That happened recently at a Tattersalls auction in the United Kingdom when one filly sold for $8.3 million dollars.
The unnamed 1-year-old filly, who has yet to run a race, was sold to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani — a member of the Qatari royal family
The price was a European auction record. It doesn’t come close to the US mark, which once saw a horse go for $16 million.
"There are people out there willing to spend that kind of money on a top-class yearling, that has not been the case for a while, but it is at the moment," said Jimmy George, marketing director at Tattersalls.
Now, spending big bucks doesn’t guarantee success on the track.
The Green Monkey was the name given the horse purchased for $16 million in January 2006 when an auction got out of control.
The $16 million horse ran three times and failed to reach the winner’s circle.
All was not lost, however, as he stands at stud in Florida, and the Paulick Report noted recently that he sired his first stakes winner when Kinz Funky Monkey captured the Manhattan Beach Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.
That said, it will take a long time to get back that original $16 million — if it is even possible — because The Green Monkey’s stallion fee is currently just $5,000.
As for his European counterpart, the unnamed filly’s sale marked the highest price fetched by a horse in European auction history.
While the horse racing industry is far beyond its glory days, prices for colts and fillies have not waned.
"There are people out there willing to spend that kind of money on a top-class yearling, that has not been the case for a while, but it is at the moment," Tattersalls marketing director Jimmy George said.