Auction sales offer the widest selection and often assure fair market values for horses. It is safe to say that they are the option of choice for many buyers.
The table below summarizes the advantages and disadvantages associated with purchasing a horse at the various ages:
To familiarize yourself with the sales process, we suggest you attend several as an observer; consider it a dry run. This exercise should include selecting horses to inspect, evaluating them based upon their pedigree and conformation and estimating their selling price. As you compare your figures to the actual selling price, a sense of the market will develop. In addition, through attending the sale, you will gain an understanding of the auction environment.
The auction purchase process can be separated into three stages: Before, during and after. However, each phase is dependent on the other. The after phase is somewhat a misnomer as proper provisions for this final stage, such as payment, insurance needs and boarding arrangements, should be made in advance.