Staged at Barnadown in Co Wexford and at the nearby Amber Springs Hotel, the 12th Go For Gold sale renewal was a glittering affair, which attracted buyers from all corners of the globe.

Such was the strength of the market, 87% of the 71 lots put forward changed hands and every one of those sold achieved a five-figure return.

This in turn led to an overall average of €23,984 while a more detailed examination revealed that the four-year-olds produced the best average of €30,538, leaving the three-year-olds to close at €22,489.

The sale-topping figure of €82,000 was well supported by other strong prices of €79,000, €49,000 and €48,000, while a further nine lots cleared €30,000 and another 20 horses realised between €20,000 and €30,000.

International buyers

Much to the relief of everyone involved, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions allowed buyers to travel this year and while these on-site customers accounted for the majority of the night’s trade, they were challenged by a strong band of remote bidders.

Indeed, a significant 45% of all sales were conducted either online or over the telephone, among which was the €82,000 sale-topping purchase of Brian Flynn and Meabh Bolger’s beautiful home-bred filly MBF Starburst.

A daughter of Sligo Candy Boy, out of the thoroughbred dam Monalease by Terimon, the filly was the subject of determined and lively exchange before the hammer finally dropped in favour of the American-based event yard of Three Creeks Training.

For Flynn and Bolger, the evening was truly one to remember, and with either full-ownership or involvement with 16 lots, it was also a very lucrative one for both.

The Co Waterford couple who are due to marry on Friday 26 November, consigned the top three lots themselves, including the leading two horses in the four-year-old sector.

Notable offerings

Their first notable offering in this age group was MBF Major Lazer K who had been the talking horse of the pre-sale picks.

Sourced in the Netherlands earlier in the year, the son of Emir R was immaculately produced by Bolger and after a very competitive head to head tussle was eventually knocked down to Andrew Williams of the Wales based GHF Equestrian at €79,000.

Williams, who had been the underbidder on the sale topper, was acting for Barratt Eventing who plan to produce this eyecatcher through the eventing ranks in the UK.

Another interesting lot was Flynn and Bolger’s four-year-old MBF Celtic Claddagh, who had lifted the age group show jumping title at the RDS in August. A good moving sort bred by Etter Sport Horses, and by their Belmont Stud’s Zangershiede sire Celtic Hero BZ. This one was bought locally as a yearling and at €49,000 was secured online by the UK-based Barrington Sport Horses.

Another four-year-old to impress was Elizabeth Ahern and Felicity Ward’s EPA Elegance, a filly by Wido out of Miss Courcel (Dow Jones de Courcel). Also bound for a journey across the Atlantic, she was secured online by Shannon Daily.

Older horses

Getting the ball rolling, the action kicked off with a quintet of older horses, four of which changed hands.

At €24,000 the top price in this sector fell to Noel Ryan’s RS Cupid by Quidam Junior who, bred by Noel Harris in Co Cork, was snapped up by the British-based New Zealand rider and regular customer Tim Rusbridge.