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Equine sale returns for the fall

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The Robertson Equine Sale, which was put together to replace Lexington’s famous Tattersalls Sale, returns Monday with a much bigger fall sale.

By Todd Martin

After dipping his boot into the equine auction business in the spring, Jimmy Robertson finds himself saddle-deep this fall.

The first Robertson Equine Sale in April was a hit, with about 90 horses going through the auction process at Shelby County Fairgrounds’ Bradley Barn. So after a successful first round, Robertson planned a fall auction, which will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday, preceding the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington.

What Robertson didn’t expect was to more than double the size of his auction, with more than 200 horses up for auction.

“It’s going to be a wonderful event,” he said. “We have two hundred and twenty horses signed up to come through, and they’re coming from everywhere. We have horses coming from as far north as New Hampshire and as far west as Arizona, and from the Midwest a horse from Minnesota.”

The Robertson sale was created to fill the void left by the Lexington Tattersalls sale, which closed its doors when Ed and Suzie Teater retired after the 2011 fall sale.

Robertson, a longtime Saddlebred breeder and trainer, said he wanted to create a new sales event in Central Kentucky, and because the renowned Tattersalls event largely had moved to Saddlebreds, Hackneys and Standardbred roadsters, Shelby County was the logical choice.

Robertson said this fall’s sale will feature several world champions, including former 3-Gaited World Champion Size Me Up and Lady Hawke, a former world champion both in harness and under saddle.

“They’re both really, really nice horses and have won in Louisville many times,” Robertson said.

But the highlight of the show will be dispersion of the Mountjoy Farm stock.

“It’s a Lawrenceburg farm that has been in the Saddlebred business for more than 100 years,” Robertson said. “They’ve decided to retire from their breeding operation.”

The Mountjoy dispersal includes breeding stallion Santana Hosanna, which is one of only a few remaining stallion sons of deceased WGC and many time WC sire WGC Sultan's Santana. And Santana Hosanna has sired several world and reserve world champions, as well.

But it’s not just the cream of the crop for sale, there’s something for everyone.

“We have stake horses, young horses and old horses and some great ones for children to ride, to,” he said. “We just have a terrific variety of horses this year.”

That variety, and the addition of the Mountjoy have helped the sale grow beyond Robertson’s expectations.

“You look for the fall sale to be a little bigger than the spring because people are done with some horses, but, yeah, this has exceed my expectations, for sure,” he said.

And the word is spreading.

Robertson had the spring sale broadcast on Richfield Video and received 88,000 viewers, although those were not unique viewers, and he’s doing it again for next week’s sale. Because of that exposure, Robertson said he’s gotten even more calls about the fall sale.

“I had a lady call [Wednesday] from Maine that’s coming down,” he said. “She used to go to the Tattersalls sale, and now she wants to come to this one.”

And Robertson was even on the popular Joe B. and Denny Show on WKRD-AM (790) radio to talk about the show with Joe B. Hall yesterday.

“Joe’s dad was a trainer, so he was pretty interested, and I’ve gotten to know him a little bit over the years,” he said.

Robertson said he has also invited some local vendors to come out and set up during the sale this year, as well.