International participation and the development of online bidding helped to contribute to a solid renewal of the Arqana December Sale, which drew to a close in Deauville on Tuesday.

The overall figures for the four days showed a clearance rate of 79% for the 704 horses offered, recording an average of €45,467, down 14% from 2019, and an overall turnover of €25,800,500.

Arqana reported an enthusiastic reaction to its online bidding platform, with a total of 150 bidders gaining approval and the platform generating a volume of €2.5 million, or 10% of the total sales.

In order to be able to compare this year’s auction with previous years, it is necessary to integrate the figures from the National Hunt Breeding day which was held as an extension of the Autumn Sale this year.

“The breeding stock sale is a perfect reflection of the overall results for the year,” said Eric Hoyeau, president of Arqana, and Freddy Powell, executive director of Arqana. “The figures display a decrease of 20% in sales volume, with the average falling by 15% but still remaining solid given the particular global context. We are relieved that all the efforts that we have made to mitigate the constraints of Covid – from the development of Arqana online to the more general aspects including inspection videos and chartering flights for our foreign clients – have borne fruit. However, these efforts would have been in vain without the help of the local authorities, with whom we have worked very closely to ensure that the sales could take place, as well as all of the players involved; all of the consignors and buyers, who showed remarkable adaptability and complied with all the protocols imposed by the health crisis, all the Arqana teams, the ground staff who worked to make the establishment as welcoming as possible despite the restrictions, Henri Morel and his teams who succeeded in completely rethinking their catering to completely satisfy the clientele, as well as all the European sale agencies that we worked with to arrange the sale dates in order to meet the needs of the sector.”

High-class German filly Durance topped the four-day sale when sold for €750,000 during the first session to James Delahooke on behalf of Pursuit Of Success.

Tuesday’s trade was topped by the €38,000 sale of Bursa, by Frankel, to Haras du Quesnay. Sold by Haras du Bouqueot in foal to their top miler Al Wukair, Bursa is a granddaughter of Featherquest and therefore related to the Group 1 winners Plumania and Left Hand.