Will Brexit affect the European yearling sales?

Arqana: will provide the first major test for the post-Brexit era

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) 'Now I feel there's a lot more cause for optimism'
2:37PM 12 AUG 2016

Expert Panel: We ask three bloodstock agents how they think Brexit will affect the European yearling sale season, which starts at Arqana this weekend

Anthony Stroud

I think it'll be business as normal as far as sales go. I don't think Brexit will affect bloodstock at all and, in fact, I believe it will actually encourage people to come to England to buy horses as the pound has decreased in value and they can get more for their money.

My spending habits for my clients will stay the same. Initially, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and if you asked me the day after the results I would have probably given a different answer, but now I feel there is a lot more cause for optimism.

However, I feel the logistics for moving horses around Europe could prove more complicated in the future.

Oliver St Lawrence

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Brexit might strengthen the market. The top and middle end, which is the vast majority at yearling sales, are from either outside or from elsewhere in Europe – there are very few big British buyers right now.

I don't think it'll change my spending habits. I'll be attending the same sales as always, starting with Deauville, and then see what the market does.

My biggest clients are from outside of the EU so they could potentially have more money.

I think it'll have a positive effect on the market as a whole, but it's yet again another blow to the British buyer who earns and spends their money in sterling, but they are becoming a smaller and smaller breed.

Irish spenders might now choose to spend in euros rather than pounds, which could be interesting.

Matt Coleman

I think it will be a bit of both. The weaker sterling could well attract extra interest in the UK sales, particularly from the foreign market who have found the strength of the sterling in the past a barrier to buying at UK sales.

Some of my clients have certainly been affected by Brexit as regards their businesses away from bloodstock and thus some may be reticent of buying more horses with such uncertainty existing over Britain's current economic situation.

Clients involved with hedge fund investments and other types of City and property business seem to have been affected and might hold back somewhat in their spending, but I don't think it's easy to be certain how spending will be affected, although my feeling is Brexit will not cause significant change in the bloodstock market for the moment.

I'm hoping foreign spending, such as Australians and Americans for horses in training and Japanese and Australians for mares, might increase because of the weaker sterling.

Foreign investment at UK sales has certainly been somewhat reduced over the past two or three years.

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