There are Auctions to buy horses, and also Auctions to purchase Stud Rights to a stallion.
The Auction House is one of the main areas that a successful Track King will keep an eye on! Auctions come in two types: Stud and Sales. In both types of Auctions, the principle is the same - a horse is placed up for Auction for a period of exactly 3 days, during which time anyone (with enough money!) can place a bid. On completion of the auction, the highest bid wins.
During an auction, each bid must be:
at least $1,000 higher than the last, or a 2% increase on the price (whichever is the greater)
if the bidding is under $50k, the bid may be no more than a 10x increase; and
bid may not be more than a $500,000 increase, and
once the bidding (not the reserve price) passes $100k, you may not outbid yourself at all
If a bid is placed within the last 5 minutes of the Auction, the Auction end-time will be extended by 5 minutes from the time of the bid. This is to ensure that there is always a chance for a return bid! Each bid you place/receive will also be registered in your Stable Diary page (See Stable Diary) to give you a convenient way of tracking the progress, and if you are outbid on an Auction that is currently in progress, your Stables page will show a message in the 'Important Information' box.
Within 15 minutes of completion of the Auction, ownership or stud rights will be transferred to the winning bidder, and money will change hands automatically. The Auction house will take an 8% cut of the final sale price as commission for their work - but if there is no sale there is no charge. Horses bought on Auction may not be sold for a period of at least 3 weeks. 3yo horses bought from Auction may be renamed in this 3 week period.
When placing a horse up for Auction, you will be asked to state a minimum price, also known as a 'reserve'. This establishes the lowest bid that may be placed by any prospective buyer - but beware, set the reserve too high and you might not get any bids! The maximum reserve for your Auction is established by the Auction Officials based on an assessment of your horse, but this is often an over-estimation of the horses' value so it may be wise to check the market and decide what your horse is worth, or maybe compare against some recent sales.
Auctions are 'buyer beware'! While a horse is still owned by the vendor stable, they are entitled to race the horse or use it for stud - after all, they are still the owners!
If a horse has a scheduled race for a race meet that commences after the Auction ends, then that horse will be scratched from the race. However, as horses cannot be scratched after race cutoff time, if a horse is entered in a race and the Auction is set to complete during that race meet, then the horse is considered to still be owned by the vendor stable for the purposes of that race meet. The horse will not travel to the buyer stable until after their scheduled race.
Similarly, if a horse is in foal and delivers the foal prior to the end of the Auction, then the foal remains the property of the vendor stable.
In both of these situations, the horse will no doubt be in a lesser medical/physical condition than when they were advertised on auction. Buyer beware!
When looking through the Auctions, you will have an opportunity to search by many of the horse statistics and attributes. It is important to remember that the horses stats shown on the Auction lists are those of the horse when it was listed, and it is possible that those attributes have changed slightly since the Auction started.
When searching using Overall Rating, the horses are rated based on their overall rating when their medical and physical condition are Adequate (ie normal).
Stallions can be listed for Auction up to and including week 8 of the season prior to their 13th birthday
Mares and Geldings of 10 years of age can be listed for Auction up to and including the end of Week 8 of a season
If you purchase stud rights to a horse, you will have 7 days from the completion of the Auction in which to service your mare (See Breeding). After this 7 day period, the rights will expire!
From the completion of the Stud Auction through to the expiry of the 7 day period (or until the rights have been used by the buyer), the owner of the Stable will be unable to Sell the horse or to give it away.