Top seller barrel stallion comes to Canada

Brought to Billings, Montana by Tod DeJong, Tracy, IA the good mule sold to Mitch Svangstu, Noonan, ND, for $5,000.

The noise was all about the working boys – the strong, solid kind that deliver day in and day out – and – professional, service oriented horses and mules enjoyed a big weekend at Billings Livestock Commission‘s “Spring Special Catalog Sale” March 27-28.

Held each and every March, the “Trail, Outfitting, Guide, and Guest” horse feature also offered an excellent set of riding, driving, and pack mules.

Horses and mules sold from coast to coast – California to Massachusetts , Texas to Alaska, with a weekend total of 760 head offered including 74 cataloged mules.

It goes in the BLS record books – an iron-clad market was verified by a record low pass out rate as only 31 head were were passed out or “no-saled” by the consignor – that calculates to a 96% overall sale percentage. .

A gentle, attractive, top-notch trail mule that had been started heading topped the mule charts with a $5,000 price tag, and Hip 409 “Roy” was good to catch, load, saddle, and shoe.

Mules came in all colors, kinds, and areas of expertise, with the top five mule average at $3,300 and the top ten at $2,620.

In the horse division, stallions continue to shine as Hip 158 “Lazy Wind,” a 2003 AQHA sorrel stallion by the Triple Crown winner Special Effort and out of the Easy Jet daughter By All Means Easy, brought $10,700. Offered by Bucky Derflinger, Mud Butte, SD, the big, pretty stallion sold to Keith Pomeroy, Armstrong, BC.

Steady as she goes, the market was solid from the first horse to the last, with buyers seeking out the dependable, honest, gentle on their mind kind, where the top five averaged $5,850, top ten at $4,905, top 20 brought $4,097, top 50 came in at $3,293, and the top 100 averaged $2,730.

Double gentle and rides the same everyday, Hip 17 “Black Jack” a 2004 Grade black gelding offered by RMO Horses, Heber, UT brought $4,400 and went home with Bob and GayAnn Masolo,Townsend, MT.

Wildnerness Adventures, Powell, WY brought a stand-out assortment of mules and horses that had been used in their pack trips, dude rides, and hunting camps and included Hip 66 “Bones” a 2003 Grade Gray Quarter Draft gelding.

The gentle, trail and cowhorse sold to Mark Dunsley, Couer D’Alene, ID for $4,400.

Ray and Marjorie Beecher, Grass Range, MT offered a partial dispersion of their time-honored program including daughters of their famous sire “Gumbo Roany”.

Loose horses made a definite jump in value at the March sale where the top prospect commanded $2,500.

On the loose, he top five averaged $1,920 compared to $1,210 in 2009, the top ten averaged $1632 versus $1,022 last year; The top 20 brought $1,330 compared to $826 with the top 50 at $974 compared to $585; and the top 100 averaged $795 versus $435 one year ago.

Sue Wallis, Recluse, WY addressed the Sunday Sale crowd and updated the audience on the latest processing legislation. For more information

Billings Livestock’s next sale event is set for April 24 – 25 and will feature the 12th annual “Rope Horse Special” catalog sale and regular monthly horse sale.

Lots of cattle, lots of opportunities to watch the rope horses, including a jackpot team roping open only to sale horses set for Friday, April 23 in the BLS arena.

PRCA World Champion Team Roper, Bobby Harris, will be on-site Friday, 12 noon, prior to the jackpot, for an informal, free roping seminar which will touch on scoring, horse position, facing, stopping, and roping basics.

Rope horses will show again in previews on Saturday and Sunday.

All classes of horses will sell including mares, stallions, finished horses, prospects, and young stock.

Cattle will also be available to show the cutting horses and calf horses.

Catalog closing date is April 5, with a supplement printed for later entries.

Bright & sunny with canvas sales up

The 3rd canvas auction of the year – the WPCA Dodge Pro Tour’s chuckwagon canvas auction took place on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at the Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary, with satellite locations in Medicine Hat, Rocky Mountain House, Grande Prairie, Drumheller and Bonnyville. Shows up for sale included the Grande Prairie Stompede, Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede, North American Chuckwagon Championship, Bonnyville Chuckwagon Championship, Badlands Dinosaur Derby, WPCA Dodge Pro Tour Championship, Battle of the North and finally the Battle of the Rockies.

All but one show was up over 2009 totals. The overall total came in at $1,276,250.00 – up $93,000.00 over 2009 totals. The top selling show of 2010 for the 2nd consecutive year was the Bonnyville Chuckwagon Championship. It totaled a very impressive $202,000.00 up $10,500.00 over its 2009 total of $191,500.00. The average bid came in at $5,611.11 with the median bid at $5,125.00. High bid of $19,500.00 went to local hero Rae Croteau Jr.

The 2nd highest total of the 2010 satellite auction was the Grande Prairie Stompede.  It totaled $194,500, up $18,500.00 from $176,000.00 in 2009. The average bid came in at $5,402.78 with the median bid at $5,000.00. High bid of $10,000.00 went to Hugh Sinclair, Kelly Sutherland and Jason Glass.

The 3rd highest total of the 2009 satellite auction was the WPCA Dodge Pro Tour Championship in Strathmore. It totaled $185,250.00, up $13,750.00 from $171,500.00 in 2009. The average bid came in at $5,145.83 with the median bid at $4,875.00. High bid of $9,500 went to Kelly Sutherland.

4th highest total was the North American Chuckwagon Championship in High River.  Although it totaled $155,000.00, it was the only show of the 8 auctioned off to be down in total from 2009.High River’s auction was down $2,500.00 from $157,500.00 in 2009. The average bid came in at $4,305.56 with the median bid coming in at $4,500.00. High bid of $8,000.00 went to Rick Fraser.

The 5th highest total was a new show – the Battle of the Rockies in Rocky Mountain House which replaced the Red Deer Chuckwagon Champiuonship.  The change of venue was a positive as the sale totaled $152,750.00, up $28,750.00 over Red Deer’s 2009 total of $124,000.00. The average bid came in at $4,243.06 with the median bid at $3,875.00. High bid of $9,500.00 went to Jerry Bremner.

6th highest total was the Battle of the North in Dawson Creek.  It totaled $148,500.00, up $11,750.00 from $136,750.00 in 2009. The average bid came in at $4,125.00 with the median bid at $4,000.00. High bid of $8,000.00 went to Chad Harden.

7th highest total went to the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede.  It totaled $120,250.00, up $2,500.00 from $117,750.00 in 2009. The average bid came in at $3,340.28 with the median bid equaling the 2009 median bid at an even $3,000.00. High bid of $8,000.00 went to Troy Dorchester.

Finally, the Badlands Dinosaur Derby totaled $118,000.00, up $9,750.00 from $108,250.00 in 2009. The average bid came in at $3,277.78 with the median bid at $3,000.00. High bid of $6,250.00 went to Rae Croteau Jr.

The final auction of the year will be for the Ponoka Stampede which will take place on Friday, May 8, 2009 at the new Stagecoach Saloon on on the Ponoka Stampede Grounds. Last years Ponoka Stampede auction brought in a total of $304,500.00.

~ Courtesy of the World Pro Chuckwagon Association

Road Less Saddled – Day 4

Road Less Saddled – Day 4

We’ve loaded the horses and set out from Albuquerque at 7:30 am. Feist is doctored, cold hosed and all the winter blankets are exchanged for lighter show sheets. The forecast at our destination of Cave Creek, Arizona, is predicting 21 Celcius this afternoon! As we change out the blankets, we realize our palomino mare looks gaunt, despite having a large bucket of fresh water all night in her stall. Clay and I chalk this up to the probability that she didn’t care for the taste of the water for some reason. Thankfully, all the other horses were fine with it. We give the mare some paste electrolytes and start the last leg of our journey.

Our morning starts on Route 66. Kinda.

Approximately a half hour into our day we begin to pass Casinos, small towns and open desert. In addition to that, there are several roadside signs warning drivers about the dangers of picking up hitch hikers: this is a high prison area. Other roadside billboards discuss sad but poignant issues such as Crystal Meth, abortion, child and animal abuse. I am in unfamiliar territory.

As Clay and I roll farther west on I40, we find a spot to pull over to offer our palomino some water. The electrolytes should have had a chance to work by now and we are hopeful she will drink.

Clay offers the horses water and thankfully, the palomino drinks.

During this stop, my husband also checks our rig: the tires, lights and axels. This is a routine practice of his, however what’s not routine is the protruding piece of metal sticking out the top of one of our trailer tires. This particular tire’s sidewalls are also very warm and a lot of axel grease has leaked out here.


We consider our options: keep going and hope for the best? Or should we just change the tire right now? Either way, we are in a bad place to change a tire so we decide to set up the road a little farther and see what we can find.

The scenery is beautiful here but isn’t doing much to help our accident-waiting-to-happen.

Clay drives for a few more miles. And just as we are both getting really nervous, the next bend reveals a huge commercial truck service station! What luck, eh?! We pull our rig up to the Bosselman 24 Hour Boss Truck Stop near Ciniza, New Mexico (I think).

Our heroes.

The mechanics there immediately instruct us to pull our rig into a large service bay, horses and all. Turns out, we had picked up a nail in the tire, however, it hasn’t quite punctured through the tire’s inner tube. Yet.

Our rig in the Boss Truck Stop service bay.

It is at this point that I realize: what a blessing in disguise it was that our mare appeared gaunt this morning! Giving her electrolytes required us to stop and offer her water 30 minutes later. If we hadn’t needed to do so, it’s possible we may not have noticed the nail otherwise. And instead, the crew at the Boss Truck Stop took us in immediately, fixed the tire and our axel grease problem and sent us on our way. What a huge relief!

Yes, those are extremely rare plastic animals up there.

On the road once again, we count the driving hours remaining. We cross the Arizona stateline and immediately, there is a Port of Entry we have to visit.

More bugs on the windshield.

One more stop.

The attendant asks us what livestock we have on board, tells us the Ag office is closed and flags us through.

Clay is driving me crazy with his whistled version of “Bonanza.” Up ahead there’s a sign boasting another tourist trap approximately one hour away. There, it might be time for a pit stop. And hey, you can get 50 per cent off meteorites today! Excellent.

We arrive at our destination in good time and unload the horses, first thing.

I think they were happier than we were to get to Arizona!!

Vogue Western


Welcome to Vogue Western, a category I’ve decided to devote to the unique genre of clothing and accessories we call western. Throughout it I’m going to post photos of what I consider hits to the core and vitality of western wear – in all it’s tradition, cosmopolitanism, luxury, polish, hipness and flair. Since my travels can take me anywhere from a 4-H club show in rural Alberta to the culture-shock of an Arabian Show in Scottsdale, I figure I’m in a great position to amass an interesting cross section of all that is western to entertain and inspire your own sense of fashionableness.

For our opener, I chose this shot of a vaquero-styled ranch hand at a clinic I attended a year or so ago, because he, quite likely unbeknownst to himself dominated the film of most of the media’s cameramen and women that day. Yes, it was the blue shirt, the sky blue shirt – ageless in style, modern in adaption. It was a bleak Canadian wintery day, a dark arena, a conservative crowd, and he chose this to wear.

Our cameras loved him.

Road Less Saddled – Day 3

The Road Less Saddled – Day 3

In the morning, we get ready to leave Albuquerque, NM. Feist is cold hosed once more and doctored. Clay and I feed the horses their breakfast on the trailer, say our thank-you’s to Mike at High Line Stable and head out.

Early into our day, another weigh scale appears on the side of the road. It’s open and all vehicles over 10,000 lbs are asked to stop. Clay goes inside with our paperwork and everything checks out fine. Aside from watering stops and weigh scales, we rarely have to pull over today, since our freightliner carries massive fuel tanks. Plus, we always travel with extra jerry cans of fuel. Therefore, diesel fill-ups at night are really the only time we ever have to stop for fuel – which is why it’s wise for me to watch my personal water intake!

Denver. And yes, we have obtained a crack in our windshield. The traffic isn’t too bad right now, which is the reason I have the guts to take a picture at the moment.

When we arrive in Denver, CO, the traffic is thick in some areas, we have no desire to stop here. And even though Clay is driving, in intense road conditions I somehow feel as though it might be helpful if I refuse to take my eyes off the road as well. Clay however, begs to differ. For some reason, my white knuckles on the armrests and frequent gasps only serve to agitate him.

I ponder this.

Yes, we have bugs on the window.

Finally we are through Denver and light snow begins to fall on the windshield. It doesn’t seem to last however. Thank goodness, we have been really lucky on this trip for road conditions so far. Two weeks prior to heading out, Clay and I actually decided to delay our trip when reports of large snow storms in the Denver area made the news. Clay even went out to purchase tire chains, in the event we would need them. Getting stuck in a Colorado mountainous range with 7 horses isn’t our idea of a good time.

Tonight the horses are staying at the Broken M Ranch in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Clay and I have also made arrangements to stay in the guest cabin they have there. We recently found out that the Budweiser Clydesdales had been there the night before and we are excited to see what the place looks like.

Of course, crossing the New Mexico state border means another Port of Entry.

Upon arrival at the Broken M Ranch, we are greeted by owner Susan Miller. Along with her husband, Keith Duke, Susan relocated to Albuquerque from Michigan. There, Duke was a Detroit narcotics officer. And when he retired, Duke wanted to try his hand at being a cowboy, so he packed up his family and moved to the Broken M Ranch (aptly named because Susan says something is always broken around there.) Who, in the horse business, can’t relate to that?

Broken M Ranch.

Again, Clay and I get to work settling the horses for the night. Clay cleans the trailer and flips it around for an easier departure in the morning. The sheer size of this rig sometimes makes it difficult to negotiate entrance gates and gas stations, among other things. Once the horses are bedded down, it’s our turn for supper and relaxation. To our delight, the guest cabin at Broken M is fantastic!

The front entrance of the Broken M Ranch guest house reveals the kitchen and eating area.

Everything a traveler could need is stocked in this little place. Eggs, bacon, coffee and cereal for the morning. Soda, Beer and Twinkies to wind down in the evening. Spike TV (for Clay) and internet (for me). And then, there is nothing better after a day of driving than a hot shower and climbing into a soft bed piled high with fluffy pillows, a down duvet and crisp white sheets.

Possibly our most comfortable stay throughout the entire duration of our trip!
But the only problem is, neither Clay nor I can sleep. We were too excited to get to AZ! Only one more day to go…

Winter Cutting Series Wraps Up

It happens every year. The tundra swans arrive. The winter series departs. It’s all part of the weird and wonderful universe we live in.

Tundra swans stop by at a slough near the log house. They are enroute to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.

Last night I posted the results to the Silver Slate Arena‘s winter penning series and today I give you the results and photos of the winter cutting series.

Open Ranch Winner Jim Paradis and Kenny Be Caught.

5,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro Champion Lucy Streeter and Anita Steady Date.

Non-Pro and 20,000 Amateur Champion Jessica Devries on Lucky Powder.

2000 Limit Champion Gregg Dunn on Right On CD.

15,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro Champion Thomas Munro on Smart Lena Joe.

2,000 Limited Reserve Champion Railey Tremblay on Marty.

5,000 Ranch Champion (tie) Dana Jenkins on Una Lista Pepinic.

5,000 Ranch Champion (tie) Angie Sproule on Oakie.

If you have winter series results you’d like to have posted on this site, please contact the news desk at

Road Less Saddled – Day 2

The Road Less Saddled – Day 2

Clay and I decide to take in some American history.

Clay and I are well rested and ready to hit the pavement. Since it’s very cold this morning, the horses are blanketed and brought out to the trailer one by one. And unfortunately it appears our little “Feist” has obtained some kind of a small puncture during the night. Who knows what she did but luckily, we’re equipped with antibiotics, Bute and Furacin.

Once Feist is looked after, we load up and go. Soon we’ll cross the Montana / Wyoming state border and our plan is to travel into a third state today and overnight in Nunn, Colorado. Since we still have many miles to go, I am surprised when Clay suggests that we stop, only minutes into our day.

“Want to check out the Little Bighorn Battlefield?” he asks me.

“Sure! Why not?” is my response. Can’t do it when we’re not here. So Clay pulls our rig off the main highway and into the National Monument Park. I had learned about Custer’s Last Stand in grade school, but never had the opportunity to see the location in real life.

With the truck and trailer safely parked in the park’s car lot, Clay and I take a quick tour of the Little Bighorn Museum and learn about the Clash of Cultures that led to battle and ultimately, one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their ancestral way of life. Then we hike up to Last Stand Hill. Here, General George Armstrong Custer and an estimated 41 men shot their horses for cover and spent the last moments of their lives fighting as part of the 7th Cavalry.

Last Stand Hill.

Prior to this trip, I had often heard that Custer’s horse “Comanche” was the only survivor of the Battle at Bighorn. So naturally, I looked for evidence of this fact at the museum. I found none. Later, I began doing a little research of my own and was quite surprised at the results. Turns out, the horse “Comanche” did exist and had been a survivor at the Battle. However, he was not Custer’s mount. When reinforcements arrived at Bighorn, Custer and approximately 210 of his men were found dead. Any horses that had survived were taken by the Indians, although Comanche was left behind because he was injured.

Comanche was then nursed back to health and he became a famous figure for the white man. The public wrongly assumed he had been Custer’s horse and that he was the Battle’s sole survivor. Subsequently, the Army and the Federal Government paraded Comanche around the country, gathering public affection and support for their efforts as he went.

The horse passed away in 1890, 14 years after the Little Bighorn Battle. He currently stands at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum. Comanche had been stabled nearby at Fort Riley and when he died, it was automatically assumed that he would be preserved. The best taxidermist in Kansas worked at the museum, so Comanche was sent there and stuffed. However, the officers at Fort Riley failed to pick Comanche up or pay their taxidermy bill. Hence, Comanche stayed. He is still there on exhibit, wearing his cavalry blanket and saddle.

But back to our visit. As Clay and I headed out from Little Bighorn Battlefield, we take a few moments to walk through the National Cemetery. We also pay our respects to the US soldiers who now rest there, many who fought in the first or second World Wars.

Go here. Not here.

Finally, we hit the road again. And it wasn’t long after that, we have to pull over again. Clay steers our rig into the Wyoming Port of Entry. Our rig is weighed and we are flagged directly through.

We stop one more time to water horses. Just like yesterday, they decline the drink and instead, splash it back onto Clay. This is why I choose to take pictures today, instead of offering to help my husband.

At approximately 7 pm, we finally get to our destination for the evening: High Line Stable in Nunn, CO. Owned and operated by Mike Dalrymple, High Line is not far off the I25 and is a very happy place with fearless, horse-loving kids! Our horses will spend the night in huge stalls (12×14), bedded with newspaper.

High Line Stable, Nunn, CO.

I’ve heard of newspaper as bedding before but have never used it. However, the end result boasts very environmentally-friendly, efficiently maintained stalls.

Our horses will spend the night in stalls bedded with newspaper.

Clay went to clean and ready the trailer for the next morning, while I get to work removing blankets and brushing down each of the horses. Mike also allows me into his washrack to cold hose Feist’s leg. Then Clay and I head over to find a hotel room for ourselves and an authentic Mexican dinner. We’ll aim to get going again for 7 am.

Winter Series Penning Results

Thanks to Jen Santangelo of the Silver Slate Arena for sending in these shots and results for the Silver Slate Winter Penning Series.

Open Class: Pia Bond, Rick Bond, Crissy Santangelo awarded coats sponsored by Cam Clark Ford

2nd: Lindy Barron, Rick Bond, Crissy Santangelo. Award: bronc halters

Ltd Open: Devin Antony, Ray Antony, Crissy Santangelo. Award: bronc halters

10 Class: Pia Bond, Rick Bond, Debby Rowland. Award: buckles sponsored by the Antony Family

2nd: Ray Antony, Danielle Cottrell, Hugh McPherson. Award: bronc halters

7 Class: Samantha Chretien, Susan Kluzak, Tina Santangelo. Award: jackets

5 Class Incentive: Butch MacPherson, Debby Rowland, Tina Santangelo. Award: bronc halters

Brand It

Welcome to our second (the first being MY STABLE LIFE’s Shane Doan autographed jersey) online contest! We’re going to kick this off in high fashion. Cowboy fashion, that is. After all, what says Western more than a pair of western jeans? Heck, even Robert Redford got grief for not wearing an authentic cowboy brand in The Horse Whisperer. Just because we’re pleased as punch that you’ve tuned into our new website, we’re going to give away three iconic Cruel Girl brand western style jeans, in your style, in your size. All you have to do is let us know – in the Comment section below – what your favorite western brand or logo is – it could be tack, clothing, ranch brands, whatever has a connection to the western lifestyle.

We’ll randomly choose three winners and the lucky recipients will be wearing a pair of these jeans lickety-split.

I guarantee you will look this good wearing them. (trailer, horse and long hair not included)

Contest closes Apr. 26

Hi everyone, comments for this post is now closed. Thanks for entering, check here for winners! And click on the Contests Topic to enter ongoing contests.