The 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace sold for $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Monday. The prize-winning horse was purchased by Mandy Pope of Florida’s Whisper Hill Farm.
Mark Tayler is the sales director for Taylor Made Sales, who sold the 5-year-old thoroughbred mare on behalf of Rick Porter. Taylor stated that, while he wasn’t sure where the sale ranked for broodmare prospects, it was the highest among those sold by the company, who is the largest thoroughbred consignor in the US.
Havre de Grace was retired earlier in 2012 because of an ankle injury. She is the daughter of the late Saint Liam, who was another Horse of the Year. She was set to become just the second sitting Horse of the Year to go at public auction following the 1987 sale of Lady’s Secret for $5.4 million.
Fox Sports notes that Havre de Grace is one of a few horses to ever sell for $10 million or more. The world record for the price of a horse at public auction was The Green Monkey in 2006. The horse sold for a massive $16 million.
The 2011 Horse of the Year won nine of her 16 career starts and earned almost $2.6 million. Of that money, she won more than $1.6 million during her championship campaign and won five of seven races including the Woodward against males.
Havre de Grace finished fourth in the 2011 Breeder’s Cup Classic and won the only race she ran in in 2012 before she was retired in April. Following the sale, Mandy Pope stated:
”She’s everything a race horse could be. She did everything a race horse could do. She’s the epitome of what we’re all trying to breed as far as conformation and racing ability. Hopefully she will pass that on to her foals.”
While Pope had initially valued Havre de Grace between $6 and $8 million, she gave up a few more million for the chance to own a champion.
The sale of the 2011 Horse of the Year is the highest for any horse since Better than Honour set the record for a broodmare/broodmare prospect at $14 million in 2008. Porter stated of the sale:
”I set a very reasonable reserve and I was very surprised she brought this kind of money. But I think she deserves it. It’s always hard when you’ve got a horse like that you’ve spent so much time watching perform the way she did. It was hard when I went over to say goodbye to her today. It was exciting that she brought what she deserved because she’s got the whole package.”
Pope already has a few stallions in mind for the first foal by Havre de Grace, adding that the foal will most likely hit the sales ring as a yearling in 2014. She explained, “We need to get her to help pay for herself so we’ll breed her for the purpose of selling [the foals] to begin with.”