The Goffs Orby Sale, Ireland’s flagship yearling auction, will this year take place at Tattersalls’ Newmarket complex, with Henry Beeby saying the sales company had “no confidence” in its ability to host the prestigious event in its usual location while Irish authorities continue to impose COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
The move follows an agreement between Goffs and Tattersalls and comes hot on the heels of the British buyers “bubble” being rescinded just hours before the June 23 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale began.
Beeby, chief executive of the Goffs group, said: “Last week’s events mean that there is currently no confidence in our ability to hold the prestigious Orby Sale in Ireland whilst the current travel restrictions into Ireland remain in place.
“The overseas buyers ‘bubble’ that worked so well for the Goffs Land Rover Sale was being replicated at the Derby Sale but was inexplicably withdrawn at the eleventh hour and there is simply no way that vendors, or Goffs, can take the risk that the same thing could happen on the eve of the Orby Sale, as there’s too much at stake.
“In 2020 we took a later decision to move Orby to our UK sales complex in Doncaster but it is well known that the results were disappointing, to say the least, and potential Orby vendors have made it clear that is not an option that would be embraced.
“Therefore, we feel it is in the best interests of Irish vendors selling in Orby to clearly state that the sale will be held in Newmarket in conjunction with some top-class racing, as we cannot confidently deliver overseas buyers to Kildare making it impossible for us to properly promote our world-class catalog to an international audience.”
The move also sees a significant reformatting of the Orby Sale schedule, with the three-day auction scheduled to begin Sept. 24 to coincide with the Cambridgeshire meeting. Friday and Saturday sessions will begin in the evening after racing, before the sale concludes with a full day of selling Sept. 26.
Beeby continued: “In many ways, this is a disappointing move to have to make, but we feel we have been left with no choice by recent events as yearling vendors need certainty given the value of the yearlings we are asking them to commit to Orby. Our fervent hope and belief is that we will be back in Kildare Paddocks for Orby 2022, as the Irish National Yearling Sale belongs in Ireland.
“At this point, I would like to thank Edmond Mahony and his Tattersalls’ colleagues for giving us the option to essentially rent Park Paddocks and accommodate what is a competitor sale. The last 18 months have required all of us to work together in ways we could never have imagined and, whilst there has been plenty of mutually beneficial cooperation and give and take, this is a step further than anything else. We do not underestimate the magnitude of this generous gesture.”
The Goffs Orby Sale will catalog the only candidates for Europe’s richest 2-year-old race, the Goffs Million, which is worth a guaranteed minimum value of €1 million and will be run at the Curragh on the eve of the 2022 Orby Sale.
The Sportsman’s Sale, which traditionally follows directly on from the Orby Sale, will remain in Ireland but has been pushed back to Nov. 1-2 to coincide with the Autumn Yearling and Horses-in-Training Sale.
“Several key Irish breeders and potential Sportsman’s vendors have urged us to keep the Sportsman’s Sale in Ireland regardless of the travel restrictions that may be in place,” said Beeby. “So, with the Orby Sale going to Newmarket, Sportsman’s will be delayed to the later date and held alongside the vibrant Autumn Sale. This move builds in extra time for travel to open up and gives Irish breeders a viable option in Ireland for commercial yearlings.”