at Val De Vie was the now deceased Tiger Ridge, whose eight yearlings offered all sold for a total of R1.28 million. Former champion sprinter What A Winter, who has really made a smart start to his stud career, was leading first crop sire, with the son of Western Winter’s four lots grossing R1.060 million.
Varsfontein (as Agent) topped the vendors list, with their 3 lots sold fetching R1 690 000 and averaging R563 333, while Varsfontein Stud was second on the list, ahead of Mauritzfontein and Drakenstein Studs respectively.
Bloodstock South Africa’s CEO Kevin Woolward reflected after what proved a tough sale:
“It was a tough sale, with a noticeable absence once again of the middle market, and even creeping into the lower market. It was pleasing to see a new record high for this sale of R1,500,000 for the Var half brother to Deputy Jud and War Horse. The state of the local economy is certainly having an adverse effect on the thoroughbred market, even at the upper end where prices are not as robust as they were even a year ago. However, there were major positives from this year’s sale, and we will look forward to an even more successful Val De Vie sale in 2017.”