Thoroughbred horse sales plummet amid coronavirus fears

Wealthy buyers appears to be paring back on nonessential purchases

TRD New York TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Mar.March 21, 2020 09:00 AM
 Coronavirus Fears Dampen Thoroughbred Horse Sales

Coronavirus Fears Dampen Thoroughbred Horse Sales

Thoroughbred horses are the latest asset to take a hit from the weakening global economy.

Sales were down by nearly every major metric at day one of Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s two-day March auction of horses this week, according to Bloomberg.

Overall sales totaled $13 million, nearly half of what they were last year. The priciest sale was just $650,000 — down 68 percent from the $2 million highest sale last year and the average sale price dropped 35 percent to $93,660.

The numbers reveal the wide economic impact the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Real estate investment trust stocks — particularly those of REITs in the hospitality sector — moved up slightly amid news of a potential federal stimulus deal, but overall have dropped.

It’s no surprise that the well-heeled crowd that drives the market for thoroughbred racehorses is paring back on luxury purchases. Years of stock market gains have been wiped out over the last couple of weeks. Trading has been halted on some exchanges.

The virus is affecting the most vulnerable far more intimately. After a handful of cases turned up in New York City’s homeless shelter system, officials warned that people using the system were at a disproportionate risk. [Bloomberg]


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