Major changes to Goffs sales schedule as Irish lockdown measures take effect
Flagship November Foal and Breeding Stock Sales move to late December
Following Monday's announcement by the Irish government that the country will move to its highest lockdown tier for six weeks starting from midnight on Wednesday, Goffs have been forced to rescheduled three sales that were due to take place within this timeframe.
These include the flagship November Foal and Breeding Stock Sales, which have been moved to late December to allow those attending the Tattersalls December Sales in Newmarket to also attend Goffs' auctions while adhering to the two-week self-isolation regulations.
The Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale remains in its original date on November 5 but will now be held as a live online auction.
Given the new restrictions, Goffs are not legally permitted to hold auctions at Kildare Paddocks during the period from Wednesday to December 2. Alternatives have been arranged following consultation with the ITBA and Tattersalls to ensure harmonisation of dates in the interests of all participants.
Goffs group chief executive Henry Beeby said of the changes: "Like much of the rest of the country, we did not anticipate a move straight to Level 5 but we fully respect the decision and objectives of the government and understand that, in this timeframe, it would not be responsible to attempt to hold a sale.
"Therefore, in consultation this morning with the ITBA and Tattersalls, we reviewed every sale and selected what we believe is the best possible alternative to maximise the success for each category."
The changes are as follows:
Autumn Yearling Sale (originally scheduled for November 4-5): January 12-13, 2021
Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale (remains on November 5):
To be held as live online auction
November Foal Sale (originally scheduled November 16-18):
November Breeding Stock Sale (originally scheduled for November 19): December 21
December National Hunt Sale: Remains on December 9-10
Beeby continued: "Rescheduling the market-leading Goffs November Sale to December will allow sufficient time for buyers and vendors to quarantine for two weeks following the Tattersalls December Sales. Our December National Hunt Sale falls after the current six-week lockdown period and therefore remains on its original scheduled dates.
"Goffs Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale also remains on its original date, November 5, but will be a fully online sale with a live auctioneer and bidding via Goffs Online and by phone.
"The Autumn Yearling Sale will be pushed back to January 2021. This sale is heavily reliant on overseas investment and it is hoped that a number of countries will have been added to the Irish government’s Green List for travel by that stage, allowing key overseas buyers to attend."
The move to Level 5 means all non-essential shops, including betting offices, will close, and people are being asked to stay at home, while a 5km travel limit is in place as Ireland bids to curb Covid-19 infection rates.
Despite the strict lockdown measures, horseracing can continue as professional and elite sport is exempt from the Level 5 restrictions.
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