Avontuur Estate held its own at a very tough 2009 Yearling Sale in Johannesburg with 20 yearlings sold from 21 brought up to the Rand from the Western-cape based Stud. “Sales were down 21% but South Africa didn’t do too badly compared with other sales globally. However, it was a tough one and I can only thank everyone who supported us so generously,” says Avontuur GM, Pippa Mickleburgh.
Avontuur’s top selling yearling was Wilberforce, which went to Mike Azzie for an Avontuur record of R1,6 million. The VAR’s also did extremely well, once again confirming his standing as one of the most exciting stallions operating in South Africa at the moment. Pippa was happy to report that Valmorne, a VAR colt and one of her favourites went for the great price of R1,3 million, the top price for a VAR. “We had sales ranging from R75 000 to R1,6 million from many of the country’s top sires, so we could offer something for everyone,” she said.
Buyers ranged from well-known trainers like Mike Azzie, Basil Marcus, Charles Laird, Mike Bass, Dom Zaki, Dennis Drier, Gavin Smith, Yvette Bremner, Barend Botes, Gary Alexander, Vaughn Marshall and Joey Ramsden to owners like Marcus Jooste, Graham Beck, Alf Dickenson and Colin Bird. “Demand for VAR’s progeny is increasing all the time with his book already full for 2009 and a waiting list building up. His service fee will be decided later, but in this tough economic time with a serious global financial crisis facing us all, the support is heartening and we can only be grateful,” Pippa said.