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Sunday, December 16, 2007


Herefordshire-based auctioneer Brightwells has gained the sole rights for bloodstock sales at Cheltenham Racecourse from 2008 onwards.

Brightwells has held an evening gala auction in the Centaur complex at Cheltenham’s April Meeting for the past four years.

This sale has rapidly established itself as one of the premier places to buy jump horses in Britain. In 2006, Rhacophorus set a record price at the sale for a jumping mare in training when selling for £220,000.

Other notable performers to have emerged from the April evening gala auction include the very useful chaser Abragante (sold for £90,000 in 2005), the hugely-promising bumper winner Viking Rebel (sold for £120,000 in 2007), Amaretto Rose (sold for £10,000 in 2005), who was a Grade Two winner at Haydock prior to finishing third in the 2007 Grade One Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival, recent impressive Kempton handicap hurdle scorer Chomba Womba (sold for £160,000 in 2007) and Sir Jimmy Shand (sold for £32,000 in 2005), runner-up in the Grade One Challow Hurdle at Newbury in 2006.

In 2008, there will be three bloodstock sales at Cheltenham Racecourse, all taking place in the form of an evening gala auction in the Centaur - Saturday, January 26 (Festival Trials Day), Wednesday, April 16 (first day of the April Meeting) and Friday, December 12 (day one of the Boylesports International). From 2009, the number of bloodstock and sport horse auctions at Cheltenham will increase significantly.

Established in 1846 and based at Leominster, Brightwells is a leading provider of auction services, estate agency and chartered surveying. Its principal activities include auctions of fine art, vehicles (Brightwells is the only UK-based auctioneer to hold specialist 4x4 sales), horses, machinery, agricultural livestock and land; estate agency for residential property sales, residential lettings and farm and land sales, and professional services of chartered surveying, including land management, for urban and rural land owners. Brightwells also has an associated insurance division.

The company first became involved in thoroughbred bloodstock sales in 1991 and regularly holds auctions both at Cheltenham and Ascot. In recent years, Brightwells has established relationships with Irish and French vendors, who are expected to offer top-class horses at upcoming sales.

Terry Court, Joint Managing Director at Brightwells, commented: “Brightwells is both delighted and honoured to have secured sole rights for bloodstock auctions at Cheltenham. Our thanks go to the management at Cheltenham for making this possible.

“Our April sale has grown year on year since its inception in 2004 and has produced several top-notch performers and a very healthy percentage of winners.

“This agreement will enable Brightwells to develop significantly its role in the selling of the very best jump horses and we will be offering top-quality consignments from Britain, Ireland and France at Cheltenham from 2008 onwards.”

Edward Gillespie, Cheltenham’s Managing Director, added: “As the home of Jump racing, Cheltenham is keen to be seen as the place for both racing and buying the very best horses.

“The Centaur has proved an excellent venue for bloodstock auctions and there are some very promising performers emerging from horses sold at Brightwells’ April sales over the past four years.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Brightwells which we are delighted to cement with this agreement, with exciting plans to be announced for the future.”


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