News Releases

Thursday, August 17, 2023Contact: Gary Falter (859) 224-2803
Thoroughbred Owner Conference Series Covers Buying at Public Auction

The seventh panel of the OwnerView Virtual Thoroughbred Owner Conference held Tuesday, August 15, featured bloodstock agents Erin Birkenhauer, Marette Farrell, and Mike Ryan and auctioneer Tom Biederman discussing horse selection and the bidding process at Thoroughbred auctions. The panel was moderated by OwnerView’s project manager, Gary Falter.

The conference is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and sponsored by Bessemer Trust, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and The Green Group. This panel was sponsored by Fasig-Tipton and Woodbine.

Attendees were able to ask questions through Zoom’s Q&A feature, sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds.

Topics included yearling sales, buying 2-year-olds, buying horses in training, the importance of vet records, and conformation.

For new owners, Ryan said, “For people getting into the business for the first time, a great approach is to buy some fillies because you have some exit strategy, you’ve got resale/residual value.”

Birkenhauer emphasized that even in select sales, you never make assumptions. “Do your due diligence, whether you are at the select sale or the last book at Keeneland,” she said.

Regarding 2-year-old sales, Ferrell said, “I am a firm believer in giving all 2-year-olds a break. They need it. … They don’t lose their fitness if they get a few weeks downtime or a month downtime.”  

Biederman agreed. “Once the September or October sale is over, they go to the farm, are broken and then trained consistently every day until that 2-year-old sale,” he said. “It’s very important to get that break afterward.”

There are four more Thoroughbred Owner Conference virtual panels scheduled for 2023, with the next session, Claiming, to be held September 12 at 2 p.m. ET. A full schedule can be found here:, and a replay of all panels can be viewed here:

There is no registration fee for the virtual conference series, but registration is required. For more information about the owner conference, please visit or contact Gary Falter at 859.224.2803 or

OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.

The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.