Yearling sales

If a foal is born with the right attributes, they are looked after extremely well. Minor deformities can render a horse worthless and may mean a very early death. Some cosmetic deformities may be operated on or treated, risking further injury to the young horse.

A colt at the Inglis sale yards credit: ABC Inglis sale yards

To make the foals more attractive to bidders at the yearling sales, horses are then subject to a regime of exercise and sometimes drugs to increase their appeal and profitability.

It is not uncommon for yearlings to be purchased for a price in excess of $20,000. In April 2006 at the Sydney Easter Sales a yearling was sold for three million dollars.

This high price tag does not guarantee success. Many horses disappear after only a few races.