Formed in 1898 by William B. Fasig and Edward A. Tipton, Fasig-Tipton Co. is North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction company. Its first headquarters were in Madison Square Garden in New York, and Fasig-Tipton initially sold high-class road and carriage horses in addition to Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing stock.
Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sale of selected yearlings is one of the premier horse auctions in the world. It has roots that stretch back to 1917 when Fasig-Tipton formed an alliance with some of the top Kentucky breeders to sell their yearlings during the race meet in upstate New York. The great Man o’ War sold as a yearling at the 1918 Saratoga sale.
The Saratoga sale has produced numerous household names for international horsemen, such as Raise a Native, Natalma, Hoist the Flag, Danzig, Miswaki, Conquistador Cielo, and two-time champion filly Open Mind.
It was not until 1972 that Fasig-Tipton established its permanent Kentucky headquarters in Lexington, from which it initiates a year-round sales schedule for Thoroughbred auctions across the country.
The Kentucky division was an immediate source of high class racing stock. Its classic winning graduates include Seattle Slew, Genuine Risk, Dancing Brave, Rainbow Quest, and Unbridled.
The highest-priced broodmare of all time, Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, sold for $14-million at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale.
Other prominent Kentucky graduates include Kentucky Derby winners Go For Gin, Big Brown and Mine That Bird; Dubai World Cup victor Captain Steve; as well as champions Artax, Silverbulletday, Blind Luck, and Dubai Majesty.
Synergy Investments Ltd., a Dubai-based company headed by Abdulla Al Habbai, purchased Fasig-Tipton Co. in 2008. The Hettinger family, led by John Hettinger, had been Fasig-Tipton’s majority shareholder after guiding the company through the industry struggles of the late 1980s.
With a promise to continue Hettinger’s passion and support for the industry, Synergy has updated and modernized Fasig-Tipton’s sales facilities in Lexington, Saratoga, and Timonium, Maryland as well as increased its profile internationally with the addition of representatives in Australasia, Europe, and South America. Fasig-Tipton has also made considerable technological upgrades as part of its longtime company commitment to unparalleled customer service, as well as worked to further promote North American racing and breeding throughout the world.