Top Priced Mare To Come To England
The Ellerston Reduction Sale, which took place on Saturday 10 October, saw all 137 lots sold to make a grand total of A$1.78 million for the Australian stud, owned by billionaire James Packer.
The highest lot of the auction was Baby, Lot 110, bought by Max Charlton for A$82,000. The 9-year-old chestnut mare has impeccable Ellerston breeding lines, by Siesta out of the legendary Babe. Her sire, (Norman Pentaquad x Cuddles) boasts one of the Ellerston founding mares, Snuggles, as a Grand-Dam through his mother’s side. Prior to the sale, Baby had won several Best Playing Pony prizes under both Matt Grimes and Glen Gilmore. She will now be coming to the UK to play high goal with her new owner. Max also took the opportunity to purchase a 15-year-old mare, also by Norman Pentaquad, Twilight, for A$18,000. Twilight had previously been mainstay of the Ellerston team, winning Best Playing Pony twice at the annual Garangula Spring Tournament.
Amongst other lots offered for sale, there were three offspring of renowned mare Pinky, including lot 21, the stallion Grenache, by Solar, who topped the stallion sales at A$28,000, her last filly, Valencia, who sold for A$26,000 and 12-year-old Sherry, A$20,000. Pink’s offspring commanded a slightly higher price than the average of A$17,060 for a playing pony, with 50 lots making A$853,000 collectivley. However, the sale of embryos in utero was especially strong, averaging A$9,130, with a top price of A$16,000 for an embryo by Grenache out of Canary, sold to an anonymous buyer.
Thirteen great-grandchildren one of Carlos Gracida’s favourite mares, Nonie Nonie, went through the sale, the majority of whom were sold for between A$6,000-A$12,000, a comparatively low price. The prices lend speculation that this reduction sale was comprised of the last few lower-quality ponies out of Ellerston, with many sales having taken place on the private market previously.
In 2009, having decided not to return to England for the summer’s high goal season, an Australian press report stated that James Packer has sold forty of his top ponies for an average of A$125,000 each. On that occasion, the top buyers were the Pieres family, who had strong links with Ellerston, and also French patron, Jean-François Decaux. The acquisition of Ellerston bloodlines is widely regarded as being pivotal in Pieres’ success, as their incredible horsepower is increasingly hard to match.
Photograph: English pro, Max Charlton, who purchased the top lot, “Baby” (not pictured). By ©www.imagesofpolo.com