IN WHAT would rate to be a world first for a major Thoroughbred yearling public auction, the Inglis April Australian Easter Yearling Sale - arguably the most prestigious bloodstock sale in the southern hemisphere, is now to be conducted as an online auction due to the ongoing threat of Corvid-19.
In light of the government's recent restrictions imposed on public auctions to combat the virus' spread, Inglis re-configured its remaining 2020 sales' schedule which included its time honoured and usually cashed-up glitzy internationally attended Easter yearling auction.
While $122 million was generated from its 343 sold lots at its 2019 Easter Yearling edition, this year's sale wades into uncharted waters with the catalogue dropping from its original 514 lots to about 395, some vendors unsuitably located (interstate or in New Zealand) or choosing to withdraw their horses.
Inglis announced an Easter Yearling Sale split into two rounds (or offerings) - an Easter Round 1, and an Easter Round 2.
According to Arthur Mitchell - a principal of Yarraman Park, Scone, and who has been part of a team responsible for selling several $1 million plus horses at major Thoroughbred sales in recent times, vendors just want to sell some horses.
"I don't think Inglis had a lot of option, they had to try something and let's hope that it is with some form of success," Arthur said.
"It is a choice thing, the vendor choosing (Round 1 or Round 2 or both), we are all in the same boat and we just want to sell horses."
"At this stage they (Yarraman Park horses) are all going on the online auction, then if they are not sold we have the option to take them down (to Warwick Farm) to the sale in July."
Long-time industry participator, John Muir, principal of Milburn Creek Thoroughbreds in the Southern Highlands is another vendor who is taking his chances in Round 1 for his 13 entries.
"You have to be positive; there has never been better opportunities for any purchaser to buy at this sale; they (buyers) have a chance to buy magnificent well-bred and reared horses, at maybe a discounted price," John said.
Bidding will open next Sunday April 5, with the "final countdown" of lots to commence in sequential order from Tuesday April 7.
At this stage Easter Round 2 is to take the form of a live auction at Riverside Stables on Sunday July 5, but is subject to conditions.
Sebastian Hutch, Inglis' general manager bloodstock, sales and marketing, said "anybody can follow the sale at www.inglis.com and just follow the prompts."