10/23/2017 2:26PM

All-white yearling Blizzard Condition hammers for $21,000

Fasig-Tipton photo
Blizzard Condition, who sold for $21,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale on Monday, is the 14th white Thoroughbred of any age to be auctioned in North America since 1999.

Since 2002, the North American auction market has seen just eight registered white Thoroughbreds go through the ring during the yearling season. The number of eventual Kentucky Derby winners offered in the same span of time is seven.

The newest member of the exclusive club of white auction graduates was Blizzard Condition, a completely unmarked Get Stormy colt who sold to Becky Thomas as agent for David Hutson for $21,000 on Monday at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale.

“He wanted him because he’s obviously a collector’s item,” Thomas said after signing the ticket. “I’m not clear what he’s going to do with him, perhaps race him, then have him for his daughter for a hunter.”

Blizzard Condition is the 14th white Thoroughbred of any age to be auctioned in North America since 1999. He is the first white yearling offered since Stoneway Farm bought the Thunder Gulch colt Painted Patchen for $29,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton October sale.

While white horses are an exceptional rarity in the auction space, their prices typically don’t reflect it.

The 14 white auction graduates have been offered a combined 17 times, and sold in 12 of those instances for an average price of $32,376. Blizzard Condition improved the average hammer price among the eight white horses offered as yearlings to $19,827.

Blizzard Condition was bred by Denise Purvis of Full Circle Farm in Lexington, Ky. His dam, the unraced solid-white mare Packed Powder, is a daughter of The White Fox, a runner and late sire for the noted white-producing Patchen Wilkes Farm in Lexington.

Blizzard Condition is the third foal out of Packed Powder, and he was her first registered white.

“I bred her to Get Stormy so I could get something with some flash, with some white legs,” Purvis said, referencing Get Stormy’s prominent socks and blaze. “I did not expect to get a full-white horse.”

Purvis saw firsthand just how much attention a white horse can garner on the sale grounds, running show cards for consignor Brandywine Farm, which handled the colt at the Fasig-Tipton sale.

“He’s been very popular,” she said. “He’s a nice-looking colt, even without being white. If he was a brown colt, he would still have a nice body, correct, but the white makes him a novelty. He’s quite the distraction.”

White and light gray Thoroughbreds can be visually appealing, but keeping their coats clean can be an especially trying exercise for their owners, compared with darker-colored horses that can better hide dirt, mud, and grass stains.

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Purvis said Blizzard Condition was surprisingly easy to maintain. His paddock at Full Circle Farm contained many walnut trees, and the fallen by-products can create hard-to-clean green stains on a light-coated horse that decides to roll, but they never left a serious mark on the colt.

“He’s not as bad as you’d think,” Purvis said. “Obviously, every little bit of dust shows, but that just comes with having a light-colored horse. I could have a gray, and that could be the same. He wears a blanket at night and he wears a hood, so I don’t have to completely drown him in the morning, but he’s easier to keep than you’d anticipate.

“The hardest part is the hair in their tails, how they get that dingy yellow,” Purvis continued. “I actually went to some people that have white hair, and I asked them what they do to keep their hair white and not have it turn yellow. They told me what kind of shampoo they use, and I went and bought that shampoo, and that’s what he gets a bath in every morning.”