Article by Chris Gould/CWHBA
The Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association Fall Classic Breeder's Sale is the longest continually running Warmblood breeders’ sale in North America. Launched in 1995 to emulate the very successful auction format of the Hanoverian Verband, it pioneered this style of sale with veterinary inspections, tryouts, and gala performances.
It has become a show case for Canadian bred Warmblood horses and an annual meeting place for breeders and riders.
Hosted each October by the Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association, the sale has developed a loyal following of repeat buyers sustained by dedicated breeders, some of whom have consigned every year for 25 years. Multiple horse buyer, Paula Leweke from Victoria BC explained; “My most favorite thing to do all year long for the past 17 years has been to attend this sale. I have bought 10 of the most beautiful and talented horses here. And along the way I made friends of a lifetime as well.”
Auction horses have been sold all over North America and even as far away as Switzerland. By 2007 the sale volume reached half-a-million dollars with an average approaching $12,000. When the crash came in 2008, it was a serious set- back. With prices dropping, the number of horses sold declined severely and consignments dropped. The association, its breeders, and volunteers remained steadfast and made necessary changes. Now rather than 60 or 70 horses the sale targets to offer 40 horses, in four categories, performance horses (with a show record), prospects (going under saddle), two year olds, and future prospects (foals, yearlings, and bred mares). In the past five years prices have returned to historic levels, but most importantly the percentage of horses sold has achieved historic highs.
Quality and price have been the keys to the longevity of the sale. Excellent quality for reasonable prices. Over the years the quality has improved as the Canadian breeding scene matured. Most of the world’s top bloodlines have been available through the sale including such famous sires as Hickstead and Totilas. At the same time, local stallions have featured prominently in the list of successful sale graduates. Stallions such as Arkansas (Aderlass x Novum xx), Donner Bube (Donnerhall x Pik Bube I) and Whirlwind (Haarlem x Goodtimes) have, along with others, been the backbone of the sale from the beginning.
Looking back over the past 25 years, from its modest beginning in 1995, it is impressive to think that a total of 894 horses have been sold generating over six-million dollars in sales and providing the many new owners pleasure and competitive success. It has been an endeavour that benefited both breeders and buyers bringing them together in a fair and competitive market place.
The 25th Anniversary Sale will be held Oct 4/5, 2019 at the Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta. The line-up is impressive, with representation from many top sirelines covering all disciplines. Horses by Ferro, Quidam Blue, Nassau, Livaldi, Jethro Tull, Kumano and many more will go under the hammer on Saturday evening – a culmination of 25 years of dedication and effort by the Alberta Chapter breeders and volunteers. n