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Equestrian Enthusiasts Drive Keeneland Sale to Record-Breaking $394 Million Over 12 Days

Published 09/24/2023, 4:21 PM EDT

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The demand for high-quality horses remains robust during Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale, a renowned equestrian event. Commencing on September 11th and concluding on September 22nd, the 2023 edition of this prestigious equestrian event successfully captivated the global thoroughbred yearling market. Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale has earned its reputation as the foremost thoroughbred sale on a worldwide scale. What sets this equestrian sale apart from others are several key factors: a substantial presence of top-tier yearlings across various price points, the largest and most diverse group of buyers globally, and the proven track record of its sales graduates excelling in elite racing competitions around the world.

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The 80th September Yearling Sale 2023 at Keeneland concluded on Saturday with a performance that will be remembered as one of the strongest in recent equestrian history. This Sale surpassed all expectations, achieving a remarkable gross receipt of $394,127,900, making it the third-highest figure in the history of this prestigious event.

Record-breaking yearling sale


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This yearling sale at Keeneland featured an impressive catalogue of 4,198 horses, including those sired by established stallions and promising young sires. The cumulative results for this benchmark sale saw 2,754 yearlings sold through the ring for an impressive total of $394,127,900. Furthermore, an additional 130 horses that didn’t meet their reserve prices during the equestrian auction were subsequently sold privately, contributing an additional $13,927,000. This brought the total gross sales for the event to an outstanding $408,054,900 by the conclusion of the session on September 23rd.

The September Sale is unmatched in terms of generating excitement and optimism around the world for our sport; there’s just not anything quite like the positive energy you feel on the sales grounds during these two weeks,” stated Keeneland’s President. CEO Shannon Arvin further expressed, “We so appreciate our buyers, consignors, and sellers and thank them for bringing their best horses to this market. Their love of the horse and their passion for racing are evidenced in everything they do, and we are happy they were rewarded for their thoughtful planning and hard work.


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Buyers at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale featured prominent names, with Donato Lanni, agent for SF/Starlight/Madaket, leading the pack, acquiring 20 yearlings, including a $1.1 million colt by Into Mischief, totalling $12.59 million. Notable domestic buyers included West Bloodstock, Mayberry Farm, Pin Oak Stud, and others. Internationally, Coolmore’s M. V. Magnier spent $6.15 million on five yearlings, and Sheikha Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Racing paid $2.3 million for a filly by Into Mischief. The market showed strength, with strong participation from both foreign and domestic buyers, driven by a robust U.S. purse structure. The top 40 yearlings, even those purchased by international buyers, appear to be staying in the U.S., highlighting the market’s vitality and international appeal. This impressive achievement was made possible through Keeneland’s strategic approach to the sale.

Keeneland’s equestrian extravaganza: A comprehensive overview

Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale featured a two-week schedule, with the first week comprising Book 1 on Monday and Tuesday, featuring 383 yearlings, and Book 2 on Wednesday and Thursday, with 728 yearlings. A break, or “Dark Day,” followed on Friday. The second week included Book 3 on Saturday and Sunday, presenting 837 yearlings, Book 4 on Monday and Tuesday with 826 yearlings, Book 5 on Wednesday and Thursday featuring 820 yearlings, and finally, Book 6 on Friday and Saturday, showcasing 604 yearlings. This comprehensive catalogue offered a wide range of opportunities for buyers to acquire top-quality horses throughout the sale.


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Keeneland’s strategic approach of featuring 1,100 high-quality yearlings in Books 1 and 2 for the third consecutive year paid off with a strong Week 1, driving gross sales to $234 million, nearly on par with the previous year. Notably, 15 yearlings, including a $3 million colt by Into Mischief, made headlines on Day 2. Into Mischief maintained his reign as the leading sire by gross sales for the fourth year, totalling $36,995,000 with 53 yearlings, while the Horse of the Year, Authentic, a son of Into Mischief, led as the top first-crop sire with 67 yearlings grossing $18,114,000. The final session saw 175 yearlings sold, with a record high of $185,000 for a Silent Name (JPN) colt, marking a successful close to the September Sale.

We felt the community’s embrace of the September Sale,” Arvin said, “and we thank those who came out to experience the fun by taking a behind-the-scenes tour, enjoy the grounds or watch the action in the sales ring.”.The success of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale, driven by its strategic approach and the support of the community, marked a memorable chapter in the world of equestrian excellence.


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The 2023 Keeneland September Yearling Sale made history by achieving an astounding gross of $394,127,900. This unprecedented figure highlights the enduring global allure of the equestrian world and stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication and enthusiasm of everyone involved in this remarkable event.

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Written by:

Maleehah Shakeel


One take at a time

Maleehah Shakeel is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports.She is an avid sports enthusiast and comes with a staunch background in content writing. A holder of a master’s degree, Maleehah has created a penchant for all things and delved into the world of sports.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen