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Book Review: 'The Blood-Horse Authoritative Guide to Auctions"

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The Blood-Horse Authoritative Guide to A

The Blood-Horse Authoritative Guide to Auction

Eclipse Press

The Bottom Line

This book is targetted at novices to the horse ownership game. Those planning to enter the ownership game especially through the auction process need to have a full understanding of this very high-stakes game. As a veterinarian noted, "The owner is charged with the task of becoming educated, knowing their risk tolerance, and knowing what their goal is." Casual fans who are curious about this side of the business will enjoy this work as well.
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  • Easy-to-read introduction to the world of Thoroughbred sales
  • Its simplicity encourages, not discourages, potential new owners
  • Interesting read even for fans not intending to enter into ownership


  • Barely scratches the surface of this very complex game


  • Chapter 1 explains the types of sales available: yearling, 2-year-olds in training, etc.
  • Chapter 2 describes each of the major sales companies: Keeneland, Fasig-Tipton, Ocala, and Barretts
  • The rest of the book describes the actual process of buying a horse through the sales.
  • Obtaining credit from the sale company, how to read a sale catalog, and the bidding process.
  • How to hire the experts needed: veterinarians, trainers, bloodstock agents, and advisers
  • Factors which affect the sale price: pedigree, conformation, marketplace, and sale circumstances
  • Frequently Asked Questions list, Recource Guide listing all the sales in North America, bibliography

Guide Review - Book Review: 'The Blood-Horse Authoritative Guide to Auctions"

The Blood-Horse, the long-time source of sales information among Thoroughbred breeders and owners, introduces a new series of books intended for novices to the game. Authoritative Guide to Auctions is the first edition, drawing from their years of experience in this field to educate those intending to make the big transition from fan to owner. A potential new owner, after reading this book, will immediately understand what he or she is up against in making this transition, in terms of what knowledge must be obtained and how much bankroll will be needed. To give some encouragement, a list of successful sales purchases is included, with photos and a description of the horse's success. The best example given is that of John Henry, who sold for just $1,100 as a yearling but went on to be racing's leading money winner and Horse of the Year. At the other extreme is Fusaichi Pegasus, sold for $4 million at auction and went on to win the Kentucky Derby. The editors went the extra mile in helping new auction participants, by including useful maps of the neighborhood around the sales facility, maps of the barns making viewing potential purchases easier, and a list of recommended dining and lodging in the immediate vicinity.
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