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Bloodstock South Africa releases revised timeline of sales for 2020

Calendar has had to be adjusted in wake of worldwide lockdown

The Bloodstock South Africa sales ring: ready and raring to go
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Bloodstock South Africa has announced provisional sales dates for 2020 with the proviso that they would be reviewed post any updates from the South African government in light of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

With the extended lockdown and the proposed reshuffle of the South African racing calendar, the following measures have been agreed by the Bloodstock South Africa board.

The National Yearling Sale will be held on July 30-August 1. This date will not be changed, and plans are in place to hold the sale under three possible scenarios based on possible guidelines from the South African Government.

The first scenario would be the traditional sale with no restrictions. The second would be a traditional sale at the TBA sales complex with limited sized gatherings. The third would be that the lockdown is still in place and the sale would need to be conducted virtually.

The second sale of the year will be the National Two-Year-Old Sale to be held on November 11-13 at the TBA sales complex.

This Sale would see all horses previously entered for the KZN Yearling Sale transferred across to this sale, as well as the entries that breeders intend to enter for the Two-Year-Old Sale.

This sale will be limited to a maximum of 600 yearlings only. Acceptance on the sale shall be determined by a selection panel and inspection if necessary.

The Cape Mare Sale will be moved to mid-August and details of the date and format will follow in due course.

An innovative sales race programme in addition to the usual added stakes programme will be added for the graduates of the National Two Year Old Sale who will now qualify for four sales races in 2021.

These races will have a guaranteed minimum stake of R400,000 each. Two races will be run in KZN during Champions season and two will be run in Gauteng at a date to be confirmed. The races will be split with a race for colts and another for fillies in each province.

Bloodstock South Africa insisted it will be guided by any rulings from the South African government and would always adhere to the state’s regulations.

Bloodstock SA CEO Michael Holmes said that while the board is very aware of the logistical and financial pressure that the above changes will place on breeders, they felt that the delays to the sale platform are required to afford racing in South Africa every realistic opportunity to return to some form of normality and also hopefully allow the economy time to stabilise.

“As an industry we are all in this together and need to unify in support of one another during these difficult and uncertain times," he said. "There is naturally no quick-fix for the current predicament, and definitely no ‘one size-fits-all’ solution either.

"We have applied our minds to take into consideration the various difficulties and realities that breeders, both big and small, are facing. What works for one, may not be ideal for the next.

"Our revised programme attempts to find a balance between all factors at play – and those are not restricted to racing and breeding.

"On behalf of the board of Bloodstock South Africa, I would like to thank you all for your continued support, patience and understanding. We will get there together,” he added.

Read more Life in Lockdown Q&As with industry figures

Charles O'Neill: 'ITM will be ready to go when the markets open up again'

Freddy Powell: 'We're improving our online sale platform in case it's needed'

Bumble Mitchell: 'Online sales could be tricky for outlying studs like mine'

David Stack: 'I had to give a garda a lesson about the birds and the bees'

Colm Sharkey: 'I've been torturing myself trying to sort out my golf swing'

Rachael Gowland: 'I didn't realise how much I loved racing until I couldn't go'

Sam Hoskins: 'I've been listening to endless Cold War podcasts on my tractor'

Niamh Spiller: 'Video calls are very important to keep everyone motivated'

Jamie Lloyd: 'Staff have had all their own gear labelled, even wheelbarrows'

Micheál Orlandi: 'The stallions are flying and that gives me great hope'

Richard Venn: 'The French are in a good position to get back racing sooner'

Tim Kent: 'It's difficult to plan when we don't know when racing will resume'

Russell Ferris: 'Weatherbys had contingency plans that we activated at once'

Grant and Tom Pritchard-Gordon: 'Inglis Easter has kept us busy since January'

Peter Hockenhull: 'The social side of meeting and chatting to breeders is gone'

Polly Bonnor: 'We've fulfilled every feed order, including all our exports'

Richard Lancaster: 'We're fortunate that some Shadwell staff live on site'

Our revised programme attempts to find a balance between all factors at play – and those are not restricted to racing and breeding
E.W. Terms