The Fasig-Tipton “Breeding Stock Sale” Is an Obscenity

Fasig-Tipton held its “Night of the Stars” breeding-stock sale in Lexington yesterday. The numbers are staggering:

149 horses were sold; gross sales, over $100 million (average sale, almost $700K).

26 individual horses sold for $1 million-plus apiece.

The 11-year-old “broodmare” Magical World – who is currently pregnant – sold for $5.2 million. (A consignor, Meg Levy, said this: “In our interactions with the Japanese buyers, they are so detailed…. I’ve sold many pregnant horses to Japan, and they call and find out what the horses’ history is and what the mare does when she’s foaling.”)

The still-active (just raced in Breeders’ Cup) filly Shedaresthedevil sold for $5 million.

4-year-old Swiss Skydiver, $4.7 million.

And a “weanling” (under a year old) filly – just “Hip 107” because she doesn’t even have a name yet – sold for $750,000.

The above represents an obscenity on two levels. First, the setting, and of course the actual trading, cannot help but remind of auctions gone by…

(As it’s a good bet that virtually every animal activist on the planet would have also embraced 19th Century abolitionism, no need to apologize for the parallel.)

Second, consider how many horses could have been saved from the shackle, hoist, and slash – slaughter, that is – by those tens of millions of dollars. Obscene, indeed.




21 Comments

  1. We have always thought these overpriced auctions were a fake value of a horses true worth. We have participated in them in the past, a decade ago. The analogy of the old slave auctions is readily apparent even down to who the auctioneers are and the ring handlers of the horses are! Especially notable in Kentucky! One day the bottom will fall out of this game in all aspects and the true values of these hyped up pedigreed horses will become apparent to all.

    • The bottom fell out of the market for Shetland ponies in 1963. It’s difficult to imagine that happening in the world of Thoroughbreds and horseracing.

      • In our state the bottom fell out in the early 2000`s & we no longer have a thoroughbred auction or even a class”B” 1 mile track anymore. There is a push though to legalize a private casino at a 1/2 mile bull ring track in the southern area of our state to ostensibly supplement what`s left of the racing industry in our state. With our state ANYTHING for $$ goes now that drugs have been decriminalized & there is a push on to decriminalize prostitution as well!

  2. The promotional video is truly vomit-worthy. Of course, for the racing industry participants it is a “buzz like no other in the world” to be at Fasig-Tipton and that’s a vast difference in perspectives. The almighty dollar, the adrenaline rush, the “buzz like no other in the world” is what is high priority for the racing industry participants. I find it so sickening and vomit-worthy and repulsive and disturbing that this woman, Meg Levy, is selling her horses to the Japanese! They’re just going to be slaughtered. They’re going to be raced and bred and slaughtered and that’s it. Japan and Korea are horse-meat-eating countries and these money-grubbing psychopaths in the United States could not care less about the horse as a horse. The ego trip they get out of this is obviously part of why they do it. It is disgusting!
    Another thing about auctions is they can create false markets; they can create a price level (or however you want to say it). The auction house, the sellers and the buyers can BID a horse up to a really high price and then the auctioneer can say “sold!” (for $XXXXXX) BUT the horse doesn’t change hands AND no money actually changes hands. The horse goes on record as having sold for X number of dollars. I don’t know if they do that at these high dollar Thoroughbred auctions. I just don’t really honestly know, but I know that happens and it’s something to think about. It was done in the Shetland pony market and the Arabians that I have read about.

  3. Imagine if all the money spent on these young racing “slaves” was put into caring for the ones crippled and ruined by the racing industry.

    • BRAVO Rebecca. It reminds me of slavery times when they would bid on the slaves who also had absolutely no autonomy. These Cretans in this sick sinful twisted DEATH spiral industry ….are NOTHING but cold blooded KILLERS who care nothing about the HEALTH and wellbeing of these majestic horses. These Cretans will rot.

  4. Wait. Did you just say Meg Levy was one of the consignors interviewed for this abomination? As in, the same Meg Levy who “SAVES” racehorses (by freaking BREEDING them), according to (another of) Tim Layden’s sappy, sickening pieces on NBC So-Called Sports’ site from last year? THAT Meg Levy? LOL. No, seriously; LOL.

    This is how grotesque these racing industry leeches are in their own sick self-promotion. They’ll take a vague account of some poor horse — or some rich person who exploits them — and twist it into a press release about the overwhelming benevolence and generosity of the greedy monsters in the racing game. Then, they’ll slap it onto some trade rag, and advertise it as “truth.” (Layden’s the worst about it that I’ve found — you’ll see all his made-up puff-pieces for racing are long on melodrama, short on facts — if you’ve got the stomach to slog through them, that is.)

    Just remember: In the eyes of the NBC Blood Sports world, horse-killers are heroes.

    • TOTALLY agree Kelly. tim layden is one obnoxious, hot headed dude. I actually think a lot of his anger and others in this non-real job industry, is because they KNOW they are not working, rather just doing unimportant,not productive or meaningful,important real jobs. In other words they feel ashamed they haven’t achieved anything. It’s a total feeling of SHAME.

      • Thanks, Bonnie. Wasn’t sure, but I actually suspected he was one of those HOT-HEADED DUDES when he blocked me, even though I’d never even tried to contact him at all, ever, on Twitter. To this day, he remains the only member of the racing press — most of whom I’ve tweeted — to block me. Such “journalistic” behavior, LOL:)

        • You are quite welcome Kelly. I STILL maintain that the majority of these humans drawing a paycheck from the systematic torture and murder (because that’s what it is) …because these majestic beings,the horses,should live into their late 20’s or into their 30’s, feel like unworthy losers,because even they deep down KNOW it’s NOT a REAL job. They are leeches sucking off the dead souls of the horses. They protest because they are too lazy to go get a real job. Why that would require actual work.

  5. For years, sales auction houses, like Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland, make hundreds of millions of dollars and not ONE DIME is contributed under a mandatory 1% aftercare contribution program.
    Any contribution is strictly voluntary.
    99% of the human handlers in the sales ring are male as the discrimination in this business abounds.
    I once asked one of the handlers “how does it feel to hold a horse that sells for 1 million?”
    He flat out said “not very good when I’m making $15 per hour with no benefits.”
    This was about 8 years ago so I have no idea what they are making now, but this business is the last bastion of sexist, racist elitism all carried out at the expense of their voiceless victims who get nothing for the billions of dollars they generate.
    The majority of jobs are low-paid with no benefits while they churn billions in profits.
    Yet, our politicians continue to give this business obscene amounts of money that should be going into our public coffers for educating our children.
    Finally, once any broodmare boards the plane for Japan her only way out is the incinerator.

    • Gina, this WHOLE bullshit scam was never about racing, it was ALWAYS about selling a bullshit “dream” to retards who pay JOKE amounts of money on a horse. As long as there’s a terry finley buying First Captain for 1.5 million ….or the dumber than dumb Mandy Pope buying Gun it , for an INSANE astronomical obscene amount … what’s the old saying “there’s one born” ….yada,yada,yada.

  6. The contrasts in this disgusting business are mind boggling.
    Tonight a horse bailed from a kill pen by compassionate non racing people was so weak hungry and dehydrated he fell getting on the trailer.
    These kill pens are a national disgrace.
    And then we have the decadent Fasig-Tipton with millions of dollars being tossed around while people struggle to save a few of the thousands of the unfortunates in the hell hole kill pens before their shipping deadline to be butchered…

    • The auctions are a disgrace at any level in so many ways. The Fasig-Tipton “buzz like no other in the world” makes me think of crackheads. Being so close together and bidding on well-groomed, high-class Thoroughbreds to get their kicks was also a super spreader event, but who cares about that. I only hope that they don’t spread the sickness to their children. What’s a pandemic anyway…🤬

  7. Yes, an obscenity – and as others have already mentioned, an obscenity that even ONE TB, bred for and used by a multi-billion dollar industry, finds himself begging for a home, not one of those racing folks who “loved” him and gave him the “best life” making certain he is safe and cared once he can no longer get a check.

    A former racing trainer once responded to the tired, old defense of TB’s in the killpen – “but what about all the other breeds AND backyard horses that go to slaughter!” – with the following and I feel she was right on…

    “How many other breeds of horses are born with the sole purpose of producing (either through racing or breeding) for a BILLION DOLLAR industry that largely (based on percentages) throws them away like trash when they are done making money? Yes, other breeds are discarded but they are not backed by an industry with plenty of money to do the right thing. Also, most racing jurisdictions get state funding in the form of subsidies to keep their failing business afloat.”

    All that money in this industry. And all that “love” for the horses that are “treated like kings and queens”. So why the constant pleas for financial help for slaughter-bound racehorses/rescued racehorses from those non-profits who support the industry or are employed by it?

    Just THINK of how many other horses we could help (our nation’s wild horses, cruelly rounded up by the BLM, for instance) if the industry that claims such love for and devotion to ITS horses – and can spend several million dollars for one equine – would just take care of their own.

    • The whole premise of the horseracing industry is NOT taking care of “their own” — “their own” horses take care of them. Horses are easily dominated, exploited sentient beings treated as a kind of “flavor of the month” and when consumed by their blood-sucking human leeches, they are discarded, disposed of. Horses in the horseracing industry are a commodity, and an “investment” for suckers.

  8. Horse racing operates with virtual impunity in every single aspect whether that’s facilitating and promoting multiple doping violating “trainers,” killing racehorses en masse, getting billions in taxpayers/casino money in the form of subsidies with little to no financial oversight including deeply ingrained corruption with our politicians supporting them every step of the way.
    The beneficiaries of these subsidies are multi-millionaires who spend millions on racehorses who require the tracks to run, the roads to drive there, all supporting infrastructure that gets paid for by taxpayers like you and me.
    They boast about their billions in wagering and sales profits, but pay little back into the public coffers and every single year there’s yet another tax break for racehorse millionaire owners and the only ace card that they repeatedly use are jobs, jobs, jobs, but we know that those jobs are low paid, long hours, with no benefits that usually break every labor law on the books for overtime hours.
    That’s precisely why horse racing gets allocated a huge amount of foreign worker visas so that they can carry out massive human rights violations with workers who will keep their mouth shut especially when they don’t get paid.
    Which brings me to Chad Brown one of the many trainers who was charged with not paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in hourly wages to many of his workers in New York state.
    Some research led me to a multi-million dollar training center in Florida called Payson Park that was formerly owned by racehorse breeder and owner Virginia Craft.
    Well it turns out that Chad Brown’s millionaire owner Peter M. Brant bought it in 2019 for a reportedly 7.9 million while grooms were sweating it out underneath his million dollar racehorses not getting paid by Chad Brown.
    These people are parasitic scum bags and they are abundant in this business.
    In the midst of all of this are the voiceless and defenseless racehorses who get nothing in return for being slaves to these slave masters who break their bones, dope them up, cripple/dump and then kill them.
    It’s a horrific business and it’s disgusting that our politicians continue to sleep with them at all costs even an entire generation of children who can’t get adequate public funding for such things as school books and supplies.

  9. Wish we could have left a comment to Slave Auction blog. We have seen horses taken right from our now gone 1 mile track to Korea for slaughter just as Ortiiz mentioned.via cargo plane to Korea. Appreciate the very informative links he posted in that article.

  10. The most saddest and tragic answer here, no matter how much these innocent, defenseless horses are sold or bought for, eventually nearly ALL of them will end up in a slaughterhouse, being killed in the most brutal, cruel way, just to fill some ‘person’s’ stomach or ground up as dog/animal food. But I forgot, ALL these owners and trainers love their horses, and they’d never let that happen to their ‘money banks’ would they????

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