HARRISBURG, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding recently said a standardbred horse sale held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center showcased the growth and quality of the state’s equine industry, with Pennsylvania-sired or -owned horses earning top bids in the yearling and mixed sales.
The annual sale, held Nov. 8-13, is the world’s largest, with more than 2,000 horses selling for $55.2 million this year, approximately 1.4 percent higher than the 2009 sale.
“Pennsylvania is home to world-class racing horses and breeding operations,” said Redding. “For 72 years, exceptional local horses have made their way to Harrisburg to be featured on an international stage at the Standardbred Horse Sales Co. annual sale.
“Not only is this sale a great reminder of the increasing role our state plays in the racing industry, but also of the important role the equine sector plays in our overall agriculture industry and economy.”
In total, 1,125 yearlings were sold at the sale, more than any other sale in the past decade. The 430 Pennsylvania-sired yearlings brought $11.7 million, up 11.3 percent since 2008.
The top-selling yearling of the sale, Dream On Hanover, sold for $260,000 and is a daughter of Donato Hanover of the Hanover Shoe Farm in Adams County. Another Hanover horse, Dragon Again, sired 75 horses in the yearling sale — more than any other sire.
Additionally, the average price paid for Dragon Again-sired horses increased 35 percent due to demand. More than 940 fillies, mares, colts and stallions were sold in the mixed sale.
Walnridge Farm, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, consigned the top pacing mare in the sale, Showherthemoney. She took a record bid of $700,000 — the highest price ever paid at auction for a pacing mare. By the end of sale week, Pennsylvania buyers took home 338 new purchases totaling $6.7 million.
Standardbreds, noted for their speed and stamina, are most frequently used in harness racing. Consignors from throughout the U.S. and Canada market yearlings and other standardbreds during the sale to buyers from across the world.