The Auction by Arqana “Yearlings & Performers” Opens New Chapter in the Sport Horse Trade

December 6, 2019 - Paris, France

Top-selling horse, Dakota de l'Ardrais
Photo by Jessica Rodrigues
A night to remember at Cirque d'Hiver
Photo by Jessica Rodrigues
Photo by Jessica Rodrigues

Paris, France - Bringing together yearlings and performers of a quality never seen before at auction, “The Auction by Arqana, Act II” proved to be a commanding success under the mighty dome of the Cirque d'Hiver in Paris.

Defying the transport strike and taking advantage of the ability to bid online, all the big names of show jumping attended this new kind of event. For once, it was not at a competition held over obstacles, but around a sales arena that they clashed. The 10 horses sold (out of 18 presented, i.e. 55%) achieved an aggregate of 1.952 million Euros, a sign of the strong interest that the selection had aroused among professionals around the world. The owners who had the final say on these future champions were French and Belgian, as well as American and Dutch.

Performers: DAKOTA DE L’ARDRAIS at the Forefront
The 14 performers aged five, six, and seven included horses that were absolutely remarkable in terms of their achievements, genetics, and physical quality.

The top price of the evening went to DAKOTA DE L’ARDRAIS (lot 11), who was sold for €560,000 after a merciless bidding battle. The handsome son of Urlevent du Bary, ranked seventh in the Belgian Six-Year-Old Championship, was described by expert advisor Virginie Coupérie Eiffel as, “Great class, he could be a top championship horse. He has very good balance, power, and that cleverness which the top French horses have.”

Another eagerly awaited highlight was the daughter of Emerald, NOORTJE VAN HET HOUTERHOF (lot 5), who commanded a final bid of €400,000. The Belgian Six-Year-Old Vice-Champion was the talk of the trials, along with the Champion herself, CONMITAGE (lot 9), on which no less than 25 bids were placed before the hammer fell at €226,000 for the daughter of Conthargos.

The drop-dead gorgeous PINKI PAY (lot 4) boasted a title of Five-Year-Old Champion in Italy and was another to raise many hands until selling for €270,000.

High-Potential Yearlings, Such as in Thoroughbred Sales
While it is rare to find yearlings at sport horse sales, this is the age group most often represented at the Thoroughbred auctions organized by Arqana in Deauville, France. The selection gathered by The Auction's experts was of great quality, as reflected in the top price of €70,000 reached by Savannah de Muze (lot 14), a beautiful daughter of Emerald out of a daughter of the great Athens silver medalist, Butterfly Flip.

At the end of this historic event, Eric Hoyeau, the President of ARQANA, said: “After a successful first experience in the embryo sector, we set ourselves a major challenge with Act II: To transpose the methods that have founded ARQANA's reputation in the racing sector to the sport horse market. Quality, professionalism, and transparency were the key words of this project. Its success is indebted to the sellers, who entrusted us with horses of a quality rarely seen at public sales, and also to Christophe Ameeuw and his team, who made light work of strikes and other logistical constraints to orchestrate this magical evening. Lastly, thank you to the buyers who supported this innovative approach. The market for high-level performers is a narrow one by definition. The vendors legitimately have high expectations for such quality horses, while it takes a real crush from the purchasers to go to these price levels. All things considered I find the clearance rate very encouraging for an inaugural edition. To use a comparison with the Thoroughbred industry, we are not so far off the ratios observed at our “Arc Sale,” an auction of top-level horses in training. I wish all buyers every success with their horses and look forward to seeing everyone on February 15 in Deauville or in Hong Kong for Act III.”

Christophe Ameeuw commented, “This spectacular evening is an important step towards our common goal to transform sport horse sales like the market for racehorses or the art world. I would like to thank the experts, the owners, and the clients who gave their trust in our project.”

About The Auction by Arqana
The Auction by Arqana results from a partnership between Christophe Ameeuw, owner and CEO of Ecuries d’Ecaussinnes and President of EEM, and Arqana, France’s Number 1 racehorse auctioneer and a leading European auction house. Created in 2019, The Auction by Arqana launched a groundbreaking program of auction sales dedicated to world-class show jumpers.

Combined with the innovative concepts of live in-person and online auctions, dedicated to sport horses at the forefront of the international show jumping scene, we aim to become the world's leading equestrian auction house and to offer a unique platform for world-class performers, embryos, equestrian art, photography, real estate, and valuable collections related to the horse.

Inspired by the worlds of Art and Horse Racing, The Auction aims to bring transparency and credibility to the equestrian trade, and to create a meeting point for buyers and sellers and attract new investors into the equestrian sector.

Contact: Anouk Blain-Mailhot

About Arqana
Arqana was created in 2006 from the merger between Agence Française and Goffs France, with support from His Highness the Aga Khan and Artcurial as majority shareholders. Based in the seaside resort of Deauville, it is the leading racehorse auction house in France with 17 sales every year, which cover all market segments (foals, yearlings, horses in training, broodmares etc.) and grosses over €150 million annually - Thoroughbreds and trotters combined.