AN intriguing renewal of the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale came to a close on Thursday with a set of figures that bore close comparison to the various historical heights reached by this pivotal auction.

However, there was more to this sale than just year-on-year comparisons and the six days provided much food for thought for the future. Firstly to the figures, and a turnover of just under €13.9 million finished 12% down on last year while the average of €17,983 finished 2% behind the 2021 figure which was the second highest on record.

The median price came in at €14,000 which represents a new high in the sale’s history.

However, the overall clearance rate for the sale also strikes a chord as it fell from 73% to 65% which offers fairly clear evidence of a market that was selective and this is something that many breeders will have to consider as we look to 2023 and beyond.


As ever the foal section, which spanned five days, represented the central aspect of the sale and the figures for this sphere were very similar to those from last year. Indeed the demand for the best foals was very strong and the number of lots to make at least €50,000 came in at an excellent 36 which was just five behind the unprecedented heights of last year.

At times though the foal market was decidedly polarised with the market clearly concentrating on the progeny of a handful of stallions and the top 50-priced foals were spread between just 10 sires.

Such a level of selectivity would offer clear evidence that the National Hunt sphere will not be well served by any increase in foal crop numbers as there is a finite level of demand for the stock on offer.

Furthermore, the National Hunt market is a largely domestic one and isn’t as well insulated from various economic concerns as the flat which operates off a broad international stage. Possibly this might be another factor that made its presence felt this week.


“I found it very hard to buy those better foals. When you went after a good foal it was heavy hitting and the competition was fierce.” - Johnny Collins. Brown Island Stables.

“It’s as strong as I’ve ever seen it for the better foals and the competition for them was phenomenal as you had so many pinhookers and various other clientelle battling it out for them. On one good foal you could easily bump into five other purchasers which is remarkable.” - Aiden Murphy.