2021 Yearling Market Sees Restoration & Rejuvenation

Auction Digest series begins with yearling market overview


The focus of the 2020 sale season was trying to survive in the face of an unprecedented pandemic, forcing the rescheduling or  complete cancellation of many sales. The market saw across-the-board reductions in number sold, gross, average, and median, not unexpected given the global circumstances. Fortunately, as the industry looked to 2021 for a return to stability, the yearling market rebounded spectacularly.

For every loss in 2020, 2021 posted gains in nearly every metric over even 2019’s pre-pandemic bull market. With 7,724 yearlings offered, 2021 presented nearly 800 fewer yearlings than the 8,517 in 2019, but that was the only statistic that underachieved this season. The 6,358 yearlings that sold grossed $552,636,037 compared to $532,147,622 for 6,387 head in 2019, a slight increase of 3.9%. Average increased correspondingly with a 4.3% gain to $86,920 from 2019’s $83,317. But the arguably most impressive figure from this season is the median achieved this sale year. Surging from an already strong median of $23,000 in 2019, the yearling crop soared to an incredible $32,000 median in 2021—an astounding 39% gain.


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