Buying A Standardbred: Tips & Helpful Hints
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
First and foremost, you should become a Standardbred Canada member before you buy a horse. If you do not have a current membership, you can contact our Member Services Department to get started.
Now you are ready! You must decide the type of horse you desire and an appropriate budget as this will determine the sale you attend. Setting your goals is important to prepare yourself for this endeavor.
If buying at auction, you will find that some auctions are multi-category whereas others concentrate on one type. For example, the London Selected Yearling Sale in October is designed specifically for yearlings, whereas mixed sales sell weanlings, yearlings, broodmares, stallion shares and horses of racing age.
SHOULD I SEEK A TRAINER?
Standardbred Canada strongly recommends the use of a professional trainer when buying any Standardbred horse. It is wise to investigate credentials and experience before you choose a trainer. Trainers are generally experts in purchasing racehorses and you should seek their advice given their experience and track record. When buying at auction, your trainer should be comfortable with the Conditions of Sale and be familiar with the happenings at an auction. It is in your best interest to be fully advised by an expert before buying at auctions.
THE SALES CATALOGUE
Each auction has a catalogue which is published before the sale. The catalogue devotes a page to each horse which is allocated a hip number and usually provides a three generation pedigree as well as a description of race record where applicable. A list of stake engagements (if applicable) is printed under the pedigree of each horse. The consignor is solely responsible for the accuracy of engagements published in the catalogue. The purchaser is responsible for any future stake payments once ownership is transferred. We advise new owners to notify the stake administrators of change of ownership and address.
CAN I INSPECT THE HORSES BEFORE I BUY?
When you arrive at the sale, we strongly suggest and recommend that you inspect the horses that you are interested in prior to bidding. The horses are available for inspection between a few hours and the day before the sale depending on which sale you are attending. Your catalogue will specify times and dates for inspections.
Before the sale you may inspect any of the horses that are catalogued. Simply go to the horse's stall, which will be identified opposite the hip number that corresponds with the catalogue, and request the inspection. The seller or representative will present the horse for your inspection and may answer any questions. Be thorough in your inspection as once the horse is purchased he is yours to keep. Check the horse's sex, conformation, and soundness.
Please be aware that if you are buying a yearling or unraced horse, your decision will be made entirely on the horse's pedigree and conformation. It is, therefore, imperative that you inspect the horse before you bid. The use of a trainer and/or equine veterinarian will help you to inspect the horse and determine if the horse is of the standards that you wish to bid on.
IS THERE ANY WARRANTY IF I BUY?
No, there is no warranty on any horse that is sold at Standardbred Canada Auctions. Each horse is sold with a halter, a certificate of registration, and a negative "Coggins" test certificate when available. There is otherwise no warranty, guarantee, term or condition of any kind as to the health, soundness, condition, ability or potential of any horse at the sale. A horse may be returned if an animal described as a colt or gelding did not meet that description. The Conditions of Sale provide further explanation.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE QUESTIONS BEFORE THE SALE BEGINS?
Once you have made your inspections of any potential purchases, you are ready to bid. If this is your first visit, introduce yourself to the Standardbred Canada team. Now is the best time to ask any questions about the horses, the Conditions of Sale, the conduct of the auction, payment arrangements, etc.
Remember, we are there to help, so do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have as we want you to bid with confidence. Also before you bid, it is important that you contact the Sales Office if you are a foreign buyer so you can fill out the "Pre-Sale Export Delivery Agreement". As a foreign buyer, you may avoid paying the Goods and Services Tax if the horses you purchase are shipped outside of Canada.
Withdrawn horses ("outs") are immediately posted throughout the sale area when the seller notifies Standardbred Canada prior to sale. It is important to watch for "outs" so that you do not miss the sale of the horse you are interested in buying.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THE SALE STARTS?
The horses are offered for sale individually in hip number order at a rate of about 30-35 per hour. Before entering the sales ring, the horses are shown in the walking ring where potential bidders have a final chance to inspect them before bidding. When the horse enters the sales ring, the pedigree reader introduces the horse by hip number, name, age, sex, and parentage. It is very important to listen to the entire Auctioneer and Pedigree Reader's introduction as he will also read any relevant announcements, alterations and updates to the catalogue. A brochure may also be circulated at the sale containing important updates and errors or omissions to the official sale catalogue. Please pick up your copy at the Sales Office.
The Auctioneer asks for an opening bid. At Standardbred Canada, bids are made either to the Auctioneer or to the Bid Spotters in the sale ring. The Auctioneer will advance the bids at a level he feels appropriate. Unlike other auctions, no bidding numbers are used at Standardbred Canada Sales and all bids are made using various gestures.
Located above the auctioneer is the electronic bid board. Current bids are displayed on the bid board.
The highest bidder is the buyer that is confirmed by the fall of the hammer. The Auctioneer announces that the current horse is "Sold" and verifies the sale and the price. The fall of the Auctioneer's hammer denotes the passing of ownership. Payment is due at the Sales Office within 30 minutes of the fall of the hammer.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PURCHASE
Immediately following the fall of the hammer, the successful buyer will be presented with an Acknowledgement of Purchase form by a Standardbred Canada representative. The buyer's signature confirms the hip number, the price and the name of the horse. If you think a mistake has been made, speak up prior to signing, as the Auctioneer may reopen the bidding in some circumstances.
WHEN DO I PAY FOR MY HORSE?
Payment is due within 30 minutes of the fall of the hammer. The horse may not be removed until paid for unless credit arrangements have been made with Standardbred Canada. Please make credit inquiries before bidding at the Sales Office. If you have any further questions about payment please refer to the Conditions of Sale or visit the Sales Office for clarification.
All registered Standardbred horses have a registration certificate that will be mailed to the new owner. Upon settlement of purchase, ownership may be transferred with a representative of Standardbred Canada . Registration certificates will then be taken back to the head office to have the transfer recorded. The new certificate will be forwarded by mail to the new owner. The transfer fee will be collected by the sales cashier at the sale.
IDENTIFICATION AND OTHER CERTIFICATION
Horses consigned have been Coggins tested negative (within 180 days of sale) when available. Certification will be available for purchasers at the Sales Office upon payment. For the convenience of the purchaser, all horses sold have been positively identified for parentage by DNA or blood-typing and have been freeze branded.
DO I NEED TO INSURE MY HORSE?
You have just made a major purchase, and to protect your investment is very important however, not imperative. Various insurance agents are usually available on sale day and offer a range of insurance coverage. Standardbred Canada can also supply you with the names of insurance companies.
CARE OF YOUR HORSE
Once the sale of your horse is final, the seller's responsibility ends. He/she will deliver your horse back to its stall. After that, you must ensure the horse is fed, watered and generally cared for until travel. The seller will remove any tack other than the halter and you must provide feed, water, blanket (if necessary) and lead shank for your new horse. Standardbred Canada is an advocate of proper animal care and welfare, including transport that is as stress-free as possible.
WHO CAN TRANSPORT MY HORSE?
Unless you have come to the sale with your own horse trailer, you will need to make arrangements to transport your horse to a new home. If you are with a trainer, he will most likely organize transport or recommend a number of transport companies that are credible and trustworthy. There is usually a transport company representative at the sale to organize trucking. Your horse must leave on the day of purchase unless special arrangements are made with Standardbred Canada.
For the horse to exit the sale grounds, Standardbred Canada must issue an official stable release form obtained at the Sales Office. This form must be presented to security before exiting the barn area. Remember to leave the release form(s) with your transporter so that he can leave the premises with your horse.
Bid Spotters: The Auctioneer is assisted by three (3) or four (4) bid spotters. These bid spotters point out or "spot" bids for the Auctioneer.
Buy Backs: The Seller or his/her representative may bid on his/her own horse as an alternative to placing a reserved price on their horse.
Consignor / Agent: A Consignor / Agent is a professional who represents the horse at the sale on behalf of an owner.
Currency: Standardbred Canada Auctions are traditionally conducted in Canadian Dollars, however, the cashier will accept payment in United States Dollars at the current rate.
Disputed Bids: Where someone disputes a bid, the Auctioneer may, in his absolute discretion, reopen the bidding between two or more bidders. The Auctioneer's decision on all auction matters is final and binding on all parties as confirmed in the Conditions of Sale.
Past Sales Results: It is very easy to check the past sales record of any horse at the Standardbred Canada head office. Our library is fully stocked and up to date with the latest and past Sales Results. Our website also houses past sales records.
Sales Office: Standardbred Canada has a public office in the sales complex which deals with all inquiries, telephone messages, and documentation and includes the cashier's desk.
Sales Recording: All Standardbred Canada auctions are audio and video taped so that any part of the proceedings can be reviewed and clarified in the event of any disputes.
Sales Results: Standardbred Canada publishes all Sales Results on the Standardbred Canada website throughout sale day. Sale result sheets are available outside the Sales Office on sale day.
Sales Tax: The sale price of any Standardbred horse is subject to H.S.T. at the standard rate of 13%. If you have registered your business for G.S.T., you may be able to recover this tax when filing your next H.S.T. return. There are also some exceptions for foreign buyers.
Standardbred Canada Commission and Charges: Standardbred Canada charges the seller an entry fee for each horse catalogued. At all SC sales, the seller pays a flat entry fee and no commission to Standardbred Canada. Buyers pay no commission.
Vendor: The Vendor is the Seller of the horse and is referred to as such in the Conditions of Sale.
When you decide to buy a Standardbred, it is important to make the sale an easy transaction by:
1. BEING FAMILIAR WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE
2. USING A PROFESSIONAL TRAINER and EQUINE VETERINARIAN
3. INSPECTING BEFORE YOU BID
4. ASKING QUESTIONS
5. Having Fun!
We hope that you have found this guide informative. Remember that Standardbred Canada is at your service at all times to answer any questions or concerns. We are sure that you will enjoy your experience at Standardbred Canada auctions and return to buy winner after winner!