Run The Numbers is sponsored by Inglis

Every breeding industry person whose opinion was canvassed on the Gold Coast in the past week had different thoughts on the state of the Australian broodmare market.

Overall investment across the three mares' sales in Australia in 2024 has dropped by more than 11 per cent. (Photo: Inglis)

The opinion was usually shaped by their role. Buyers found it tough to buy over the major sales from Inglis and Magic Millions in the past month, while vendors felt they were left unrewarded for anything short of the absolute best.

Even certain aspects of the market proved divisive. While those looking to buy elite race fillies, either off the track, or to continue racing, usually paid a premium, there were also buyers at the lower end of that market who insisted they secured great value.

The market for mares in foal, meanwhile, proved hard going for those looking to sell.

Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch described his National Sale as a “sensational week” and a “fantastic success”, while a similarly effusive Inglis Bloodstock CEO Sebastian Hutch said the Chairman’s Sale was “extraordinary” and “captivating” and the Australian Broodmare Sale as “positive” and “pleasing”.

The numbers combined across both sales tell a slightly different story. Overall investment across the three mare sales – one Magic Millions and two Inglis - dropped close to $18 million, or 11.3 per cent, despite a slight rise in the number of mares sold.

Overall investment across the three mares' sales in Australia in 2024 has dropped by more than 11 per cent. (Photo: Magic Millions)

Accordingly, the average price fell from $234,987 in 2023 to $202,546 in 2024, or 13.8 per cent. This is the lowest since the pandemic impacted year of 2020.

Pre-2020 comparisons with these three sales are difficult, firstly because the sale formats were different, with the Inglis weanling and mares sales combined, and secondly because the digital market has changed the public auction market for mares forever.

$1.4 million Rubisaki signs off on near $100 million broodmare sale
Three million-dollar mares, including Rubisaki, highlighted the final day of Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast, which concluded with less than $100 million in investment for just the second time since 2016.

The number of mares sold at public auction in Australia on an annual basis peaked in 2007, before the last great bloodstock bubble burst, when 2858 were traded. By comparison, the traditional auction market has seen 696 mares sold so far in 2024 with only the Great Southern Sale to come.

The digital market is now responsible for around 60-65 per cent of the mares sold when it comes to numbers, but the traditional auction market still drives the lion’s share of investment. What that tells us is that most of that liquidity created by the explosion of digital trading in broodmare has come at the bottom end of the market.

That boom 2007 year was the first time ever that the Australian mare market exceeded $100 million in total value. It had doubled in value in the space of just three years.

It sustained that level in 2008 but halved to $50 million the following year. It didn’t get back above $100 million again until 2017.

The mares’ market has stayed above that mark for every year except one, 2020, since, but having peaked in 2021, has been on a decline since that point. In that 2021 year, across the two Inglis sales, the Chairman’s and Broodmares, and the Magic Millions National Sale, over $182 million was spent.

The clearance rate on mares in 2021 stood at a giddy 85.7 per cent as almost everything that was offered was sold. The reckoning for that statistic came in 2023, when the clearance fell to 77.5 per cent.

Tutta La Vita
Tutta La Vita was among the high-profile fillies sold at auction this year, fetching $3.2 million. (Photo: Inglis)

The mares and fillies which were sold in 2023 were selling at higher averages than two years prior, close to $235,000, but more horses, 53 to be exact, were left to return to their vendors.

This sales season has seen a moderation of that trend. Clearance has edged up above 80 per cent, while averages have dropped. Put simply, vendors have understood and met the market. This broadly reflects what also happened in the yearling market.

Combined annual stats of Inglis Chairman’s and Broodmare Sales and MM Broodmare Sales

Data courtesy of Arion
















Passed in




















However, one area where there remains a significant divide and uncertainty is the difference between those offered as race fillies, and those offered as mares in foal.

Across the three sales listed above, the average price of a race filly in 2024 was $356,210, while the average price of a broodmare in foal was $131,709. Race fillies made up just 30.7 per cent of horses offered at Australian public auction mare sales in 2024, but account for 54.1 per cent of gross spending.

The median comparison between the two categories is no less lopsided, the median price of a race filly has been $150,000, while it was $60,000 for a mare in foal.

Median tends to negate the impact of the million-dollar race fillies and rare diamonds like $6.6 million purchase Imperatriz, so it’s a fascinating rift in the market, especially when you consider the fact that mares in foal offer the additional benefit of a pregnancy, with the added value of a service fee.

It’s even more remarkable when you look at the statistics from the same three sales in 2023. The average price of a race filly last year was $297,458, while it was $168,613 for a mare in foal. Mares in foal represented a similar number to this year in terms of those sold, 70.1 per cent, and made up 57 per cent of the gross in 2023 as compared to 45.9 per cent,  

In real terms, while investment in race fillies jumped $7.8 million from 2023 to 2024, investment in mares in foal plummeted by $28.2 million!

Mares in foal – 2023 to 2024, selected sales




Total sold



% sold






% Agg









That market lost 31.7 per cent of investment despite a drop of only 11.7 per cent in terms of numbers of mares in foal sold.

The median price for a mare in foal across those three sales fell from $100,000 in 2023 to $60,000 in 2024, while the median price for a race filly jumped from $120,000 to $150,000.

This precipitous drop off will no doubt impact the decisions of breeders in the coming spring and how they decide to approach the mares’ market in 2025.   

Race fillies – 2023 to 2024, selected sales




Total sold



% sold






% Agg









Run The Numbers is sponsored by Inglis