Inside The Grooming Bag Presented By Midway University: Getting Ready For Sale Time With Lane's End - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Inside The Grooming Bag Presented By Midway University: Getting Ready For Sale Time With Lane’s End

Hip 7 gets shined up at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale.

There is perhaps no time in a Thoroughbred's life when their appearance matters more than at an auction. With six- or seven-figure bids potentially on the line, every hair must be in place before they are presented to buyers.

On this episode of the Paulick Report's Inside The Grooming Bag, we visit the Lane's End consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale, where Jose Ochoa guides us through the process of getting a horse ready for the sale ring, from mane to tail.

Lane's End put 25 horses through the ring over the course of the four-day auction, including six on the day they offered Hip 972, a colt by City of Light. However, the trips to the ring are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the multitude of times each horse needed to be shined up for pre-sale inspections each day over the course of the auction.

With four to five sets of hands working on each horse, Ochoa said the Lane's End team can get a horse from the stall to ring-ready in 10 to 15 minutes.

The auction environment can be a lot for a young horse to handle, between the new surroundings and neighbors, the constant sound of the auctioneer's chant over the public address system, and constantly going in and out of their stall for shows.

Ochoa, who was in his second year with Lane's End during last year's October sale, said that keeping the yearlings calm in the midst of the sensory overload was a key part of helping the horses look their best.

“We just go slow and calm,” he said. “We stay as focused as we can and not rush into them, because they might be sensitive on the body. He was kind of jumpy, but we worked it out together, made the process faster, and stayed calm.”

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