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Lance Forbes' final blog from the USA

Hip 49 - Tapit colt ex. Miss Besilu

Hip 49 - Tapit colt ex. Miss Besilu

After a fantastic 9 months I am sad to say that my journey on the 2017 Sunline Management Scholarship has come to an end. 

My last leg in America was at Taylor Made Farm. I was focused on prepping yearlings for the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sales.  With over 100 horses in preparation for the sale it was fair to say that it was all hands on deck at the farm. 

It really goes to show why Taylor Made Farm is rated one of the best farms in America at yearlings preps. The management that goes behind the massive amount of horses they have in their care at one time is truly amazing. 

Even though we were all busy, after work most of the employees at the farm would play soccer, and it’s fair to say that I was no Ronaldo. In my second game I pulled a hammy and that put a screaming stop to my promising soccer career.

Whilst on the farm, we also had a very exciting guest arrive; it was the one and only Songbird who had just been retired from the race track. Songbird, who is a daughter of champion sire Medaglia d’Oro has a race record of 15 starts, 13 wins and 2 seconds and 9 of those wins were Group One races. She was also awarded American Champion Two Year Old Filly in 2015 and the American Champion Three Year Old Filly in 2016.  Songbird arrived at Taylor Made Farm for preparation for the November sales, where she will be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

With Songbird’s arrival at the farm, there was a lot of publicity and the daily tours around the farm had expanded by around three times the number.

With just under 3,500 yearlings offered for the 2017 Keeneland September sale, Taylor Made Farms consigned 374 of those yearlings. 

I was working at Keeneland from book one to book six. I was assigned the role of a show person which involved a lot of walking. Two of those days, I walked over 45km. In book one I was lucky enough to be given Taylor Made’s top lot to show, so for most of the time in book 1 I was just showing that one horse. Taylor Made’s top lot was hip 49 a grey Tapit colt out of Miss Besilu. The grey colt was knocked down for a staggering $2,600,000usd, it was such an amazing experience to be a part of and definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip.

With 374 yearlings on offer, it was no surprise that Taylor Made was awarded leading consignor.  270 of those horses sold with a total gross of $38,679,400usd and an average of $143,257 per hip.

The sale itself had 3,416 hips for sale and 2,555 of them sold. A gross of $307,845,400 and an average of $120,487. The top lot sold for $2,700,000. It defiantly was the biggest sale I had ever attended, with three yearlings making over $2,000,000usd and another ten of those yearlings making over $1,000,000usd.

With the Keeneland sale over and done with, it was time to pack my bags and come home. I truly can’t thank all of the people at Taylor Made enough for making my time there so enjoyable. It was one of the hardest goodbyes I have ever had to say.

I would also like to take the time to thank Michael Martin, Shannon Taylor, Nicola Griffiths and the Sunline Trust. Without you guys none of this would have ever happened and I can’t thank you enough.

I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to read my blogs and I hope I was able to show you some insight of what the thoroughbred industry has to offer from all around the world.

Lance Forbes signing out for the final time.