Sales Reports

DBS Vice Chairman goes out on a high at the January Sales


Michael White has worked for DBS for 45 years and will retire at the beginning of April 2012 so the January Sales marked the end of the outgoing Vice-Chairman’s long tenure on the DBS rostrum and he worked his magic to the very end with one of his last horses achieving the joint second highest price of the day when selling for £22,000. The unraced son of Oscar was offered by Great Head House Estates Ltd as part of the dispersal of the estate of the late Roger Fisher and was bought by Tim Walford

Clovafield Stables consigned the highest priced horse of the day when selling Rendle Beach for £30,000 to Gearoid Costello. The five year old son of Milan finished second on his racecourse debut in a Point to Point before winning two Bumpers in impressive fashion and he will now be trained in Wales by Costello’s partner Rebecca Curtis.

Due to the retracting of the DBS sales calendar, it is difficult to provide an accurate set of comparative figures and, following the conclusion of the sale, DBS Managing Director Henry Beeby said:

It is fair to say that today’s sale was not the most auspicious in DBS’ history but, as ever, the day served a purpose and provided strong competition for the better lots. It is hard to compare like with like as we revamped the late 2011/early 2012 sales programme to move the NH foals to December so today’s sale has concentrated solely on horses in training, making comparisons with 12 months ago less relevant than normal. Indeed, if you only look at last January’s horses in training the returns last year totalled just over £200,000 for the 31 lots sold compared to the £392,800 realised today so one could make a case that the sale is up by around 95% if you analyse only the horses in training aspect of the catalogue.

The Company celebrates 50 years in business in May and we will reflect on the first half century later in the year but today saw the end of a DBS era as it was Michael White’s final sale before his retirement in April. Michael joined DBS 45 years ago and has proved to be a stalwart of the Company fulfilling many roles, most notably as an auctioneer.

On the rostrum, Michael was always an absolute trier, giving every lot 100% whatever the price. As the auctioneer of choice for the annual Million In Mind Dispersal, Michael wielded the gavel for every one of their sales since 1991 taking charge of the sales of such as Mysilv for the unbelievable at the time price of 155,000 guineas and the highest price ever achieved at auction for a NH horse when Garde Champetre realised 530,000 guineas – a record that will stand for many years and also the most for any DBS horse in our history. It was also fitting that Michael was on the rostrum last August when a modern day record of £280,000 was achieved for a yearling under his gavel.

DBS has made huge progress since we were launched by Willie Stephenson and Kenneth Oliver 50 years ago. Who could have foreseen the advances when young Michael White joined Ken and Harry Beeby straight from school but his contribution to the Company since 1967 has been immeasurable. Michael has been the epitome of integrity dealing with everyone in the most straightforward way. As Managing Directors throughout his career, Harry and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude as he has been the most incredible colleague and friend from start to finish. Everyone at DBS and our many clients will certainly miss Michael but he is going out in his own way at his own time and we wish him a long and happy retirement, sending him on his way with the sincere thanks of everyone at DBS, past and present, and the many clients whom he has served so enthusiastically sale after sale, year after year.

Comparative Figures



Turnover (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)



93 (65%)






76 (74%)





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