The global pandemic of COVID-19 that has affected millions around the globe, brought the world to a standstill, shutting down entertainment and sports. It has claimed yet another victim is falling prey to it. Australia’s
The global pandemic of COVID-19 that has affected millions around the globe, brought the world to a standstill, shutting down entertainment and sports. It has claimed yet another victim is falling prey to it.
Australia’s most lucrative and one of the most significant thoroughbred sales has been staggered and how! The Inglis family who has been auctioning horses for more than a hundred years now had to hold this year’s Inglis Easter yearling auction online. The family is well renowned for owning the world’s finest bloodstock.
The official Inglis spokesperson Sebastian Hutch commented that unprecedented times call for extraordinary measures. Though not all the horses will be sold this year, we are glad they have at least decided to take the registered sale online.
With the auction going online, it is not only difficult for the people involved in selling the bloodstock, but also it is equally difficult for the people buying them. The Inglis Easter yearling sale is a pride of the southern hemisphere with the best equine athletes available, and hence, the pressure on the organising team is immense.
Impact of COVID19:
The sale generally attracts all the horse lovers from all across the globe and the deal going online is a dreadful example of COVID19’s effect on Horse Racing. Tom Reilly, the Australian president for thoroughbred breeders, admits that this year has been a game-changer and with the entire sale going online, it just gets more complicated.
The dual-hemisphere stallions that need to come down to Australia for the purchase cannot fly alone. With Australia shutting down, its borders for international travel, its arrival is at risk.
The Australian government is not worried about the horses infecting the locals they are concerned about the person handling the horse. Diversity in breeding is essential for this thoroughbred sale, and with the flying restrictions, everything is disrupted.
Reilly further elaborates on the economic impact of the breeding season on dozens of rural and regional communities. Not only is the pandemic affecting the industry, but also the livelihoods of the people associated with the breeding. It is a significant economic loss, Reilly adds.
Effect on the industry:
Quentin Wallace, a livestock transporter for approximately 50 years now, says that this is one of the very few times that there have been issues with international thoroughbred’s travel. The impact of the travel ban will be felt by many. It is not the horses that pose a problem; it is the person that accompanies the horse.
The horse groomer is treated like a regular passenger who goes back and forth, delivering horses, and Australia has banned entries. Australia proudly boasts of the world’s second-largest horse breeding industry.
With approximately 660 stud farms all across the nation, concentrating majorly in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, the industry is sure to take a hit due to the international travel ban. The thoroughbred breeding industry is worth 1$ billion a year and employs approximately 8000 people, majorly from the regional and rural areas of Australia.