Top bloodstock agent Oliver St Lawrence has urged his fellow industry professionals to look kindly on the online sale of stallion nominations in aid of the Giving To Ukraine charity and the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal that will be hosted by Tattersalls on Monday.
The idea was first mentioned to St Lawrence at the Tattersalls December Sale by Stephen Byrnes, a well-known equine osteopath, who has undertaken a number of humanitarian missions to Ukraine and has witnessed first-hand the devastation caused in the war-torn country.
St Lawrence, who describes stallion nominations as his “bread and butter,” has assembled a stellar cast of more than 75 stallion coverings to choose from, with Showcasing (GB), Sottsass (Fr), Kodiac (GB), Sea The Moon (Ger), Hello Youmzain (Fr) and Nathaniel (Ire) all listed.
The total value of the advertised fees is estimated to be roughly £700,000, although some stud farms have offered more than one service per stallion, in which case the underbidder will be contacted.
St Lawrence explained, “Every nomination will be sold on a no foal free return basis. They will also be paid up front so that the charity can get on and spend the money, which is badly needed. All of the money will be collected by Giving To Ukraine, which is a small charity.
“There will be no VAT on the majority of the nominations so, cash flow-wise, people will not have to pay out VAT and they pay up front. If the mare does not go in foal or unfortunately aborts, they will have a free return next year.”
St Lawrence acknowledges that Monday’s charity auction will come relatively late for the majority of breeders who, by the middle of February, will have made some form of plans for their mares. However, he is hoping that, given the nature of the sale, stakeholders will support the cause.
He said, “The amount of stallion donations from studs across Europe has been very generous. I would urge people to get registered to bid. We’ve managed to get a nice bunch of nominations together and for the breeders, I know it’s late in terms that a lot of people will have already made plans but, for those who haven’t, if they could look kindly on us, it would be great.”
“There are a few more stallion nominations coming. I just got a Sergei Prokofiev (Can) this morning and I expect to be able to add a couple more in the coming days. Quite often, I get repeat nominations and, while we will only offer one on the site, there will be cases where we contact the underbidder on some of the stallion nominations that were double offered. We won’t be offering two nominations for a stallion because people may hold back on the first one, and I won’t go naming stallions, as there may be a few canny people out there!”
St Lawrence added, “It was Stephen Byrnes who came up with the idea. He mentioned it to me during the December Sale but, for various reasons, we didn’t get together until late January. That’s when he told me of some of the horrendous things that he witnessed out there which simply aren’t repeatable. This is my bread and butter, doing stallion nominations, so it was relatively easy to get on board with a project like this and try and generate some money for a worthy cause.”
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