Arnaud Evain : THE MAN WITH THE TEN-THOUSAND GAVEL STROKES
European reference for the auction of young sport horses, Fences accounts for nearly 10,000 sales after 30 years of existence in more than 40 countries on 5 continents.
Fences, led by its dynamic president Arnaud Evain develops its activity in 2017 through the launch of the
Fencesweb website. Tell us about the evolution of Fences sales after 30 years of excellent results.
Every year, at the end of August, at Marcel Rozier’s in Bois-le-Roi, Sales Elites Fences, The Haute Couture collection of the Fences Agency takes place. Nearly 200 horses out of the 1000 three year olds seen during the selection tours are presented and this is the maximum capacity that the great week of Fontainebleau breeding can absorb. To be able to offer more horses, in 2017, we created the website FencesWeb which lets us organize online auctions. This allows us to offer a selection of three years old foals but also broodmares and two years that are not included in the Elite sales. The platform also helps us develop our concept of service sales that traditionally only took place on Sundays Elite sales . In view of the high demand, we decided to make the FencesWeb tools available to studbooks (such as the SBS in 2017), breeders, associations and others.
Will this FencesWeb site boost your sales in the South American countries that you have been visiting regularly for many years ?
The 12 Fences associates carefully maintain a very important network of international relations, the main advantage of Fencesweb is to offer the whole world the same quality and quantity of information on horses for sale. The Chinese, Australians, Brazilians… can bid equally with European customers. Our main objective is to properly describe the horses in order to facilitate distance sales. Since the first year, 60% of the horses presented have found a buyer and 80% of them without any prior visit from the buyers. They have been auctioned solely on the basis of the information we have provided them and our reputation acquired in more than 30 years of practice. It is a process that we have worked through last year and that is now working very well. It allows to act instantly from anywhere in the world.
How do auctions work ?
We make sure to offer buyers the most complete description possible of the horses put up for sale on FencesWeb. This goes through the physical aspect with objective photos and videos, the genetics with comprehensive pedigree, in-depth health checks with X rays and a clinical visit as well as a complete transparency through the provision of the sellers’ contact details, offering the buyers the possibility to go to the horse’s location to see it in person. The catalogue is put on line a month before the sale, the buyers then have the possibility to bid for 24 hours, each sale begins to close at 7: 30 pm with a horse sold every 5 minutes.
Are the bidders waiting until the last minute to bid ?
Yes, people like to bid at the last minute, more for adrenaline, because that doesn’t really change their determination. The spirit of the web is different from live sales. There are also many curious people who are following the sales closing, as we can see from the number of connections on the site.
Fenceweb, so this is the great revolution ?
Indeed, yes! The organization is less complicated, we don’t move the horses, which lowers stress and the risk
of injury. It is also cheaper, which allows us to drastically reduce the costs we charge sellers and not impose on
buyers. They only pay the amount of their last bid (plus VAT if applicable). The notoriety of Fences for 30 years has contributed to web users granting us their trust. On the sales of horses chosen by the Fences partners, whether at the Elite sale or on the web, we apply the Fences guarantee against hidden defects which gives total tranquility to the buyer
during the three months following his purchase. The internet is changing the horse trade and, in return for their trust, buyers need to find quality, safety and services that meet their expectations. That is our role and we are committed to it.