With the annual Keeneland yearling sale getting underway in mid-September, it reminded me of the May/June 1998 article we did in American Farriers Journal that detailed how these young horses were trimmed and shod to look their very best at the sale held at the Lexington, Ky., racetrack.
Held for the 72nd time in September of 2015, this 12-day sale is the world’s largest and most significant Thoroughbred auction. Regarded as the primary barometer of the state of the Thoroughbred industry, it attracts foreign and domestic buyers, top trainers, bloodstock advisers and prominent juvenile sales consignors from around the world. The 4,164 yearlings listed in the 2015 catalog represented 249 of the world’s elite stallions.
The article that follows describes how many the 2,841 yearlings that averaged $54,424 as they went through the 1997 Keeneland sales ring were trimmed and shod especially for this event with one purpose: to boost the prices of these prospective racehorses and brood mares. Yearling sales totaled $154 million during the 10-day event held in 1997.
The purpose of the sale shoeing is to make a yearling’s feet look as good as they can. In fact, making a few minor trimming and shoeing corrections can often add $10,000 to yearling prices.
Here’s our 1997 report on how the yearlings are trimmed and shod for this mid-September sale.