Change in store for the selling of young jumping stock?
While opinion is split regarding the way a store horse should be prepared for sale, Paul Thorman of Trickledown Stud has clear ideas.
Trickledown Stud sold last year's top two-year-old store, a pounds 46,000 son of Lavirco, and Thorman says: "The National Hunt sales are leaning towards selling younger horses, and I'm amazed that the two-year-old section isn't bigger than it is.
"As years go by, I can see more and more two- and three-year-olds at store sales and fewer four-year-olds."
The DBS Spring Store Sales catalogue indicates whether or not the horse has been broken in, frequently stating where and by whom, and if unbroken whether the horse has been started with long reins. Buyers appear divided regarding the broken versus unbroken question, although Thorman is in favour of change in this regard.
He says: "I would favour breaking them. I think the days of agents and trainers suspecting that a broken horse is a tried horse are gone, we live by the horses we've sold.
"If you sell someone a dud, they're not going to come back. If you sell someone a good one, they're much more likely to come back, and to ask your opinion on your horses."
Trickledown's consignment contains a variety of unbroken, broken and long-reined stock. Thorman says: "Whether they're broken or not is the owner's choice, but I think in a couple of years' time we'll be breaking them all and selling them as two- and three-year-olds."
With selling starting tomorrow, potential buyers will get a first look at the Trickledown consignment today, of which progeny by Ballingarry, Turgeon and two Presentings figure among his nicest prospects.
"People never look at them here before the sale," says Thorman. "We want to show them at their best and they're prepared to be at their best at the sale."
Paul Thorman: "I would favour breaking them"