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The Inaugural Signature Sale

by Diana Davidson

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - April 4 and 5, 2008, marked the dates of the inaugural Signature Sale. Sale organizers Jim and Jenny Taylor began planning this event well over a year ago based on the need for an annual spring sale of quality Morgan consignments to meet the needs of sellers and buyers. The venue was The Champions Center in Springfield, Ohio that featured stabling, warm up and sale arena all under one roof. The location was also centrally located for buyers and sellers who came from the West Coast to the Southeast to New England as well as the Midwest. Through widespread advertising and promotion of the Signature Sale, an outstanding group of proven show horses from a variety of divisions, prospects and broodmares were consigned to the sale.

The Signature Sale festivities began on Friday, April 4 at 6 p.m. with a lovely reception in the beautifully transformed sale arena. Hundreds of people gathered to chat about the sale, the news of the off-season and the prospects for the upcoming show season.

When the clock struck 7 p.m., it was time for the main event. Pedigree-reader Bill Carrington welcomed the audience and added a few words from Jim and Jenny Taylor and introduced auctioneer Walt Robertson and his ring men to the crowd. The curtain then rose for the CopperDragon session of the sale that featured over 30 consignments from two of the premier breeding programs in the Morgan breed, Copper Beech and Dragonsmeade. The sale resumed on Saturday with both a day and an evening session.

When the final gavel fell, the inaugural Signature Sale featured an average of over $4,000 on the horses sold. The top five average was right at $25,000 with the top 10 coming in at right under $16,000. The sale topper was the final horse presented on the runway. Saralin Royal Blue earned a bid of $50,000 from Rick and Lisa Howa. The four-year-old son of Simply Maserati and Wildblue Yonder was bred and consigned by Saralin Farm with Blackridge as agent. A blue ribbon winner in his only show ring performance, the future looks bright for this young entertainer.

The top two sellers came from Blackridge as Uppercase Innovation commanded $29,000 with Lynn Peeples acting as agent for Cynthia Fawcett. John and Claire Bagge were the breeders and consignors of the dynamic five-year-old bay gelding sired by And The Beat Goes On and out of HVK Obsessed. At $21,000, FRF Looking Glass was the third highest seller with Lynn Peeples again signing the ticket, this time for Bill Shean. The seven-year-old bay mare with three crosses to Serenity Masterpiece looked ready to cross the finish line in blue ribbon fashion in the roadster division when Brian Stewart directed her in the sale arena for her consignors Jim and Linda Stewart of Lookaway Farm.

The Sicard family was delighted with their purchase of the six-year-old bay gelding Merriehill Times Square at $15,500 as the fourth highest selling consignment. The many time champion English pleasure and pleasure driving gelding sired by Tug Hill Whamunition and out of Merriehill Ruthless Ruth was consigned and presented by Merriehill Farm.

In addition to supporting the sale with their consignment of several impressive youngsters and outstanding broodmares, Dragonsmeade also purchased a trio of top 10 selling horses. They signed the ticket on DMH Dark Of Knight (Mizrahi x HVK Firefly) as the fifth highest seller and also added show ring winners Final Judgement and Christina Dellarose. PLS High Pine Mona Lisa, the daughter of Park Saddle World Champions Serenity Masterpiece and Firewind Diva, took her place in the top 10 with Amos Yoder selecting the three-year-old mare from owner/breeders Joy and Paul Scala.

A pair of Copper Beech consignments rounded out the top 10, representing the get of War And Peace. Kim Swartz is the new owner of the seven-year-old chestnut mare Groovy Girl who is a 3/4 sister to Continental Vision. The impressive bay yearling colt CBMF Art Of War, out of Boxford Living Art, was chosen by Patricia Lloyd to add to her show string.

The Signature Sale certainly met its goal of offering a spring consignment sale for quality entries meeting the needs of consignors and buyers. The sale was professionally run in a perfectly suited venue.

Following the sale, Jim and Jenny Taylor offered this assessment, "Everyone seems to want to know how we feel about the sale and what the future holds for the Signature Sale. This was the first Signature Sale, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth and so on. We have made a commitment not only to the breeders, the trainers and the owners of Morgan horses, but to the Morgan breed as a whole. We firmly believe there is a need for a venue of this type to be used as a market place for all Morgan enthusiasts.

"We will continue to make every effort to create an event were both the consignor and the buyer will benefit. We were very pleased with the group of horses offered this year and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our consignors and buyers for helping to make our inaugural sale a success.

"We are already working on the 2009 Signature Sale and looking forward to assisting you in marketing your Morgan horses."

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