Get the inside scoop about the Goresbridge sale from the Slezaks!

Katyln Hewson-Slezak and Karl Slezak enjoying time out of the barn!

Get the inside scoop about the Goresbridge sale from the Slezaks!

Goresbridge Go For Sold Sale: [Website] [Catalogue] [Performance footage]

Katlyn Hewson-Slezak and Karl Slezak are two of Canada’s top Eventers. They are competitive riders aiming to represent Canada at major games. They operate a successful sales and coaching business at Wolf Run Farm, Caledon, ON during the summer and Spruce Stables South, Ocala, FL during the winter.

As part of their competitive goals and business, they are always on the hunt for top horses. They make a point now of attending the Goresbridge Go For Gold sale in Kilkenny, Ireland to locate horses for clients and themselves. This year will be the fifth time they attend. They were kind enough to spare some time with us to give you the inside track about attending the sale and what you can expect.

What city to do you fly into?
Katlyn: We fly into Dublin and Kilkenny is about 2.5 hours away.


How do you travel around when you get there?
Karl: We rent a car but be prepared to drive on the opposite side of the road! It is pretty much a highway drive to the sale except for about 20 minutes.


Where do you stay?
You can find a place to stay within whatever budget you may have if you investigate places within a half hour drive from Kilkenny.


How do you choose the horses to bid on?
Karl: Look at the videos but keep in mind that these are usually done weeks before the actual auction. These are young horses and they may even improve by the time of showcase so keep an open mind once you are there. Make a point of watching the warm-ups and visiting the stalls.

Katelyn: Watch the videos before you go and make yourself a notebook to rate the horses that suit your goals. Remember, different horses may suit an amateur client or a young rider. You are going to be seeing many horses over the course of two days so make notes as you try them as it can be overwhelming to have to make a decision. Know your budget ahead of time.

If you can’t attend this year and you are interested in any horses, contact us and we are more than happy to help you. We have tried out and help clients who cannot make the trip purchase horses.


How are the horses presented?
Karl: There is a showcase that is over two days. The horses are shown in the ring the first day with a dressage and show jumping demonstration. The second day the horses jump a small cross-country course.

After the showcase, you have an opportunity to visit the horses at their stalls and ride them. We generally sit on 25-30 horses while we are there. This is a great opportunity to try an amazing selection of Irish horses all in one location.


What is the auction like?
Katlyn: Know your budget and have your horses ranked in an order of your preference so you are prepared! Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get your top rated horse if you don’t have the budget. The auction is an incredibly fun evening. Many top riders from around the world attend. After the auction, you will enjoy the party that follows. But I suggest you don’t try and out drink the Irish, I tried that and didn’t win.


How do you ship the horses to North America?
Katlyn: We use EquiJet and they are amazing. They are the company that gave Selena O’Hanlon the free trip to ship Foxwood High when she was not awarded the air package when she won the 2017 CCI3* at Fair Hill. There are other company representatives at the sale, so you can speak directly with them and get some quotes.


What is the cost for shipping?
We pick up our horses in New York. You should budget about $12,000 CA above the auction price for the expenses to get your horse to North America.


Have you been able to fit some tourist side trips in while you have been to Ireland?
Karl: The countryside is beautiful. We have visited the Cliffs of Moher and a few castles. If you plan on attending the sale, add a couple of days for sightseeing. You won’t regret it.


What tips can you offer anyone attending the Goresbridge sale for the first time?
Karl: When you get to the sale, make a point of introducing yourself to Martin Donahue the main organizer. He has been incredibly helpful to us over the years. If you are interested in a horse, he will help make the introductions to the owners with you. He is so dedicated and courteous, you can rely on him to help you navigate your way around the sale.

Katlyn and I are more than happy to answer questions or help guide newcomers as well. Just contact us.

Katlyn: This is an auction every Eventer should attend at least once. It is a busy few days but it is great to make connections and try many quality horses in one location. The party afterwards is worth the trip.


Contact Katlyn and Karl:

Karl Slezak Eventing website

Phone: 1-647-229-0092

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect