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A group of Ohio breeders have joined forces to create a new mixed fall sale with the goal of creating what they hope will be a more successful alternative to the auctions traditionally held by the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association.

The new sale, announced on June 11, is called the Buckeye Classic Thoroughbred Sale and will take place on October 17 at 2 p.m. ET at the Delaware County Fairgrounds north of Columbus.

“After a 13-year hiatus, the OTBO sale seemed to be becoming a profitable source for sellers and buyers, but over the last three years under new leadership, things have gone in the wrong direction,” said Daryl Duncan of Duncan Farms of the organization led by general manager Mike Annechino. “Our input was generally ignored, and he seemed more concerned with entry fees than getting the leading breeders to the sale.”

The OTBO Fall Mixed Sale ran solidly for three years before tapering off last year. The sale grossed $426,050 in 2020, $427,900 in 2021 and $540,150 in 2022. Last year, the number of horses offered dropped from 110 in 2022 to 59 and gross proceeds fell to $173,250.

Annechino, who was hired in 2020, said the sale was bolstered by dispersals in 2021 and 2022, but even without those offerings, it was a well-run place for Ohio horse owners to sell their stock. The main reason for the drop in numbers in 2023, he said, is that the people supporting the new sale didn’t enter horses.

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“We’ve made our sales affordable and created a platform for everyone, even if you only have one horse,” he said. “We’ve listened to a lot of suggestions and really refined the logistics of the sale. We’re making it so much better.”

Annechino added that he is disappointed with the new sale format and believes the competing sales will ultimately hurt the Ohio market. The OTBO plans to hold its annual mixed sale on Oct. 16 at Mahoning Valley Racecourse in Youngstown.

Duncan agreed that the Ohio market was not large enough to effectively support two sales, but believed the Buckeye Classic would prove to be the best venue.

One benefit, he said, is the return of an auction to the Columbus area.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s centrally located and given the risk of strangles, it’s not wise for owners and breeders to take horses to a racetrack.”

Another benefit is the support of the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which helps cover operating costs.

“The support of the Ohio HBPA will go a long way. I am confident that the farms that have committed to this sale will bring in quality, well-prepared horses as a sign of their support,” said Duncan, a two-time Ohio Stallion of the Year. Dominus and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Fort Larned in addition to Mobile , Corfu And Air raid .

Horses sold at the Buckeye Classic are eligible, along with horses made eligible through the previous OTBO sales, to compete in the newly named Buckeye Classic Thoroughbred Stakes, which is run in the fall at Mahoning Valley and offers a purse of $50,000.

The sale is open to yearlings, weanlings, in-calf mares and two-year-olds. The early registration deadline for the Buckeye Classic Thoroughbred Sale is July 15. Consignment contracts can be made at [email protected].

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