Kip Elser will be shifting his focus towards public and private bloodstock purchases, evaluations and racing stable management with his new brand, Kirkwood Equine Advisory, according to a press release distributed Thursday morning. Under this re-positioned business strategy, his Kirkwood Stables will transition to a consulting and advisory service role for clients with a particular focus on selecting young pinhooking and racing prospects, as well as horses of racing age.
“I’ve never been afraid to try doing things a bit differently,” said Elser. “That approach has allowed me to develop a keen ability to identify gaps in the market. I’m looking forward to the upcoming 2-year-old sales. I believe my years of experience selling will give me a leg up on the buying side. There is more information available than ever before to evaluate horses’ potential and performance. The key is knowing how to weigh and evaluate that information to your advantage. I try to blend the art and the science with practical knowledge and common sense.”
Elser’s Kirkwood Stables has long been a familiar name in the global juvenile Thoroughbred training and sales segment of the industry. For more than 40 years, Kirkwood’s offerings have brought top bids at Calder, Barretts, Fasig-Tipton, and Keeneland, as well as overseas at Tattersalls in the U.K., New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Race Sale, and the Cape Thoroughbred Sales in South Africa. Graduates of Kirkwood include multiple Classic winners, Breeders’ Cup Champions, and Eclipse Award recipients, as well as stakes and Graded stakes winners in the U.S. and abroad.
“Already this year we’ve made purchases on behalf of our clients on both sides of the globe, purchasing a lovely racing filly here in the U. S. at the Keeneland January Sale and a precocious young colt at the Cape Racing Sales Premier Yearling Sale in South Africa,” said Elser. “By taking a step back from training and consigning and expanding Kirkwood’s menu of services in a few different directions, I will have the opportunity to leverage my depth of knowledge for my customers in new, and what I think will be successful ways.”
Throughout his career, Elser’s approach has earned Kirkwood Stables a reputation as a trailblazer in an industry built upon tradition. Kirkwood has long created unique opportunities for clients by exploiting equine investment opportunities worldwide. It was the first major 2-year-old consigner to present drafts to the European market at Tattersalls and has acquired pinhook prospects at leading venues such as the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Magic Millions sales in Australia, the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale and Arqana in France. More recently, Elser made widely positive headlines stateside by offering several two-year-old “gallop only” consignments at Fasig-Tipton’s Gulfstream Sale from 2018 through 2021, opting to showcase the horses at a strong gallop rather than the more taxing traditional approach of an eighth or quarter mile breeze in the presale under tack shows.
While Kirkwood’s consignment shingle will not hang at this year’s 2-year-olds in training auctions, Elser will be there in a new capacity. He will be evaluating and shopping for racing prospects for his clients as he launches a new chapter in his career.