The New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Association welcomes the arrival of New Zealand Bloodstock into the harness racing community.
You read that right.
Last Thursday the New Zealand harness racing industry was delivered the news that New Zealand’s leading bloodstock company was entering the Standardbred market.
The feedback since has been overwhelmingly positive.
Breeders, vendors, purchasers and horsemen and horsewomen have all been quick to rejoice.
This comes as no surprise given in recent years, many breeders had voiced concerns surrounding the direction and future of the only platform they had to sell young bloodstock in New Zealand.
Marketing of the sales, health & safety concerns, along with a declining buyer bench were some of the pertinent issues at hand for vendors.
The future is now a lot clearer, and that future looks to be with NZB Standardbred.
“We have plans to take this to a whole new level – it won’t just be business as usual,” said New Zealand Bloodstock’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook this week.
“Sir Peter Vela (one of two brothers who established New Zealand Bloodstock in the mid-90s headquartered at the world-class Karaka Sales Centre) is really excited by the challenge and the opportunity to grow the company.”
With access to a range of proven bloodstock, finance, airfreight and insurance services, and increased promotion to domestic and international markets, the harness racing community is assured of a company working in their best interests on several fronts.
Seabrook says NZB prides itself on its lease-to-own scheme and its in-house finance division.
“All I know is our business got a huge shot in the arm in 1997 when, after being purchased by the Vela brothers, we opened up a credit arm and started financing both short and long-term.
“We see it as a pretty significant part of our thoroughbred business, giving people an opportunity to secure their future breeding stock, and it has been a very successful endeavor for us.
“For young trainers, especially, this will significantly change their approach to the sales,” commented Seabrook.
“After the 2017 Sales, breeders asked the NZBSA to advocate for changes with PGW,” said NZSBA Chairman John Mooney.
“The primary concerns were around the lack of marketing and the diminishing small buyers bench. We are confident that the NZB ‘machine’ will address these issues aggressively.
“They are a company whose sole focus is selling horses. Andrew Seabrook and his team have made it clear to ‘The Breeders’ that they will leave no stone unturned when supporting vendors.”
New Zealand Bloodstock has an illustrious track record of success as the source of New Zealand champions to the global thoroughbred market.
The New Zealand Standardbred is a world class equine athlete capable of dominating on the world stage.
The Australians know it, so too the North American industry.
NZB’s Andrew Seabrook is also aware of the dominance of the New Zealand Standardbred.
“Obviously, the thoroughbred breeding industry is much more aligned to international markets and the yearling sales rely heavily upon those buyers.
“But when one market dries up you have to try and develop other markets and we have people employed to do that.
“I think the New Zealand Standardbred has probably been more successful than the thoroughbreds in Australia in recent times and that’s something which should be promoted.
“The American market especially, looks to have been neglected in recent years.
“But with some good New Zealand-bred horses up there like Lazarus, we plan on making a splash in that market, too.
“We are quite excited about the future of this and are not going in to this lightly.”
Yearling Sales: Yearlings will sell in their traditional February time slot at both the Karaka and Christchurch venues. The entry fee will slightly increase by $50 (+GST) at each venue, however entries will be invoiced in January and deducted from the yearling sale proceeds.
There is a confirmed commitment to holding a Christchurch Sale.
Payments to vendors will be received within 30 days of sale.
Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale: A big change to the current market will be the ability to sell yearlings at the Christchurch Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale in late April – with all yearling stock going through each ring to be Sales Series eligible.
Breeders have been wanting this concept for years, and it can only be positive. Yearlings that need time or may suffer an injury close to February now have another opportunity to be sold for their vendors.
Two-Year-Old Sale: September 2019 will see a return of the Ready-to-Run format. This could potentially open a speculative buying market at both the Yearling and Weanling Sales. Particularly with NZB’s finance facilities such as pin hook funding.
Horsemen and horsewomen, and breeders have another platform to chance their arm on stock purchased or retained with a view to get them up and going for a sale at the 2YO Sale.
Finance Facilities: Through NZB’s own finance arm, pin hook funding and lease to purchase facilities on fillies and mares, purchasers will find life much easier to secure bloodstock at the Sales.
Marketing: The NZB marketing machine have already hit the ground running with digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already in use with the Standardbred handle.
2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling Sale: Auckland Sale 17 & 18 February at Karaka Christchurch Sale 19 & 20 February at Canterbury Agricultural Park Entries Open: 01 July
Entries Close: 01 August
2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Yearling, Weanling & All Age Sale: Christchurch Sale, 29 April
2019 New Zealand National Standardbred Weanling & All Age Sale: Auckland Sale at Karaka, May - date tbc
2019 New Zealand National Standardbred 2YO Sale: Christchurch Sale, September - date tbc