The strong rebound which led to record results across the yearling and breeding sales in 2021 has understandably bolstered the confidence of studmasters when it comes to setting stallion prices ahead of the pending breeding season.

The trend of stallion fees is particularly interesting this year after the economic shock of 2020 saw a large-scale drop in prices due largely to the uncertainty of the early aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the thoroughbred industry has, until this point at least, weathered the economic aspects of the pandemic remarkably well, and confidence has returned to the market.

It’s worth noting that for the purposes of this article, and reflective of the practices in each jurisdiction, all Australian-based stallions are quoted with GST included, while the New Zealand-based stallions are quoted with GST excluded.

The top end

As a rule, the top end service fees are where there is greatest volatility and this was the case in 2020 in Australia, where four of the top five priced stallions had their prices reduced.

“In 2021, the upward trend of the previous five years has resumed with seven stallions to stand at a price of above $100,000, up from six last year.”

In 2021, the upward trend of the previous five years has resumed with seven stallions to stand at a price of above $100,000, up from six last year. Six of those seven have had a price increase, including the highest-priced stallion in Australia, I Am Invincible, who jumps from $209,000 to $220,000.

Written Tycoon, who will stand his first season at Yulong Stud in Victoria at $165,000 and looks destined to claim his first title as Australian Champion Sire, has had the biggest jump in price of any stallion of $88,000. The average fee for those seven stallions which now stand in that six-figure price range has risen from $143,786 in 2020 to $158,714, this year.

Stallion Name
Service Fee 2021
Service Fee 2020
Written Tycoon Yulong Farm $165,000 $77,000 $88,000
Capitalist Newgate Farm $99,000 $44,000 $55,000
So You Think Coolmore $77,000 $38,500 $38,500
Zoustar Widden Stud $154,000 $121,000 $33,000
Deep Field Newgate Farm $88,000 $55,000 $33,000
Street Boss Darley $55,000 $27,500 $27,500
Toronado Swettenham Stud $49,500 $27,500 $22,000
Frosted Darley $44,000 $22,000 $22,000

Table: Australian-based stallions with the biggest service fee rise (inc GST)

In New Zealand, Waikato Stud’s Savabeel is the highest-priced stallion at NZ$100,000, the same as last year, while next on the pricelist is barnmate Super Seth at NZ$35,000, who is also unchanged in his second year. Cambridge Stud’s Almanzor (Fr), who had a brilliant season with his first yearlings through Australasian sales rings, stands at NZ$30,000, the same price as his new barnmate Hello Youmzain (Fr), and Waikato Stud’s Ocean Park (NZ).

It’s perhaps indicative of the more cautious approach and the less bullish nature of the New Zealand industry at the moment that Ocean Park is the only one of the above stallions to have had a price increase.

Stallion Name
Service Fee 2021
Service Fee 2020
Contributer Mapperly Stud, NZ $22,000 $10,000 $12,000
Ocean Park Waikato Stud, NZ $30,000 $20,000 $10,000
Per Incanto Little Avondale Stud, NZ $25,000 $15,000 $10,000
Turn Me Loose Windsor Park Stud, NZ $15,000 $10,000 $5000
Proisir Rich Hill Stud, NZ $12,500 $9000 $3500
Sweynesse Novara Park, NZ $9000 $6000 $3000
Reliable Man Westbury Stud, NZ $17,500 $15,000 $2,500
Time Test Little Avondale Stud, NZ $8500 $6000 $2500
Telperion Westbury Stud, NZ $7500 $5000 $2500
Shocking Rich Hill Stud, NZ $8500 $8000 $500

Table: New Zealand-based stallions with the biggest service fee rise (exc GST), prices are in NZD

Across the board

The commerciality of registered stallions does tend to drop away quite significantly towards the bottom end, which can distort or dilute statistics when it comes to comparisons on price.

For the purpose of allowing proper comparison, we have looked to filter data for the following section by analysing the 149 stallions which will stand at $7700 and above in Australia in 2021. That list includes 27 first-year stallions, 121 stallions which stood in Australia last year and one stallion, who is back after a year off, Maurice (Jpn).

Maurice (Jpn) returns to Arrowfield Stud in 2021

Of those 121 established stallions, 24, or 19.83 per cent, have had a price rise from last year, 63, or 52.07 per cent, remained at the same price, and 34, or 28.1 per cent, saw their price fall.

A similar analysis of the 2020 stallion rosters saw just 5.26 per cent of stallion have their price increased, 30.8 per cent have their price unchanged and 63.94 per cent saw their price drop from 2019.

Going back to the pre-COVID era and in 2019, 12.65 per cent of Australian stallions had their price increased from the previous year and just 25.3 per cent had their price fall.

No Change
2021 19.83% 52.07% 28.10%
2020 5.26% 30.80% 63.94%
2019 12.65% 62.05% 25.30%

Table: Changes in the price of established Australian stallions – Percentage

Applying a similar NZ$7000-plus filter to New Zealand, it takes in 33 stallions, including 29 that stood in New Zealand in 2020. Of those 29, 10 have had a price rise, the biggest of which was the NZ$12,000 increase for Mapperley Stud’s Contributer (Ire), while only four had a decrease and 15 stayed at the same price.

Filtering the Australian list down further to the Top 50 stallions on price and we see the average price of a stallion in that bracket in 2021 is $61,710 with a median of $44,000. In 2020, the average of the Top 50 priced stallions was $51,975 with a median of $38,500, while in 2019, those figures stood at $52,580 on average and $33,000 on median.

Contributer (Ire) | Standing at Mapperly Stud

The rising stars

The Australian stallion who had the biggest percentage rise in his service fee in 2021 is Capitalist, who had a brilliant first season from his progeny on the track, with 20 winners to date, headed by the G1 Champagne S. victor Captivant. Newgate responded to this success by bolstering his fee by 125 per cent to $99,000.

Barnmate Extreme Choice, who stood at $22,000 in 2020, would have likely been in line for an even bigger percentage rise after an exceptional first crop, led by G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Stay Inside, but Newgate opted to put him in the ‘Private’ category due to his ongoing fertility challenges, restricting him for shareholders to access.

Other notable Australian-based stallions to have their service fee at least doubled, include the aforementioned Written Tycoon, Coolmore’s So You Think (NZ), Darley shuttlers Street Boss (USA) and Frosted (USA) and Newgate’s Flying Artie.

Gallery: Australian-based stallions to have their service fee at least doubled

The biggest jump in New Zealand in terms of percentage was Contributer (Ire) as mentioned, while Ocean Park increased 50 per cent to NZ$30,000 and Little Avondale Stud’s Per Incanto (USA) 66.7 per cent to NZ$25,000. Turn Me Loose (NZ), who is based at Windsor Park Stud, jumped 50 per cent to NZ$15,000, while at the lower price levels, SweynesseTime Test (GB) and Telperion all jumped significantly.

The new kids

The confidence in terms of pricing flows down to the 29 new stallions which will feature on Australian rosters in 2021. Of that group, 13 are priced at $22,000 and above, an increase of one when compared to the 2020 freshman class and six on how many first-season sires stood in that range in 2019.

The average service fee of the 29 first-season stallions in 2021 is $24,257, a slight rise on the average of last year. There are four freshmen in the $50,000-plus range, which is a relative rarity. That group is headed by Coolmore’s Wootton Bassett (GB) ($71,500), who is already proven in Europe but has never stood in Australia before and also includes Darley’s Bivouac ($66,000), Kia Ora’s Farnan and Vinery Stud’s Ole Kirk (both $55,000).

Stallion Name
Wootton Bassett Coolmore $71,500
Bivouac Darley $66,000
Farnan Kia Ora $55,000
Ole Kirk Vinery Stud $55,000
Pinatubo Darley $44,000
King’s Legacy Coolmore $33,000
Tagaloa Yulong Farm $33,000
Ghaiyyath Darley $27,500
Admire Mars Arrowfield Stud $22,000
Earthlight Darley $22,000
Lucky Vega Yulong Farm $22,000
North Pacific Newgate Farm $22,000
Russian Camelot Widden Stud $22,000

Table: New stallions above $20,000 in Australia – 2021

There was not a single freshman stallion over $50,000 in 2020, indicating both the quality of the top end of this crop of stallions as well as how confident the major studs have become when taking new horses to the market.

That confidence is also in evidence in New Zealand where Cambridge Stud’s new boy, Hello Youmzain debuts at NZ$30,000, while Circus Maximus (Ire) starts out at NZ$20,000 at Windsor Park. In comparison, there was just one first-season stallion, Waikato Stud’s Super Seth (NZ$35,000), who stood in the five-figure range in New Zealand in 2020.

Novara Park’s King Of Comedy (Ire) and White Robe Lodge’s Ancient Spirit (Ger) are the other freshmen in 2021 and both will stand their first seasons at NZ$7000.

Stallion Name
Hello Youmzain Cambridge Stud $30,000
Circus Maximus Windsor Park Stud $20,000
Ancient Spirit White Robe Lodge $7000
King Of Comedy Novara Park $7000

Table: New stallions – New Zealand – 2021, prices are in NZD


Article Courtesy of TDN