Harrisburg – A week-long Standardbred horse sale showcased Pennsylvania’s strong equine racing industry, with Pennsylvania-sired horses earning top bids in the yearling sale, the largest component of the more than $53 million auction. Standardbreds, noted for their speed and stamina, are exclusively used in the sport of harness racing. The annual sale, which has grown to become the world’s largest Standardbred sale, was held Nov. 5th-9th at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.

The event, known in the industry as The Black Book Sale, featured more than 1,400 horses marketed by consignors from throughout the United States and Canada. International buyers from across the globe travel to the Harrisburg region each November for the sale, providing an estimated $3.4 million in economic impact to the region’s hotel and hospitality industry.

“Our 2018 Annual Sale had the highest average price for yearlings ever,” said Paul Spears, President of Standardbred Horse Sales Company. “Pennsylvania is the world’s leader in the breeding and sales of Standardbred racehorses and we are proud to host this event in the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania has been a wonderful partner in promoting and sustaining our Pennsylvania horse breeding farms since the passage of slots legislation in 2004.”

Yearling gross sales increased 4.9% increase over 2017 and the average sale price of a yearling increased 7.6% increase. In total, the sale’s 830 yearlings averaged $42,675, while the 424 Pennsylvania-sired yearlings averaged $48,351. Pennsylvania bred yearlings had the second highest average behind New Jersey’s 26 yearlings.

Pennsylvania stallions ruled the yearling sale with Captaintreacherous leading the pacing sires. The average sale price of his 44 yearlings was an impressive $81,091. The second highest pacing sire was Somebeachsomewhere, with his 51 yearlings averaging $72,235.

The mixed sale, held Friday and Saturday, grossed over $18 million. The 619 mares, colts and stallions averaged $29,000, nearly equal to the 2017 average. Gallie Bythebeach topped the broodmare portion of the sale, selling for $280,000 to the Pennsylvania-based Hanover Shoe Farm. Hanover Shoe Farm, recognized by many in the industry as the most notable and successful Standardbred breeder in the nation, is based in Hanover, PA span on a facility that spans 2,700 acres.

Since the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, which legalized slot machine gaming in Pennsylvania and allocated a portion of the gaming revenues to support the horse racing and breeding industry, Pennsylvania’s harness racing industry has grown significantly, providing increased opportunities for the state’s breeders to prove the quality of their animals.

That funding supports two important programs that has helped to increase the demand for Pennsylvania Standardbreds: The Sire Stakes is geared toward top racehorses fathered in Pennsylvania, while the Standardbred Breeders Fund provides incentives for owners of mares that were bred to a Pennsylvania stallion and resided in PA for six months, including foaling. Combined, the funds will provide more than $16 million in owner and breeder incentives in 2018.

“The success of the Standardbred horse sale demonstrates the continuing positive impacts of horse racing and breeding in Pennsylvania,” said Sam, Beegle board member of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association, a non-profit that promotes the industry in the state. “Racehorse owners and breeders support the overall agricultural industry as major customers of farmers who provide feed and bedding, but they also preserve tens of thousands of acres of open space and are responsible for employing thousands of Pennsylvanians who work as trainers, drivers and jockeys, veterinarians, track support personnel, stable hands and numerous other jobs.”

Complete pedigrees and sale results are available online at www.theblackbook.com.

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