If you have never sold a horse at auction before, our guide below outlines what to do when attending the auction to sell a horse.

Aim to arrive at the auction early as if there are a lot of horses entered into the auction there may be queues to book horses in on arrival and many prospective buyers will attend the auction early to give themselves plenty of time to view the horses before the auction starts.

Take the horse’s passport and book the horse in with the steward on arrival who will allocate a lot number for the horse and direct you to the pen or stable in which to place the horse. 

If entering the horse on the day of the auction, ensure you have written advert for the horse and give this to the steward or copy onto the entry form when booking the horse in so the auctioneer has a description of the horse to read as the horse enters the auction ring.

Place the horse in the pen or stable, and fix an advert for the horse to the pen or stable where it can be easily viewed by prospective buyers.

Groom the horse, clean off any soiled areas that occurred during travelling with some dry shampoo and oil the horse’s hooves.

Stay with the horse as prospective buyers may want to ask questions as they view the horses their stables/pens before the auction starts and may ask to see the horse walked or trotted up in hand.

The sports horse auctions often have a riding arena in which sellers can ride and show off their horses prior to the auction and arrange trial rides.  The auctioneers may allocate a particular time for each horse to be displayed in the arena prior to the auction taking place, or they may allow sellers to enter the arena at any time.  At the market type auctions there are usually no facilities to display the horse prior to the auction, but there may a car park or other area where it is possible to walk or ride the horse around.  If there is no interest being shown in the horse in the pen, often walking the horse around outside, trotting it in-hand or riding it can help to generate interest.

When the time comes to enter the auction ring, ensure the horse is given a final brush off and hooves oiled to ensure the horse is looking its best.

At the market style actions often there is only a small area in which to show off the horse.  The horse can be led in-hand or ridden.  Enter the ring and walk the horse around as the auctioneer reads any description.  Once the auctioneer has finished reading the description he will ask for bids to start, and at this point showing the horse in trot will often help to generate bidding.  At the more elite horse auctions the horse can be shown off fully in-hand, on the lunge, loose or under saddle in a full size riding arena and this gives the chance to really show off the horse as the auction takes place.