01/14/2003 1:00AM

Ocala numbers up at opener


The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's winter mixed sale in Ocala, Fla., got underway Monday with its only consignor-preferred session. There were strong gains in gross receipts, average price, and median, despite the lack of a six-figure horse.

The Monday session posted a top price of $80,000 for Norwegian Wood, a 3-year-old half-sister to the 1994 Horse of the Year, Holy Bull. Ro Parra, owner of Millennium Farms, purchased the filly - by Wild Again out of Sharon Brown - from Becky Boyd's Peacock Ridge agency.

In total, the session sold 198 horses for an aggregate $3,192,400, up 9 percent from last year's opener. The 2002 consignor-preferred session sold 244 horses for $2,918,400. The average price improved 35 percent this year, rising from last year's $11,961 to $16,123, and the median shot up 92 percent, nearly doubling from $6,500 last year to $12,750 in 2003.

But the buy-back figure also rose, from 18 percent to 34 percent this year.

On Tuesday, the auction's first of two open sessions began with $20,000 Hunting Jade, a 7-year-old Jade Hunter mare in foal to Time Bandit, as the early price leader. James and Janeane Everatt bought Hunting Jade from Red Oak Farm.

The sale was to continue through Wednesday.