F.B.A. Review of 2007


At times through the year, world bloodstock markets looked to be finally running out of steam, but the top end would keep producing some stunning sales, which would take the headlines and paper over some of the cracks.

The Swettenham dispersal in both Europe and America produced a number of staggering prices to remind us that there is nothing quite like a dispersal of famous families at public auction to bring out the big hitters.

A polarised market is fast developing with the top end still attracting the wealthy rich whilst overproduction is emphasising the lack of buyers for poor to medium quality stock. With pitiful prize money in England and the threat to ban poor quality horses entirely from racetracks, is it surprising that the lower end of the bloodstock market is in trouble.

Overproduction has been widely predicted for some years and excess numbers of thoroughbreds are now a reality, rather than just an impending threat.

It’s seems to be hard to get breeders to take their mares “out of production”, often a euphemism for putting down a poor quality animal. If that particular pill is too difficult to swallow, breeders should not introduce moderate young fillies to the broodmare ranks just for the sake of it, and they could stop covering ordinary mares late in the breeding season. What good does it achieve to have a moderate mare with a 5th June service date to a cheap stallion?

The year will be remembered by many as the year of the Kieran Fallon trial, which ended in complete disarray for the prosecution. Within hours of his acquittal, the racing world was stunned to discover that Fallon was already facing the prospect of a second lengthy ban for drugs offences and it was soon confirmed that the jockey who had only recently won the ‘Arc’ on Dylan Thomas was to lose his license for eighteen months.

Peter Chapple-Hyam confirmed he was firmly back at the top of the training tree following an excellent 2006, when saddling Authorized to win the Derby (Frankie Dettori’s first win) and a stunning win in the Juddmonte at York.

The FBA welcomed new member Richard Venn. Former FBA member John Corbett, a well respected judge of a horse, died during the year.


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