Reasons for performing study: Many Thoroughbred foals are intended to be sold at public auction. The impact of disease conditions necessitating hospital treatment as a foal on future sales performance is unknown.
Objectives: To determine whether Thoroughbred horses that were treated in a hospital before age 125 days and presented to public auction sell for a different mean price than controls.
Methods: Foals aged <125 days, treated at a hospital in Ireland in 2007 or 2008 and presented for sale to a public auction recorded on a publicly accessible database were selected for inclusion in the study. The sales outcome of these subjects was compared to that of 6 controls for each subject, consisting of the 3 horses that were presented to the same sale immediately before and immediately after the subject. Results were controlled for the sale at which the animal presented and the sex of the subject and controls.
Results: Sixty-three subjects were presented to public auction: 19 at the foal sales, 39 at the yearling sales and 5 at the 2-year-old sales. Forty-five subjects were sold. There was no difference in the mean sales price (subjects €38,207; controls €35,026) or percentage of animals sold (subjects 71.4%; controls 66.4%) between subjects and controls.
Conclusions: If Thoroughbred horses are presented for public auction following hospital treatment as a foal, there is no impact on sales outcome.
Potential relevance: This information may help commercial breeders of Thoroughbred foals make informed decisions about treatment of their foals.