Last month, James Keogh announced that Chance Timm would join him at his Grovendale Sales in a new partnership designed to expand their footprint in consignment sales. Most people in the industry have dealt professionally with Timm at one point or another in his more than 15 years in business, but even though he’s had some high-profile jobs, he’s generally kept his head down. and flew quite a lot in sight. As he said, he wanted to deflect attention from the people he worked with and the success they had built.
As a rule at Grovendale, he is now ‘the people for whom he works, and he has sat down for a long time to discuss the four horses they will provide at the Keeneland April Sale on Friday and provide some background on his life and history in the sport.
Grovendale deposit feature Hip 10, Superpressor (Munnings) a racing outlook; and three racing prospects or broodmare: Hip 82, First Sip (Ghostzapper), Hip 86, Lady Love Me (Star Guitar), and Hip 91, Winedown (Kantharos).
It is quite certain that Timm himself will be the only Utah native to deposit horses at the sale. He comes from the town of Murray, a suburb of Salt Lake City, and the fourteenth largest town in Utah. Timm’s grandfather bred and raised the Quarter Horse and trained racehorses, and his father and uncle rode racehorses for their father. “My first experience in the horse world was those people riding on weekends in the trails,” he said. “There’s no parimutuel betting out there, so it’s pretty limited. It’s more of a hobby than a real profession. ”
When his father died when Timm was 11 years old, he said he left the sport, before finding his way back half a dozen years later.
“One big thing in the Intermountain West in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, is chariot racing,” he said. “They hook up Quarter Horses to a carriage, the Ben-Hur model, and they race them for 440 yards in the winter. It was a big family event down there, and although it was dying, it was really popular when I was in high school. And that’s why my family always had horses and carriages. ”
Timm started helping an uncle with his horses, driving, keeping them healthy, and joining him in races on weekends. “It was a great time for me, because I needed a man to have a really positive influence in my life at that time, after my father passed away, himself and his children. Horses have become the way to that.”
He began his college career at the University of Utah, where he was awarded a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship, but instead decided to pursue equestrianism at the University of Arizona with a degree. Race for Education Scholarship. But when he graduated, he found that horse racing opportunities in the West were few and far between. He worked as an assistant starter, jockey, and took jobs as assistant racing secretary and weight clerk at Arapahoe Park, which he described as “a miserable time.”
“I remember one day, at the end of the summer meeting, they were racing the Arabs and I was in the paddock watching them give up on these Arabs, and I thought to myself: ` `I have to pass. go up. of here. ‘”
Two former U of A classmates had a hint that proved to be the answer when Jordyn Egan and Ian Tapp suggested he sign up for the Darley (now Godolphin) Bay Launch program. The experience was life changing.
“It was huge for me,” he recalls. “I was never out of the country when I applied to Flying Start. I don’t even have a passport.”
Timm is a soft-spoken, reflective and smiley person who loves nothing more than a good intellectual argument. He is also someone who has put a lot of thought into what work will create a fulfilling life for him, his wife and two children.
Timm lives in Lexington, and is married to former AbiGail Spalding, daughter of Summer Wind ranch manager Bobby Spalding, whom Timm considers pivotal in shaping his life and career. They have two young daughters.
Timm says: “When I was on the course, I always thought I wanted to get involved in blood donation. “When I was about to go, it was not uncommon for aspirants to bring in $6, $7, $8 million. And funny, what I knew I didn’t want to do was get into stallions, and I ended up falling in love with it. When I was at WinStar doing the seasons with Gerry Duffy and delivering all those horses, that’s when I really understood how it all worked, the supply process and finding the horses and trying to find them. Find out what they’re worth and what you can buy them for. And then I got to do so much more at Lane’s End. It’s a great part of the industry where you bet big on the line and then you go ahead and sell it. There’s a lot of fun behind it. It’s great to call people up and say, “ Hey, we have the breeding rights to this horse and this is what we’re going for it, and we want you to work with us. “
In the end, what he learned was that he wanted to get into the relationship business.
“Fortunately, during my time at Lane’s End, I was quite involved in consignment sales. And aside from my responsibility for the stallion list and all that comes with it, they were gracious enough to let me take an active part in the recruitment and placement of horses in the sale, and I really enjoyed that. there. One of my favorite things about this industry is meeting new people and chatting with these people, getting to know their stories and their hometown, then helping them and watching their shows come to fruition. labour. ”
At Grovendale, he’ll build that resume.
“I realized that the sales process was something I really, really enjoyed, for all the same reasons. I like to work closely with people and play the long term game and advise them to make the right decisions for long term benefits, rather than taking shortcuts, or maybe just trying to get a nice horse for them. , sell and move on. That’s not really what I talk about or James Keogh about. We want to develop long-term relationships with people who trust us and we have a strong relationship with them and see their programs do well. I gradually realized how much I enjoyed that part, putting the horses in the place of sale, figuring out what was the best place to sell them. Who is on the horse? How much will it carry? And go through that whole process.”
Grovendale will continue to offer its traditional services, including consignment sales, mating, investments and consulting. They will also continue to trade their own horses. Timm says having that personal currency in the game is important for understanding your client’s business.
“James told me early on when I first got to know him that tuition in this game isn’t cheap, and the only way to learn it is to put your own money up. And he’s right. You learn all the time what works and what doesn’t. And I think if you’ve never had a loss on a horse, it’s hard to tell people—look them in the face and say they’re going to take a loss. “
Their expansion plans will focus on stallions and race-age horses.
“We’re going to be Kentucky’s biggest sales,” he said. “We will go to Saratoga on the right horse, but we will mainly go to Central Kentucky. The plan is to build areas for race-age and race-age horses for year-round shipments. The breeder segment has always been something James has a strong presence in, and it’s clear that we will continue to be involved in this area. But the main focus is on further emphasizing the quality of our stock sales and building our presence in desirable sales. ”
The growing presence of digital sales and pop-ups will drive the business further.
“Like most people in Central Kentucky, we trade horses. The market has become so concentrated at this point, that there are very few of us who are not actively investing and trading in horses. So for all of us advisors or industry professionals, digital selling presents a great trading opportunity. But even beyond industry experts, for participants looking to capitalize on something at the right time, it’s an opportunity. And the fact that this kind of thing happens all the time. Horses trade privately at peak opportunities all the time. But the open market gives buyers a lot of confidence, obviously. It gives people confidence and transparency. Boyd Browning has always said that the best place for sellers to maximize the value of a horse is at public auction, and he was right. There is no better way to value a horse than the open market.”
In the end, Timm says, he’s just happy to be working with someone he respects so much.
“There are few people who have done more for me in the horse business than James Keogh,” he said. “I am obviously biased and I have built this relationship with him for a long time, but James is one of the most generous people I have ever met. He is a very kind, trustworthy person who always gives his time and opportunities and is just a helping hand to anyone and everyone who needs it – even if they are facing some kind of illness. Or they need help fixing the fence or whatever.”
The important thing, he says, is that he and Keogh are on the same page when it comes to their goals for their clients.
“I think it’s all about relationships and building a relationship with someone you can trust and that you have faith in. That’s really what I want to stand behind. I want the people I work with and those I work with to have the confidence and trust that I’m looking out for their best interests. And that will always be the driving force behind what we’re trying to do. ”