Thinking about buying a Thoroughbred? Then Keeneland is the place to visit.
Here are a few tips:
Buying a horse at auction is a unique task, so you are encouraged to find a qualified bloodstock advisor. For help, contact your local racetrack, your local Thoroughbred owners and breeders association, or the national Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). Do your homework. Come to the sale with a price range in mind for the horses you are interested in buying. It would be easy to get caught up in the excitement of bidding and spend far more than you intended.
Get to know the Keeneland sales staff and auction team. Introduce yourself to the bidspotter in your area and mention to him the hip numbers that interest you.
- Unlike most art auctions, no paddles are used to bid at Keeneland. Buyers use various gestures to signal bids to bidspotters located in the sale pavilion.
Keep in mind that the opening bid on a horse is approximately 20 percent of the amount the horse is expected to bring. Based on this figure, the auctioneer guides the bidding in appropriate increments. However, buyers may raise their bids by smaller or larger amounts if they prefer.
If you become confused or make a mistake while bidding, tell the bidspotter immediately so the situation can be corrected. This is not uncommon since the bidding is conducted at a rapid pace.