Kemp hoping innovative approach pays dividends at Ready To Run sale

Prospective buyers interested in the quality two-year-old consignment being offered through the Kilgravin Lodge draft at this week’s NZB Ready To Run sale are spoilt for choice with the information on offer via the Matamata-based operations website (

Proprietors Eion and Megan Kemp have gone out of their way to provide in depth coverage of each and every horse in their twenty-five-strong sale offering.

Not only available are videos of the breeze up and parade of each lot for sale, but there is also a detailed rundown by the jockey who rode the horse during its breeze-up along with video of any preparatory gallops plus a comprehensive conformation parade with associated commentary.

Kemp is hoping the approach will provide them with an edge in the ultra-competitive auction environment which this year will have an extensive offshore buying bench relying heavily on online services due to travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We knew that this year was going to be a different kettle of fish with what has happened around the world,” Kemp said.

Kilgravin Lodge principal Eion Kemp
Photo Credit: Trish Dunell

“Megan and I sat down in June and thought about what we could do to try and offer something that might be a point of difference and maybe give us an edge over other vendors.

“Basically, what we wanted to do was take our horses to the buyers as we knew they couldn’t come to us.

“Once we had a framework to work with it all sort of fell into place from there.

“We felt the more people that knew about our horses, the more it might help so we have used extras like the jockey comments to build up a file on each horse.

“We also felt it was important to show the horse in action at more than just the breeze up as that is really only an eleven second piece of vision that can help but also hinder a horse.

“If we could show more gallops and how the horse has developed, we felt that would be a good feature.”

Kemp enlisted the services of a number of people to help put the package together and is grateful for the results that they have achieved.

“We couldn’t do it all ourselves as we didn’t have that expertise so we got people together who could,” he said.

“One of those was Angelique Bridson and she did a fantastic job helping us pull it all together.

“I guess we won’t know if it has worked or not until the end of the sale and we can measure our results from the auction.

“I do know we have had a lot more interest in our on-farm parades and from the bloodstock agents that have been on the farm.

“If what we have done makes a buyer choose our horse above two or three others then it will all have been worth it.”

Kemp has also been delighted with the early interest in their draft since arriving at the Karaka complex on Saturday.

“We brought half of the draft up on Saturday and the rest on Sunday,” he said.

“We wanted to let them all settle in but we’ve been rushed off our feet all day today (Sunday).

“If that activity translates into a good sale then it is going to be good for everyone.”

The two-day New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run sale kicks off at 1pm on Wednesday November 18.

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