Wake-up call for Western Australia

Aushorse CEO Peter McGauran has warned West Australian breeders they need to become more proactive.

McGauran is the keynote speaker at the WA Racing Symposium currently being held at the Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth.

While lauding local breeders for making significant progress over the past decade, he said the Sunspeed industry needed to grow its overseas yearling market or risk losing it to interstate breeders.

“February’s Perth Magic Millions yearling sale was a wake-up call,” McGauran said.  “The Perth aggregate dropped $1.3 million and $1 million of that was from Singaporean buyers not being there.

“We have to examine why, instead of going to Perth, they went to Adelaide a fortnight later and spent big.  If the Singapore buyers had spent the same amount as they did in 2010 there would have hardly been any difference.”

McGauran said being isolated helped WA weather the equine influenza crisis of 2007.  “There has been significant growth in recent years,” he said.  “The local breeding industry is healthy but there’s no room for complacency.”

McGauran’s comments follow a review by TBWA and Magic Millions of the 2011 Perth Premier yearling sale.  A proposal to reduce the Premier section from three sessions to two will be the first step in rationalising the auction which finished with an unacceptable 67% clearance rate this year.