The second part of the Goffs February Sale, which had been delayed until March 11 in the hope that it could be held as normal, will now be conducted as a live online sale in light of ongoing Covid restrictions in Ireland.
This section of the sale is for weanlings only, with broodmares and horses in training having been auctioned online during the sale's original dates of Feb. 9 and 10.
On Tuesday, Ireland's Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that the country would remain in lockdown under Level 5 restrictions until April 5, a move which precludes people attending sales grounds.
“Whilst this is not our first choice, an online option offers an opportunity to trade and several vendors implored us not to simply cancel the sale,” said Goffs Group Chief Executive, Henry Beeby.
“We recognise it will not suit some and that buyers would prefer a physical sale, as would we, but we must react and adapt to the latest Government directives. At this stage we simply cannot say with any degree of certainty when we could hold a physical sale that is both safe and compliant in the short term, and vendors need certainty as they plan their year rather than yet more delays”.
As at previous online sales conducted last autumn for yearlings and more recently for mixed stock, vendors will be asked to upload conformation films and veterinary information to the Goffs website as an aid to potential purchasers.
The weanlings, or short yearlings, will be presented with veterinary certificates against which purchasers can re-examine within 48 hours of the fall of hammer to give added confidence to bidders. Online details for each lot will include a farm location where applicable for potential local buyers to arrange a socially-distanced inspection if required.
Three online sales have been held by Goffs since the start of the pandemic, and its live bidding platform, which has also been in use to support regular sales which have been relocated, has been utilised by bidders in 22 countries, with over €7.6 million of business conducted during that time.
Also in light of ongoing lockdown measures, Tattersalls Ireland has rescheduled its February National Hunt Sale. It will take place at Fairyhouse on Apr. 7.