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At PA Farm Show Complex, World’s Largest Standardbred Sale Breaks Decade-Old Records


Harrisburg, PA – Record sale prices at last week’s Standardbred horse sale reflect the strength and promising future of the harness racing industry in Pennsylvania and beyond, said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.

“This sale, known as The Black Book, has for decades been the premier Standardbred sale in North America, and the final tallies from this year’s sale point to a very strong Standardbred industry,” added Redding. “Consumers have confidence in the racing industry, in the horses it produces, and in the commission that oversees it. Likewise, prices paid for horses demonstrate the value of quality stock, much of it consigned by Pennsylvania’s breeders. This was a successful sale, and it points to a successful harness racing industry.”

Standardbred Horse Sales Company, which hosts the sale, is the second-oldest tenant of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, after the Pennsylvania Farm Show itself. Throughout the industry, the sale is simply known as “Harrisburg.” This year’s sale ran from Nov. 5-9, selling yearlings – the future of the racing industry – from Monday to Wednesday. A mixed variety of horses, including broodmares in foal, stallion shares, weanlings and race horses, sold on Thursday and Friday.

The Monday gross of $15.9 million for 170 yearlings, an average of $93,541, was up 29 percent over Day 1 of the 2017 sale. The sale topper was Fifty Cent Piece, a filly consigned by Concord Stud Farm of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, which sold to SRF Stable of Sweden.

The yearling sale at Harrisburg ended with an average of $42,675 per animal – surpassing the previous record of $40,824 set in 2007 by 4.5 percent, and last year’s $39,516 average by 8 percent. All told, 830 yearlings sold for more than $35.4 million, up nearly $1.8 million from 2017.

Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc., Hanover, Adams County, sold 230 lots of yearlings grossing nearly $12.1 million, averaging $52,596. 830 yearlings total sold in the sale.

Horses in the mixed sale brought nearly $18.3 million.

The sale brings about $3.4 million in economic impact to the region each November.

“When our customers have successful events, we know that we’ve done our job well. I’m proud of our complex, as a quality convention center and as a flexible venue for livestock shows and sales that attracts international interest,” added Redding. “Partnerships like this with Standardbred Horse Sales Company benefit our region, the industry, and those who enjoy our products.”

For information on the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, which works to direct, regulate, secure and promote the horse racing and breeding industry in the commonwealth, visit and, under the “animals” dropdown menu, click on “The State Horse Racing Commission.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.783.2628

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