A look back at The Auction with Eric Hoyeau

28 February 2019

The last edition of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong was the venue for the first edition of The Auction by Arqana.  A first edition that has been a great success with only two embryos that did not reach the reserve prices. A real success that calls for more. Act II is already set in Paris at the beginning of December with a sale of young performers.

What is your connection to equestrian sports?

Eric Hoyeau: "I am not a true connoisseur of equestrian sports, but my general knowledge of horses allows me to understand a certain number of things and to know a certain number of people. Professionally, I have also participated in a number of sales as a service provider, namely by working with Arnaud Evain and hosting Fences sales. I have also hosted other less prestigious sales of sport horses. With Arquana, we already had some experience in the world of show jumping with the distribution of the Brimbelles stud farm two years ago. But this is the first time when the Arqana brand is really involved."

Why did you decide to take part in this auction? Why this new concept?

E. H.: "I met Christophe Ameeuw completely by chance. I made a digital intervention at the Assises du cheval [a convention for the promotion of horses and equine sports] in Angers, in which Christophe Ameeuw was participating, to explain the functioning of our internet platform, Arqana Online. It works mainly for stakes in stallions, but also for high value horses-in-training. So, we are really selling high value through that system in a relatively convenient way. In other words, it is not on a regular basis but when the opportunity arises to market a subject, out of the Arqana sales program, we use this platform which is secure, extremely efficient and well-tried. Christophe Ameeuw was interested in my explanations and approached us to see if we could think about innovative things. That's how the idea came up to create this experience here in Hong Kong by using this wonderful sounding board that exists here, especially in a market where we are already present through flat racing. We also have very good relations with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and it was interesting to innovate with someone who also wanted to... so we looked in the same direction. We also have other programs that may allow us to revive things or innovate in other areas. We're going step by step. That's how our association was born."

Through this event, is Arqana also trying to find new investors for racing or to attract racehorse owners to the world of sports?

E. H.: "It is a crossover, so I’d say both. Sharing one side’s sporting discipline and the other side’s notion of investment, and vice versa, as well as capturing new markets. This is synergy."

The first edition ended with very good figures.

E. H.: "We won’t only think in terms of numbers because an adventure of this type will not necessarily be covered by the operating income that this type of adventure will generate. It is more an experience and we will consider it as such. A technological experience that was not quite straightforward because taking bids in three places with sound delays and integrating online bidding in a different way, without really having a contact person in front of us, was something special. Mixing it up is something interesting and it can be developed for other purposes. At this level, it is already a technological success but also for the pooling of the human resources we had in common. The EEM part but also the people who work for Arqana including Alix Choppin (Head of Development) who did a great job, as did Michael Dorigo for EEM (Project Manager). The real pooling of human resources is interesting. Everyone will now be able to think about it and see what we can pick up."

What can we wish you for the rest of this adventure?

E. H.: "Let this kind of thing benefit the entire industry. When I say industry, I mean breeders, riders, and dealers, and both in flat racing and in the whole racing world."