Catch The Cowboy Tops Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale

Catch The Cowboy at the Ohio yearling sale
Published: September 15, 2023 08:59 pm EDT

Catch The Cowboy topped the Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale on Friday, Sept. 15 at the Pickaway Ag Center in Circleville, Ohio as the focus of many of the Buckeye state’s Standardbred owners and trainers turned to a search for the next champion harness horse.

There was a flurry of bidding activity at the Ohio Selected Jug Sale, paving the way for the highest gross in the sale’s storied history and a double-digit increase of 10.7 per cent from last year’s auction. The highest priced yearling sold in the state of Ohio fetched $225,000 from Greg Luther of Blacklick, Ohio.

The sale topper was Hip 106, a Catch The Fire half-brother to Captain Cowgirl p,3,1:49.3f ($614,275), named Catch The Cowboy. The handsome bay colt was bred and sold by Jeff and Senena Esty’s Spring Haven Farm, the perennial leader in average and gross in Ohio Standardbred auctions. Catch The Cowboy is out of the Western Hanover mare, Rideintothesunset, and is the dam’s most expensive yearling.

Overall, the gross sales totalled $8,276,000 for 269 yearlings sold, resulting in an average of $30,766 per horse. The average price marked a 9.4 per cent increase from last year’s premier Ohio yearling auction. The median was $25,000.

Randy Haines, president of the Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association, was very pleased with the outcome.

“This was a strong sale across all categories," he said. "It speaks volumes to the prominence of the Ohio program and people’s desire to be a part of it.”

The sale is conducted by the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale Company and general manager Bruce Brinkerhoff was equally excited about the strength of the sale.

“We are very thankful for the enthusiastic bidding from a deep contingent of buyers throughout the day," said Brinkerhoff. "Our consignors have upped their game and continued to bring horses that are in great demand… and it shows with record gross, average and the record priced horse.”

Looking at the numbers more closely, the highest average for pacing sires, for the third year in a row, was dominated by Downbytheseaside at $50,968 for 31 sold. First crop sire Catch The Fire was second at $35,909 for 22 sold, followed by Lather Up with $34,000 for eight sold. 

On the trotting side, Triumphant Caviar had just five yearlings sold, but averaged $79,000. Much of that was on the strength of two six-figure yearlings, especially Hip 144, Rose Run Ari, a full brother to two-time Ohio Sire Stakes champion Rose Run Yolanda, purchased by Luther for $150,000, the highest priced trotting yearling sold. Both of those colts hailed from the Rose Run Farm consignment, which sold 13 yearlings for a gross of $856,000 for a leading consignor average of $65,846.

While the stallion Volstead averaged $37,000 for six sold, Uncle Peter ($33,909 average for 22 sold) and What Hill ($31,632 average for 38 sold) also led the trotting sires with greater numbers sold.

Spring Haven Farm topped the consignor gross sales category with $1,331,000 in total for 44 sold. They were followed by Dublin Valley Farms with $901,000 (38 sold) and Midland Acres with $898,000 (36 sold).

Archie Yoder’s Rose Run Farm also sold the highest priced pacing filly in the sale, Hip 36, Rose Run Ashlee, a gorgeous Downbytheseaside filly that was purchased by Burke Racing for $140,000.

For complete sale results, click here.

(With files from Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association)