IF 2021 represented the comeback year for the Goffs Orby Sale then 2022 was the edition in which Ireland’s premier yearling sale solidified and advanced its position as one of the leading yearling sales in Europe.

The highest priced yearling to come under the hammer in the world so far this year, a significant increase in the level of activity from €100,000 onwards, and a notable input from American buyers all played their part in a strong renewal of this two-day auction. The final results all made for good reading and particularly impressive was how a significantly enlarged catalogue was still able to make gains in areas such as the average and the median.

All the trends in Europe and further afield this year pointed to this being a strong sale and that was borne out over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday. Turnover moved past the €50 million mark for the first time since 2007 as it advanced 24% on 2021.

The average price of €121,384 was 11% ahead of the corresponding figure from 12 months ago and only once this century has it come in at a higher mark. Furthermore, the €87,000 median was an Orby record. To round off the figures the clearance rate came in at strong 89% which represented a drop of just two points.

By an measure this was a very good sale and this becomes immediately apparent when one considers various sectors of the market. Firstly, the number of horses to make at least €100,000 came in at 188 which represents an improvement of 51 on 2021. Significantly the number of lots to make at least €200,000 jumped from 45 to 67 and this was even better than the 53 who managed this feat during the exceptionally strong 2018 edition of the sale.

Quite simply this was just a good auction and for the pinhooking fraternity it was a more than satisfactory one. Of the 119 horses offered this week who were listed as sold as foals, and allowing further expenses of €10,000 on top of their purchase price, there were 77 successful pinhooks over the two days.

The Orby Sale often marks a pivotal juncture in the yearling sales season which goes on to encompass a fortnight in Newmarket starting with Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale on Tuesday. Everything so far this autumn suggests that trade over the next fortnight will be strong and, looking a little further ahead, events of this week should provide foal vendors with increasing cause for optimism.

Quotes from the sales ring

“It’s been a very strong sale and there have been some lovely horses on offer over the two days. Goffs have done a wonderful job and this sale is following on from the trends of all the other sales around the world. There exists a great appetite for horses at the moment which is great to see.” - Ross Doyle

“I’m the US representative for Goffs and I tell everybody that this is an incredible place to buy a very nice horse for a solid number. You’re never going to overpay for a horse that will be substandard. They’re raised right here by the breeders and it seems that if they bring the right horses, then they get well rewarded. It’s a win for everybody. The exchange rate has helped us. Last year we were up against it a little bit but this year it’s in our favour. When you’re getting deeper on those horses and its dollar for dollar, then it makes life a little bit easier.” - Jacob West