By Rosie Simoes
The Rider Exchange Program at the Hannoveraner Verband allowed me to learn first-hand about sport horse auctions. Watching the horses, riders, and grooms along with having the unique experience of observing auction videos and pictures be taken, and meeting with those who create the catalog, allowed me to get a holistic and honest view of what is involved in creating a successful auction from start to finish.
During my time at the Verband, I was able to aid in two sport horse auctions, the elite auction and the November auction, as well as the stallion licensing and market. And, with the January auction coming to a close in Verden, I feel it is a relevant time to explain the “auction process” to those unfamiliar.
Riding Horse Auctions
With the catalog published well in advanced to the auction, the horses are able to be viewed in a short video showing the basic gaits. Those interested in buying are able to choose horses of interest based on their pedigree, photo, and video which are all available online at http://www.hannoveraner.com.
Auctions at the Verband are a two week process. Day one horses arrive in the stables, many from across the street at the Verband’s training barn, where they have been preparing to be sold, while the remainder of the collection arrive from outside stables.
Day 1 all are identified with Hannoveraner passports and microchips before being jogged on hard ground in a vet check. It is of the upmost importance that the horses are fit and sound for the two weeks ahead. Additionally, all horses have x-rays that are available to be viewed, and the vet staff at the Verband are available to discuss the vetting of each individual horse upon request.
The second day the horses begin training with their auction rider. The first days at the Verband are about the horses getting comfortable with their new stables, riders, and in the arenas. The riders take time to work with the horses and familiarize them, both the warm up and the auction arena. This is a very important part of the process, as most of the horses are between the ages of 3 and 6, and the seek confidence from their riders to show them the way.
During the first week, presentations begin. All of the horses are warmed up then ridden in the auction ring to be viewed by potential buyers. This allows the opportunity to see how the horses handle the change of atmosphere and watching the process gives buyers a better sense of the horses. The warm up, lunging arenas and stables are all able to be observed to get a holistic, honest view of not only the horses, but also of the auction process.
Throughout the week potential buyers have the opportunity to trial ride horses of interest advisors are available to assist in selecting suitable horses if desired. Of course those interested are welcome to ask questions of the riders and are welcome to visit the stables to see the horses in the stalls. Videos of the presentations are also posted online in the catalog.
On the last day of the auction process, the 2nd Saturday, the horses are auctioned to the highest bidder. The auction arena is filled with customers as the horses enter one last time, one at a time, in numerical order. Horses trot or canter around the arena as bidders fight for the winning bid and after congratulations and flowers are given to the new owners.
After the Big Day
Some horses leave the Sunday following the auction, especially those that will remain in Germany. Those who are bought outside of the country often will stay additional days while travel arrangements are made. The horses all receive a day of rest on Sunday following the auction. The following week they continue to be ridden by the riders at the Verband until leaving for their homes, however some horses remain at the Verband for training. When that is the case the new owner may select a rider for the horse to be in training with, and the horse will be taken the the training barn at the Verband, just across the street from the auction stable.
Want to learn more about the Hannoveraner Verband or the Rider Exchange Program? Check out their website at http://www.hannoveraner.com.