This past Saturday, I attended the Legends of Ranching horse sale at the B.W. Pickett Equine Center at Colorado State University.
Since I'm new to Colorado, I haven't yet found a place where I can ride, so my exposure to horses has been somewhat limited. I jumped at the chance to spend an afternoon being around horses and horse people.
When I arrived at the Equine Center, I saw tons of large pickup trucks, and I immediately felt at ease?these are my people!
Inside, I saw cowboy hats, boots with spurs, and the smell of horse permeated the air. It was an atmosphere that I have been missing since I left Texas.
Fortunately, I sat next to a very nice woman from Colorado Springs who invited me to come visit her barn and go for a ride. She reminded me that horse people truly are the best sort of people.
While I was watching each horse go through the sale ring and marking down each sale price, I couldn't help but compare this sale to the other sales I've attended?mostly racehorse sales. Here are a few of my observations:
- At a racehorse sale, weanlings and yearlings are highly prized and bring the most money. At a ranch horse sale, the well-broke older horses rake in the cash.
- Horses acting up in a racing sale ring are not a deterrent for buyers. The one horse that was "frisky" in the ranch horse sale was sold for a low price (around $1,300-$1,400), despite her good breeding and conformation.
- The last racing sale I attended made me feel like the horse market was improving, whereas my trip to the Legends of Ranching sale made me think otherwise.
- Mares are sought after commodities in the racing world, as they could produce the next big stakes winner for their owner. The highest-selling mare at the ranch horse sale brought in a little more than half of what the highest-selling gelding did.
As for this last point, I have to say I was very disappointed for the mares. Many a time I had to sit on my hands to keep from bidding on one or two of them. All the mares had good breeding, conformation, and every single one was pretty.
The highest sale price of the day went to JS Easy Pep, a 2002 sorrel gelding by Hickorys Indian Pep and out of Docs Big Mama by Docs Fritzie Command. The gelding sold for $14,500. The lowest sale price was for a mare, and it was a mere $800.
Those in attendance could've bought any number of granddaughters and grandsons of greats such as: Snicklefritz Chex, Shining Spark, Smart Little Lena, Tanquery Gin, Real Gun, Dual Pep, Freckles Playboy, Hollywood Dun It, Mr San Peppy, Doc O'Lena, First Down Dash, Peppy San Badger, and Lucks Easyfanta Boy for $2,500 or less.
What are your feelings on the horse market today? Have you made any observations about mares vs. geldings or two and three year olds vs. seasoned veterans?
Ready to look for the right horse for you? Go to Equine.com, the premier classifieds site of the Equine Network, to search for the perfect horse!