The important role played by the CBA

 Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association  Offers a Seat at the Table for Everyone in the Game  By  Cynthia McFarland       Thrilling. Challenging. Rewarding. Overwhelming.     Ask anyone whose livelihood is tied to the world of thoroughbred sales, and all of those adjectives apply, depending on the day. Or the moment.     Because the whole sales process can also be intimidating at times, it's reassuring to find there's actually an organization that represents all players - large and small.     Located in Lexington, Kentucky, the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA) is comprised of a far-reaching group of people who make their living in the thoroughbred breeding industry. The organisation was created to provide a unified voice of representation for the breeders and consignors who provide the horses that drive the industry.     The CBA was launched in 2005 by a group of prominent consignors and breeders who believed the thoroughbred industry could improve the way commerce was handled. They sought to do that by creating a non-profit, dues-based organisation that would educate and promote unity.     "If you look at the wine industry in California and Europe, the automotive industry and other trades, more often than not, unity brings about better trade. There is a cohesion of ideas and a progressive sharing of trade interests," observes Joe Seitz, current CBA president.     "There was a void where the people producing the product didn't really have a voice. We wanted to have a seat at the table when issues came up regarding ethics and integrity, veterinary topics, sales company practices, regulatory entities, legislation, and even how sales companies design and lay out their sales and facilities," explains Seitz. "This is a moving, fluid market, so we're always needing to make things better for breeders, sellers and buyers."    The CBA has filled that void in a most productive manner. The organisation's mission statement says it all: "The CBA works democratically on behalf of every consignor and commercial breeder, large and small, to provide  representation  and a constructive, unified voice related to sales issues, policies, and procedures. The association’s initiatives are designed to  encourage a  fair and expanding market place for all who breed, buy, or sell thoroughbreds."     That might sound ambitious, but the CBA has stepped up to the proverbial plate and become an educator, advocate, and representative for pretty much everyone who makes a living connected with the thoroughbred breeding business.     Although the name does not refer to them, buyers are an integral part of the CBA's mission. After all, when buyers have the information they need to make knowledgeable, confident, buying decisions, everyone involved - breeder, consignor, sales company and buyer - benefits.     Several important initiatives lie at the core of the CBA. These include:  education  ethics and integrity  veterinary science issues  working directly with sales companies      Education      One highly successful project of the CBA is the "Plain and Simple" series of educational books, which clearly explain various aspects of the sales process and are available for free download from the CBA's website.  The booklets educate both buyers and sellers about key aspects of the public auction.     "They've been requested all over the world and have been reprinted in multiple languages, even Japanese," says Seitz.     "We've also held three symposiums in Lexington that were well received and covered a myriad of topics important to anyone buying or selling thoroughbreds," he says, adding that broadcasts are posted on the website.     Additional educational efforts include the CBA's quarterly online newsletter, as well as a monthly sales calendar email filled with sales deadlines and requirements designed to help breeders who are selling, as well as consignors.     The CBA is also instrumental in spreading the word about the success of American-bred horses on the international scene via the U.S.-bred marketing programme. "America produces great horses and it's our job to help people realize that. We're one of five organizations that contribute to this marketing campaign highlighting what U.S-bred horses have done, so people looking for next year's runners will know to source our markets here," says Seitz.     It's worth noting that six of the top ten highest-selling horses at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up sale in April 2018 were U.S.-bred, including the sale-topping Scat Daddy colt, who sold for $1,350,405.  At the Arqana 2018 Deauville Breeze Up Sale in May, four of the top five best-selling juveniles were bred in the U.S., including another sale-topping Scat Daddy colt, this one selling for $985,215.     Of course, what ultimately matters is how horses perform and U.S.-bred thoroughbreds have excelled on foreign soil. In 2017, there were 10 U.S.-bred grade one winners in Europe, Asia, Dubai and Australia, and 31 group winners. U.S-bred horses accounted for 44 group wins and 79 group placings last year.     Recent standouts include Lady Aurelia, multiple group one winner who was named  Cartier Champion Two-year-old Filly  (2016); and US Navy Flag, millionaire and multiple group one winner, who in 2017 became the first horse in 35 years to complete the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Gr. 1) - Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Gr. 1) double, setting a new course record in the Dewhurst.      Ethics and Integrity      There can be no equal opportunity without a fair playing field and the CBA actively strives to promote ethical dealings in horse transactions. The organisation works with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) Sales Integrity Task Force, which is charged with exploring all aspects of making sales as ethical as possible for everyone concerned.    The CBA was involved with several initiatives in 2006 and 2007 in which Kentucky legislation found it unlawful to represent both buyer and seller unless both parties were notified in advance.     "We joined the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity in 2015," says Seitz. "We also worked with Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton when they introduced the anabolic steroid testing policy in 2015, which was the first such policy in the world."     Seitz points out that the organisation also feels an obligation to care for horses after their racing careers are over. To that end, the CBA works with sales companies and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.      Veterinary Science      It's no surprise for an organisation focused on improving the sales process that veterinary issues consume a good deal of that focus.     Gray Lyster chairs the CBA's Veterinary Committee, which constantly works with members of the veterinary community on ways to provide information in a concise and timely manner, while at the same time presenting the horse in the best way possible.     "As in any industry, technology is advancing rapidly and provides opportunity to enhance trade. The CBA is currently exploring several initiatives to possibly streamline the veterinary process: videoendoscopy and a smartphone app for veterinarians to provide veterinary information for buyers during the sale in real time," says Seitz.     "Veterinary science is ever changing," he adds. "Breeders produce the horses and at the end of the day the veterinarians have a very important say in the sales process."      Sales Companies      The CBA regularly works with the various sales companies discussing format, facility, repository and informational issues, working hand-in-hand with the companies to improve the overall sales process.     Kerry Cauthen heads the Sales Issues Committee, which canvases the CBA to find out which topics are of concern to CBA members. For example, it's important that showing areas at all barns across the sales grounds are consistent. It's also crucial to make the repositories as user-friendly and interactive as possible for veterinarians, as this makes pre-purchase exams more streamlined and efficient.     "We've been very pleased with the cooperation and assistance we've received from the sales companies when we sit down to discuss issues and find common ground. They value and welcome our opinion," notes Seitz. "We've been very encouraged by the reception."     Several topics that will help improve the entire sales experience are currently in discussion and in the process of being implemented as of this writing; details will be forthcoming.      Wide Membership      While the association is constantly soliciting feedback from buyers, most members are producers and sellers. Of course, there is overlap and there are currently several members on the board who are actively involved in both selling  and  buying, and can provide insight from both perspectives.     One of these is Liz Crow, a bloodstock agent based in Lexington, who consigns under the name Elite Sales and buys under the name BSW Bloodstock. Crow was a CBA member for over a year before becoming part of the board this past spring.    "The CBA is a great organisation to provide support for both sides (buyers and sellers)," says Crow. "You get representation with everyone coming together to discuss issues and many have a voice in getting policies changed. One consignor can't get something changed at Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton, but by getting 20 consignors together, you can get policies and issues shifted in the direction that would be good for everybody. Our main goal is to make our business stronger."    Crow is also pleased that the CBA constantly works with sale companies regarding veterinary issues. "They're always trying to improve the veterinary work that goes on at sales, as far as what information is available to buyers that is also constructive for the sellers," she notes.     The CBA is open to suggestions about topics of concern and educational opportunities. Members are encouraged to share their thoughts by email. Horsemen can easily become members by going to the website, clicking the "Membership" tab and clicking on either the "breeder" or "consignor" form.     For more information about the CBA, visit their website - consignorsandbreeders.com.

By Cynthia McFarland

Thrilling. Challenging. Rewarding. Overwhelming.

Ask anyone whose livelihood is tied to the world of thoroughbred sales, and all of those adjectives apply, depending on the day. Or the moment.

Because the whole sales process can also be intimidating at times, it's reassuring to find there's actually an organization that represents all players - large and small.

Located in Lexington, Kentucky, the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA) is comprised of a far-reaching group of people who make their living in the thoroughbred breeding industry. The organisation was created to provide a unified voice of representation for the breeders and consignors who provide the horses that drive the industry.

The CBA was launched in 2005 by a group of prominent consignors and breeders who believed the thoroughbred industry could improve the way commerce was handled. They sought to do that by creating a non-profit, dues-based organisation that would educate and promote unity.

"If you look at the wine industry in California and Europe, the automotive industry and other trades, more often than not, unity brings about better trade. There is a cohesion of ideas and a progressive sharing of trade interests," observes Joe Seitz, current CBA president.

"There was a void where the people producing the product didn't really have a voice. We wanted to have a seat at the table when issues came up regarding ethics and integrity, veterinary topics, sales company practices, regulatory entities, legislation, and even how sales companies design and lay out their sales and facilities," explains Seitz. "This is a moving, fluid market, so we're always needing to make things better for breeders, sellers and buyers."

“The CBA is a great organisation to provide support for both sides (buyers and sellers).” LIZ CROW, Elite Sales/BSW Bloodstock

The CBA has filled that void in a most productive manner. The organisation's mission statement says it all: "The CBA works democratically on behalf of every consignor and commercial breeder, large and small, to provide representation and a constructive, unified voice related to sales issues, policies, and procedures. The association’s initiatives are designed to encourage a fair and expanding market place for all who breed, buy, or sell thoroughbreds."

That might sound ambitious, but the CBA has stepped up to the proverbial plate and become an educator, advocate, and representative for pretty much everyone who makes a living connected with the thoroughbred breeding business.

Although the name does not refer to them, buyers are an integral part of the CBA's mission. After all, when buyers have the information they need to make knowledgeable, confident, buying decisions, everyone involved - breeder, consignor, sales company and buyer - benefits.

Several important initiatives lie at the core of the CBA. These include:

  • education

  • ethics and integrity

  • veterinary science issues

  • working directly with sales companies

Education…

One highly successful project of the CBA is the "Plain and Simple" series of educational books, which clearly explain various aspects of the sales process and are available for free download from the CBA's website.

The booklets educate both buyers and sellers about key aspects of the public auction.

"They've been requested all over the world and have been reprinted in multiple languages, even Japanese," says Seitz.

"We've also held three symposiums in Lexington that were well received and covered a myriad of topics important to anyone buying or selling thoroughbreds," he says, adding that broadcasts are posted on the website.

Additional educational efforts include the CBA's quarterly online newsletter, as well as a monthly sales calendar email filled with sales deadlines and requirements designed to help breeders who are selling, as well as consignors.

TO READ MORE —

BUY THIS ISSUE IN PRINT OR DOWNLOAD -

Breeders’ Cup 2018, issue 50 (PRINT)

$6.95

Pre Breeders’ Cup 2018, issue 50 (DOWNLOAD)

$3.99

WHY NOT SUBSCRIBE?

DON'T MISS OUT AND SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE THE NEXT FOUR ISSUES!

Print & Online Subscription

$24.95

EQUITHRIVE Trainer of the Quarter - Uriah St. Lewis

PA Day at the Races

0