by Dave Briggs
Senena Esty and her Spring Haven Farm consignment at Standardbred Horse Sales Company’s (SHSC) 2020 sales facility in Timonium, MD had to shut down operations for a few hours Monday (Nov. 2) for the best possible reason: to be a good neighbor.
Spring Haven’s consignment is near where part of a large tent collapsed over Winbak Farms’ consignment.
“We wanted to help Winbak. Their horses were trapped,” Esty said, adding it’s fortunate no horses were injured. “I think everybody has regrouped quite well. In the spirit of ‘we’re all in this together,’ it puts it into a whole new light. You know, you make good friends over the years and you just really want to help. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
Coming off a tremendous sale in Lexington in which Spring Haven grossed $1,865,000 for 51 yearlings sold (an average of $36,569), the farm is selling roughly 60 yearlings in Timonium.
“We’ve got some serious Chapter Sevens selling (today, Nov. 3) that we’re pretty high on. We’ve got Hip 34 (Sevendollarbill) and 76 (Sevencarrotgold). They are two real top colts, both by Chapter Seven,” Esty said. “We’ve got a really nice Muscle Hill filly, Hip 18 (Sabrina Hill). Then we’ve got Hip 99 (Sea Witness) and he’s a Downbytheseaside and, of course, there’s a lot of excitement over that horse. We sold a Seaside filly for $200,000 in Lexington.
“We’ve got a Walner, a real pretty filly at Hip 133 (The Grey Queen). Lastly, for (today, Nov. 3), we have Hip 137 (Raising Hill) and it’s a What The Hill. He’s a big, strong, good-looking horse. All the What The Hills that I’ve sold, he’s really stamping them – just big and strong. Just a good hind quarter and pretty smart animals, too.”
Esty said she’s thrilled Spring Haven is located in Ohio, one of harness racing’s boom locations in recent years.
“I don’t know about all the clichés, but we paid our dues and stuck in it when a lot of farms went out of business and closed. We’ve had to change some things and adapt and breed out of state and now it’s just so nice to be able to run across to the neighbors and pick up semen and breed in the state of Ohio,” Esty said. “We’ve got a really strong program that I’m really proud of. We’ve got the county fairs, we’ve got 66 country fairs, we’ve got the stallion series, we’ve got the sires stakes, so we can pretty much check every box as far as where people have racing opportunities.”
As for having to adapt to a new sales facility this year, Esty said it won’t be a problem for her crew.
“One thing about it, we’ve sold at a number of sales so we pretty much pride ourselves in just going into a new place and just being able to figure it out. I’m really proud of my crew and they’ve handled it well,” Esty said. “(Timonium) has its own new set of challenges. Fortunately, we weren’t in the tent that collapsed. We were right beside it. Ours is still standing, but all the craziness is next door here.
“On a positive note, they are calling for beautiful weather the next three days. So we have something to look forward to. I’m optimistic and I’m proud of my consignment and we’re going to do our best to get them all into good hands. That’s very important.”