Tamworth’s Nutrien Classic grosses record $10.5m as top lot fetches $170k | Ralph-Lauren

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Tamworth’s Nutrien Classic grossed a record $10.5 million in sales this year, with the top lot fetching $170,000.

Of the 526 lots for sale, 486 sold seeing at 93 per cent clearance rate, with an average price of $21,529.

Auctioneer Joel Flemming said the sale exceeded his expectations.

“It’s been outstanding,” he said.

Good commodity prices, some rain and even pennies saved thanks to COVID-19 all led to a bumper event.

“A lot of people in the horse industry haven’t been able to go anywhere or compete for 12 months, so I would say that there was some money in the bank,” Mr Flemming said.

“Commodity prices as far as crops, sheep, cattle … everything is very, very strong.

A man with a Texas-style hat and a dark beard, wearing a white shirt and tie, stands in front of a horse riding ring.
Joel Flemming said the event could have gone better.(ABC Rural: Lara Webster)

‘World-class bloodlines’

It was lot 151 that took the auction by storm, with a Metallic Cat quarter horse mare topping the market on day one with a $170,000 sale.

For trainer Leah Read, riding the mare in the ring was a “bucket list” moment.

“She is an exceptional mare, her bloodlines, Metallic Cat and Westspinster Abie, would have to be some of the world-class bloodlines that we’ve seen,” she said.

A woman sits on a horse, flanked by a retinue of hatted men and women, most of whom are wearing jeans with large belt buckles.
Vendor Emily Poole, buyer representative Terry Jones, vendor Paul Poole, trainer Leah Read, and her helpers, Liz Hobbs-Daly and Maddi Sleet.(Supplied: Nutrien Classic/Jo Thieme Photography)

Ms Read spent six months riding the mare and eight weeks preparing her for sale.

The quarter horse will now go to the Northern Territory to her new home.

“Everyone who has been a part of it has made this mare worth what she is worth … it’s good to see the results come from that.”

A man and a woman stand holding the reins of two horses.
Paul Poole and Leah Read couldn’t be happier with their sale results.(ABC Rural: Lara Webster)

Confidence riding high

Vendor Paul Poole said it was surreal to see his mare make so much money.

“We knew she was a good mare, a special mare,” he said.

Mr Poole said the sale outcome made him realise how much confidence is growing in the horse industry.

“It’s just really, really nice to see people see the value these horses are worth,” he said.

A woman and a man smile broadly as they pose with a chocolate brown horse.
Toni and Steven Hart with the now four-year-old mare.(ABC Rural: Lara Webster)

Record filly returns

In 2019 a filly broke all records at the Classic, when she sold for $230,000.

This year Yaven Smooth Spin was back to compete in the drafts for the first time.

Owners Steven and Toni Hart were excited to showcase the filly they bought two years ago.

Now four, the horse has had steady work since 2019.

“Once we purchased her we took her back home, gave her a couple of months off and brought her back into work slowly,” Mr Hart said.

“She has been worth every cent, just for the simple fact of her genetics.

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