Entry deadline looming


Entries for the next gavelhouse.com Standardbred sale are due online by 10am Thursday 15 July.

Judging the quality of the current entries in the sale, it’s shaping up to be a decent catalogue and one worth tacking onto.

This sale will run off the back of a successful last fornightly auction that resulted in an overall sale clearance of 100% and a top price of $6,500 for Bossmaro (pictured below).

The auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday and will run through until 7pm on Wednesday 21 July.

Contact Cam Bray to discuss your options:
021 737 199  |  cam.bray@nzb.co.nz

Picture perfect for your gavelhouse.com listing


We all know too well the struggle of getting the perfect photo of our horses. But how important is it?

A decent photo could be the difference between money in the bank and a horse still sitting in the paddock. It attracts attention and draws in buyers giving them a creditable indication of conformation and type.

If you don’t have a handy photographer friend, or a professional at that, then these six tips and tricks could help you improve your photography skills to get the best photo for your listing page.

  1. Preparation

A little grooming never goes astray. Brush out manes and tails, and brush off any mud or sweat marks.

  1. Consider you background

Highlight the horse, and only the horse. Other elements in your background tend to become a distraction and draw away from the subject so it’s best to find a space with a plain backdrop and not too much happening in it. Keep in mind that a level ground is also ideal.

  1. Standing the horse

Most buyers are looking for conformation photos to help them evaluate the horse. You want to give them a view of all four legs (que the patience and a second or even third helper). The legs nearest the camera should be slightly spaced out and the legs furthest from the camera slightly spaced in. Try and avoid the “three-legged” look.

Stand level to the horse and in the middle of the horse to create a well-balanced photo. The horse should take up at least 50% of the shot.

  1. Natural Lighting

Keep the sun at your back. You want the lighting to fall on the side of the horse to avoid any shadows that could distort it. Avoid using the flash setting.

  1. Avoid using the zoom

As tempting as it is to zoom in when taking a photo from a distance it is better to try and get closer to your subject or crop it later on. Zooming in can make the photo appear pixelated or blurry.

  1. Abundance is key

Take as many photos as you can so you have plenty to choose from to get the best one.

gavelhouse.com listings allow for 20 photos of each Lot plus video footage. Ideally buyers are looking to see a good side on shot of the horse from both sides, a head shot, a front on shot and a hind shot to allow them to assess the correctness of the horse.

Click here for an example of a listing with great photos and if you have any questions or need photos cropped or edited, feel free to call the team on +64 9 296 4436 and in Australia on +61 3 9614 4882 or email them to info@gavelhouse.com

Purdon scores first Group victory with gavelhouse.com buy

A $9,501 gavelhouse.com purchase is proving to be the best decision of young trainer Michael Purdon’s burgeoning career.

When perusing a standardbred.gavelhouse.com auction catalogue last year, the West Melton horseman’s eye was caught by the breeding of Mystic Max, having been a fan of his sire, French stallion Village Mystic.

Purdon duly secured the yearling out of the famed Robinson family, but when it came to selling down shares in the colt, Purdon had no takers.

While it was deflating at the time, it has worked out in Purdon’s favour, with the juvenile trotter now boasting more than $36,000 in earnings after his victory in the Gr.2 Sires’ Stakes 2YO Trotting Championship (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Friday.

“I tried to sell shares in him in the early stages, but I couldn’t get anyone interested. It has now worked out really well owning him outright,” Purdon said.

Starting from the outside of the front-row, Mystic Max was taken back early to take a sit for driver Blair Orange, with hot-favourite Highgrove breaking early.

Orange continued to sit patiently behind his colt until he asked him to improve on the back of Mr Love three-wide down the backstraight.

Mystic Max found clear running room down the home straight and ran over the top of his rivals to win by a half-length over Wy Fi, with a further three-quarters of a length back to Mr Love in third.

While his chances were aided by a breaking Highgrove, Purdon said manners are a huge factor when it comes to juvenile trotters.

“None of these juvenile trotters are really bombproof, they all have their little hitches,” Purdon said. “We were just fortunate enough tonight that Mystic Max put it all together.

“He is nice and kind, and he is showing he is pretty versatile now, with his first win leading up, and tonight’s win coming with a sit.”

The result now evens the ledger between Mystic Max and Highgrove at two wins a piece, with the Gr.1 Montana Food & Events 2YO Ruby (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on June 6 set to be the tiebreaker.

“It’s very exciting,” Purdon said. “There will be a bit of pressure on him, but it is still a big thrill nonetheless.”

While looking forward to the Harness Jewels, Purdon will savour Friday’s victory, his first at Group level.

“It’s a massive thrill to get that Group win,” he said. “My last big win was a Listed race, the Harness 7000 with Willie Go West.”

Mystic Max’s victory on Friday night was also an important one for his sire Village Mystic, with the Haras des Trotteurs stallion now boasting a record of 100 percent Group winners-to-runners in New Zealand, albeit Mystic Max being his only representative.

Buoyed by the success on Friday, Purdon is keen to get some more European blood into his stable in the future.

“The European blood has always done a good job here with the likes of Love You, and Village Mystic is a son of Love You, so it’s good seeing that bloodline coming through,” he said.

Later on the card, Outamyway filled the coffers of his connections ahead of the Gr.1 Mitre 10 3YO Ruby (1609m) next month when winning the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 1 – Final (1980m).

The Paul Nairn-trained colt set the pace throughout and was able to hold on bravely to defeat Regal Attire by a nose, with a further 1-1/2 lengths back to Leaf Stride in third.

Outamyway was purchased out of White Stables’ 2019 NZB Standard National Yearling Sale in Christchurch for $17,500.

Currently online is a 27 Lot gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction with bidding running through until 7pm on Wednesday.
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Fear The Dragon progeny to Debut on gavelhouse.com Standardbred

New Zealand’s first public offering of progeny by exciting freshman sire Fear The Dragon (USA) is now live and open for bidding on gavelhouse.com Standardbred, as a part of a 27 lot mixed catalogue.

Established Southland breeders Macca Lodge have entered 15 weanlings in the latest fortnightly auction hosted on New Zealand Bloodstock’s leading online subsidiary gavelhouse.com, including 12 youngsters by Fear The Dragon.

“Fear The Dragon has left some cracking foals in the spring and they have developed into some really good looking weanlings,” Macca Lodge proprietor Brent McIntyre said.

“He leaves correct foals that have a good attitude and want to work with you.

“They are very athletic and the perfect size, we couldn’t be happier with them.”

Fear The Dragon has made outstanding progress in his stud career outside of New Zealand, where his stock are about to embark on their race careers.

The freshman sire’s oldest crop in North America are two-year-olds and interest is building ahead of their career debuts later this season, following strong reports from several leading trainers.

Fear The Dragon’s first North American crop sold strongly in the Northern Hemisphere last year, topping both American yearling sales.

The sire’s oldest crop in Australia are yearlings and they have already made their mark in the auction ring.

Macca Lodge’s weanling draft offered on gavelhouse.com Standardbred is highlighted by Fear The Dragon weanlings:

Lot 1, a colt out of five-time winning mare Bonnie’s Khaleesi (NZ) (Live Or Die). Bonnie’s Khaleesi is a half-sister to four winners and this Lot’s granddam is 10-time winning mare in Bonnie Lass (NZ) (Camtastic).

Lot 2 is a colt out of Hot Toddy (NZ) (Falcon Seelster). This Lot is a half-brother to star pacer B Mac C (NZ) (Mach Three) and is from the highly successful ‘Toddy’ family. Hot Toddy is out of Group One winner Lady Toddy (NZ) (Live Or Die), dam of eight individual winners.

Lot 3 is a filly out offormer New Zealand record holder and stakes placed mare in Jamie (NZ) (Albert Albert). Jamie is out of Tuapeka Lodge’s super-producer Tuapeka Tango (NZ) (Smooth Fella), who is the dam of 10 individual winners.

Another colt (Lot 8) is the second foal from race-winning mare Motu Lightning Lass (NZ) (McArdle), a half-sister to seven winners. Among them is Motu Moonbeam (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), a winner of 26 races in America, with prizemoney earnings of nearly US$500,000.

Lot 9, a black filly out of My Blue Heaven (NZ) (Rock N Roll Heaven) is from the renowned ‘Banner’ family. Her pedigree page is stacked with black-type, with her being a close relation to multiple Group One winner Mainland Banner (NZ) (Christian Cullen), her Group One-winning daughter Rocker Band (Rocknroll Hanover) and multiple Group winner Titan Banner (NZ) (Art Major).

The first lot in the gavelhouse.com Standardbred fortnightly auction closes at 7:00PM (NZT) on Wednesday 26 May.

Buyers can view the full gavelhouse.com Standardbred catalogue online here.  

Gavelhouse buy rings in milestone for Hewitt

Gavelhouse graduate (I’m) Captain Max provided trainer-driver Brad Hewitt with a special victory on his family’s annual memorial raceday at Goulburn on Sunday.

At what was his second start for Hewitt having been bought online in October for $10,500, the five-year-old son of American Ideal provided him with his 500th driving win with a dominant performance.

Heading into the race as odds-on favourite, (I’m) Captain Max stalked the leaders in a mid-field position before Hewitt let him stride around the outside, taking control of proceedings in devastating fashion. Hitting the front before entering the straight, the pair left rivals 11.9m in arrears on the line.

“We had been keeping an eye on each of the gavelhouse.com catalogues for young horses and racing stock and he was one we were keen to secure and if it wasn’t for the cost of freight we’d have added more to the team from the site,” commented Hewitt.

“He’s one of 26 odd that my father and I have in work and he went really well on Sunday, running 11:55:4.

“At this stage we have no set plans with him, we will just keep taking him through the grades.”

Bred and originally raced by Stonewall Stud, Captain Max won on two occasions in New Zealand over 2000m and 2200m before being offered for sale on gavelhouse.com.

Currently there are four Standardbreds for sale on the site with bidding ending from 7pm on Wednesday 13 January from 7pm.

Photo credit: Lance Fearne/Amy Rees, Goulburn Paceway

Bidding tips

Following are some bidding tips to help you navigate the process.

  • Lot 1 will close from 7pm. If a bid is placed in the final 30 seconds, another 30 seconds is added onto the auction and to all subsequent Lots. This will keep happening until there are no further bids placed.
  • If you are are outbid, you must type in the next bid amount, the site does not automatically update the bid amount for you.
  • There is no benefit in letting auctions run down to the last second before bidding as the auction will just keep auto-extending until no further bids are placed. This practice increases your chances of missing out on horse. 
  • gavelhouse.com cannot identify loss of online connection, a slow internet connection or browser issues at the user’s end. Even a slight loss of internet connection that may not be noticeable can interrupt the user’s browser in following the sale in real-time therefore setting up an auto-bid is the best way to ensure your bids are placed. Google Chrome or Safari are the recommended internet browsers.
  • gavelhouse.com staff are able assist in actively supporting both buyers and vendors during the sale, if you need a hand with registration or bidding, we are available on phone +64 9 296 4436 or email   info@gavelhouse.com during our online auction to help.

Heartland Reduction featured in 20 Lot online auction

The latest fortnightly gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction features a bumper catalogue of 25 Lots including a quality draft as part of a Heartland Farm Reduction Sale.

gavelhouse.com Standardbred representative Cam Bray is thrilled with the performance of the site and the momentum built over recent months “Judging by the site’s traffic people are now accustomed to tuning in fortnightly to see what our latest offering is like and we have been consistently clearing in excess of 80% of entries,” he said.

“As we approach the end of the year, this latest catalogue is going to be exciting to follow over the coming week with Heartland Farm entrusting us with some quality stock as they look to cut back on numbers,”

“There’s a good cross-section of stock and I believe something for everyone in the market looking to add to their operations.”

Some highlights from the Heartland Farm Reduction include:

  • Lot 1 – A colt foal by Betting Line from the black-print Art Major mare Spirit of Art. Her three to race all have black-print to their credit including Gr.3 Leonard Mem Stakes and Gr.3 WA Gold Bracelet winner Dracarys.
  • Lot 4 – Divine Light. A yearling Skyvalley filly from a sibling to black-print winners Mr Chin, (I’m) Light Hearted and Vibhuti.
  • Lot 7  – Perun. A yearling colt by Betting Line from the winning Dream Away mare Bianca.
  • Lot 23 – Cathar. An incredibly well-related mare who is the dam of two black—print winners and is a sibling to seven to have achieved the same.

Other highlights include:

  • Lot 8 – Lawyer Girl. A Always B Miki yearling filly who is the last foal from the outstanding producer Van Seraa.
  • Lot 10 – Carrera Sunshine. A two-year-old filly by Sunshine Beach, she is the first foal from the winning Bettor’s Delight mare All That Glitters.
  • Lot 20 – Waingaro Ideal (pictured). In work until last week, Waingaro Ideal is a lightly raced, winning four-year-old son of American Ideal from the black-print mare Waingaro Lassie.

The auction also features more broodmares, yearlings, unraced horses and racehorses. Bidding ends starting with Lot 1 from 7pm on Wednesday 2 December.

gavelhouse.com Standardbred entries due today

The revised fortnightly format of gavelhouse.com Standardbred auctions has been paying dividends of late with entries for the next sale due online today by 7pm.

Bolstering the domestic buying bench have been Australian and Canadian-based enthusiasts with gavelhouse.com Standardbred representative Cam Bray heartened by the consistently strong results.

“Our last three sales have resulted in clearance rates of 83%, 88% and 88% with the highest price fetched being $27,000 in these sales,” said Bray.

 “It’s now widely accepted as a tried and true platform to sell all Bloodstock and what has been most remarkable lately has been the demand for racing stock from our Australian-based trainers and agents.”

The next auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday 15 October and will run through until 7pm on Wednesday 21 October.

gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction rescheduled

Entries for the next gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction have been extended until Wednesday 19 August to give sellers breathing space in light of the recent reintroduction of COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Should there be sufficient entries on Wednesday 19 August at 7pm, the auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday 20 August and run through until 7pm on Wednesday 26 August.

If you have any questions about using gavelhouse.com contact the team via 09 296 4439 or email info@gavelhouse.com. To set up an account to buy and sell, head to the site to register.

gavelhouse.com Standardbred auctions now fortnightly

After entering the digital auction-sphere for Standardbreds just under a year ago, gavelhouse.com is upping the ante by increasing the frequency of their popular mixed stock auctions to fortnightly.

gavelhouse.com’s General Manager Haylie Martin believes the change will benefit all.

“The fortnightly auctions have been incredibly successful on our thoroughbred site and at a time in the industry where every dollar counts more than ever, this gives owners the opportunity to trade out of horses faster,” Martin said.

“This will also spread the workload for transporters and staff more evenly over the months while building momentum with buyers tuning in more often.”

In its short time online, gavelhouse.com Standardbred has made a big impression on the industry, becoming a valuable addition to the trading landscape both domestically and internationally.

Recently the site played host to parent company NZB Standardbred’s 2020 All Age Sale, which saw 138 lots sell for a turnover of $1,042,310 and the clearance rate topping 97%.

The highest price fetched for on the site to date is $52,500 for Alta Debonair (pictured above), an Art Major colt sold by Alabar NZ.

Entries for the next auction are set to close next Wednesday 15 July at 7pm, with the sale going live Thursday 16 July at 5pm running through until the following Wednesday 22 July.

Bidding will close from the first Lot incrementally starting at 7pm on 22 July.

For enquiries contact representative Cam Bray by calling +64 21 737 199 or emailing cam.bray@nzb.co.nz.

Related News

NZB Airfreight on Track to Resume Flights

Following the temporary suspension of equine exports last week due to a positive case of equine piroplasmosis, NZB Airfreight is confident that travel will resume shortly with increased testing and pre-export protocols.

The single case of the tick-borne protozoal disease was detected by the Ministry of Primary Industries and grounded flights just two weeks following the resumption of exports post COVID-19.

NZB Airfreight has since worked closely with MPI, the Department of Agriculture Australia and Asure Quality to ensure minimum delay and impact on future exports.

While new regulations and safety plans are already in place due to COVID-19, flights are set to resume in the next two to three weeks with a slightly longer lead in time due to new requirements of pre-export blood testing specifically for piroplasmosis.

NZB Airfreight Manager Greg Northcott is hopeful that New Zealand can regain nationwide freedom from piroplasmosis and return to a simpler exporting process that owners and breeders are accustomed to, once the investigation is completed.

“Thanks to the detail and traceability procedures of Cambridge Stud and the MPI Investigation team, they were able to quickly respond and provide confidence to our trading partners that exporting of horses could resume,” commented Northcott.

“We are aware of the urgency to get horses across to Australia and further afield for racing and breeding commitments.

“Our clients have been extremely patient given the COVID-19 restrictions and now the piroplasmosis set back that has caused a significant delay in exports, so we appreciate that and the tireless work of many officials to get freighting back up and running as soon as possible.”

NZB continue to work closely with all regulatory bodies, airlines and governments around the world to get travel lines open to all of our major racing jurisdictions.

For any queries or to book your horses flight, contact NZB Airfreight Manager Greg Northcott on +64 27 459 4995 or email Greg.Northcott@nzb.co.nz.