If the NSW State Government needed any further proof of the economic benefit of a thriving Hunter Valley thoroughbred industry, it did not need to look any further than the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale this week.
After three days of selling, the auction house reported one of its best results ever with an average of $292,300 and a gross of $83.89 million. Significantly, the leader-board was dominated by Hunter Valley based sires, with 9 of the Top 10 by averages and 16 in the Top 20.
It was a massive endorsement of the Hunter Valley industry. “The buying bench had great depth and contained a strong international presence with buyers from the Middle East, Asia and Europe,” Darley director Henry Plumptre said. “In itself, that is a ringing endorsement of the quality of our horses, particularly those that are bred and reared in the Hunter.
“To conduct a premium sale in the Southern Hemisphere that commands that average and a top price of $5 million illustrates the regard that the rest of the world has for our product,” he added. “It is an acknowledgment that the industry in Australia and particularly the Hunter Valley now has international appeal that is based on the competitive nature of our horses.
“That has not been achieved by accident, nor is it a one off result; the industry in the Hunter Valley has been carefully constructed over the past 40 years to become a breeding powerhouse which has made it a market leader in Australia and a go to destination for international owners.”
Coolmore Stud were major vendors with a draft of 38 yearlings and they were delighted with the success of the sale and, particularly the success of their phenomenal stallion Fastnet Rock.
“The depth of buyers at the top end was fantastic and the international presence reinforces the regard with which our industry is now held around the world,” Coolmore general manager Michael Kirwan said. “We hope that the State Government acknowledges the worth of the industry to the region and the benefit that we contribute to Australia’s reputation overseas.”
Vinery Stud general manager Peter Orton hoped the NSW State Government would take notice of the results from Inglis this week. “Recent events at the ICAC has revealed how one-sided successive Governments had been about the mining industry in relation to land use planning in the Hunter,” Orton said. “It is essential that horse breeders can continue to operate, with ongoing protection, in areas of prime agricultural land along with other fully sustainable agricultural industries.”
Arrowfield Stud / NSW Racing Chairman John Messara said he was delighted with the results from the sale. “I‘ve long maintained that we are the most competitive racing country in the world and the results from Inglis this week underline that sentiment,” said Messara. “Our product can compete on an international stage and that is acknowledged by the diversity of this week’s buying bench.”
Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association vice-president Andrew Wiles said the global recognition was an endorsement of the efforts that HTBA is making to protect its interests. “We will continue to stand up and protect this iconic and robust industry,” Wiles said. “We acknowledge the Government’s recent announcement which protects our industry from CSG extraction. We call upon the Government to provide the same protection from coal mining.”