09/07/2004 11:00PM

$341,000 in sales voided


AUBURN, Wash. - Preliminary figures indicate that Tuesday's Washington Horse Breeders Association summer yearling sale produced gains in gross sales, average price, and median price despite an incident that resulted in the voiding of 22 sales.

The canceled sales stemmed from an apparent misunderstanding between a bloodstock agent, Bret St. Amand, and Cecil Underwood of Calahoo, Alberta. According to the breeders' asociation's general manager, Ralph Vacca, St. Amand produced a letter of authorization apparently signed by Underwood, but that letter did not specify how many horses were to be purchased through the agent or how much was to be spent.

St. Amand proceeded to purchase 22 yearlings for a total of $341,000 before Underwood called the breeders group late in the sale to say that St. Amand had far exceeded his authorization. Underwood told the WTBA he would not accept any of St. Amand's purchases.

Vacca said many buyers had left the premises by that time, and it would have been unfair to the consigners to run the disputed horses through the ring again. The combined boards of the breeders group and the sales committee met early Wednesday morning and decided to attempt to sell the disputed yearlings privately, with the consent of their consignors. By noon Wednesday, five of the 22 yearlings had been sold again.

Vacca said consigners whose yearlings do not sell privately may enter them back in the WTBA winter sale in December with no fees or commissions. He did not rule out seeking legal remedies in the interim.

Despite the voided sales, a total of 150 yearlings sold for a gross of $2,508,800, which was up 1.1 percent from last year's sale. The average price of $16,725 was up 5.1 percent, and the median price of $12,250 was up 2.1 percent.

The sale-topper was the next-to-last yearling sold, Hip No. 216, a filly by Slewdledo from the Exploded matron Exploded's Girl. Ron Crockett purchased the filly, a full sister to multiple stakes winner I'madrifter, from the consignment of Ken and Patricia Paulson and Bar C Racing Stable for $92,000.