A turnover in excess of €1.7 million was an apt endorsement of the strength of trade at Goresbridge last week.
This put paid to any doubts that the demand might have been weakened by the vastly increased catalogue, and indeed it cemented the increasing influence and scope of online bidding.
At the end of three days trading, horses found new homes in the US, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, France and Austria, as well as the usual large number to the UK.
Looking at the figures, those buying remotely accounted for around one-third of sales, while a determined and sometimes frustrated band of customers on site tussled against them.
Summing up, 22 lots realised five-figure prices, which led to a top return of €18,000, together with a combined clearance of 76% and an overall average of €5,948.
“The online medium has revolutionised the sport horse industry, and has opened access to the Irish sport horse to people all over the world,” reflected Goresbridge’s Martin Donohoe.
“It’s been a lot of work, but I would have to be very satisfied with the outcome.”
Legendary huntswoman Mary Kehoe is well-known for having lovely horses, and her three-year-old sale topper by Cormint was no exception.
The subject of a competitive and lengthy exchange, he was eventually knocked down to Leicestershire event horse buyer Lawrence Hunt for €18,000.
The second progeny out of the international jumping mare Carnagh Courage Lady by Courage, he was sourced as a foal from his Co Wexford breeder Patrick Crowdle and will campaign in the British young horse classes next year.
Demand for the older stock was both strong and steady, and as a result, the figures closed to illustrate a 76% clearance together with a notable average of €6,406.
The top return at €11,400 was shared between Henry Foley’s five-year-old gelding by Rainstown Lad and Trevor Patterson’s six-year-old mare by Beach Ball. The former was bought from his breeder, the late Paul Walsh, and traditionally-bred out of a Huntingfield Rebel mare. He was secured by British agent Martin Wanless. The latter meanwhile is from the experienced jumping mare Downhill Beach by Beach Ball out of Coevers Dream (Coevers Diamond Boy).
Limavady’s Hannah Patterson produced this smart mare, who is now bound for America with successful buyer Chrissa Gillette.
Another stand out was Ellie Moloney’s Calgary Boy, a five-year-old by Quidam Junior out of Calgary Girl by Lux Z. Gemma Phelan was in the saddle to showcase this one, who was secured for €11,000 by international event rider Nicky Hill. Selling for the same amount was Emily Pickering’s home-bred Our Joey. A smart cob, with show ring form, he looked well-bought by Irish trader and producer Gerty Tynan.
The final €11,000 return fell to Finola Heslin’s five-year-old palomino gelding by the popular Tullabeg Fusion. Sourced through the same ring two years ago, this good looking prospect is now bound for the UK yard of Tom Bracegirdle.
Once again, it was good to see a lively demand for four-year-olds, which returned the highest average of the three days (€6,472) and a clearance of 80%.
Ninety lots changed hands, and heading them at €14,200 was DJ O’Sullivan’s gelding by Capri Van Overis.
Bred by Brendan Doyle out of the imported Angelina Baby (Quidamo) the grey was snapped up online by British buyer and amateur rider Adam Smith.
Next up among the eyecatchers, Brian Flynn’s traditionally-bred MBF Total Eclipse (by Chinook Eclipse) realised €13,000, while John Glynn received €12,200 for his home-bred Shanaclough Phantom, by Simba out of the advanced event mare Shanaclough Clovertone.
Always a difficult age group to predict, and somewhat early in the year for the big returns, the three-year-olds sold well.
They returned a satisfying clearance of 68%, a sale topping price of €18,000 and an average of €5,341.
Sale topper aside, Jock Lynch’s recent RDS qualifier by OBOS Quality (dam by Harlequin du Carel) looked good value at €10,800, as did the €10,000 purchase of Brian Flynn’s rangy gelding by the thoroughbred Primary out of Rinnwood Ramiro’s Touch (Ramiro B). Lawrence Hunt added this one to his haul of 10.
It is not often the ponies emerge with the highest clearance, but sporting an especially strong catalogue they closed at 88% together with an average of €4,926.
Among the most influential customers was Germany’s Reinhold Diestel who accounted for 10 lots, but one that escaped him was PJ Watson’s four-year-old Mac Grey Shadow who topped the session at €8,800. From the intermediate height group, Hannah Woods’ 138cm Davy Boy sold well to an Irish customer at €7,600, while Jane Kinsella’s Shannon Junior, who was initially went unsold, was later secured by British-based Patricia King for €7,500.
• Mary Kehoe’s three-year-old gelding by Cormint (dam by Courage) €18,000.
• DJ O’Sullivan’s four-year-old gelding by Capri Van Overis (dam by Quidamo) €14,200
• Brian Flynn’s MBF Total Eclipse, four-year-old gelding by Chinook Eclipse (dam by Grange Bouncer) €13,000
• John Glynn’s Shanaclough Phantom, four-year-old gelding by Simba (dam by Clover Clon) €12,200
• A Ryan’s four-year-old filly by Whitesnake (dam by Biscayo) €11,800
• John McDonald’s four-year-old gelding by Capri Van Overis (dam by OBOS Quality) €11,500