Clay and I attended the 5th Annual Hershberger Performance Horse Sale, held in Buckeye, AZ. And I have to tell you, at this offering of 105 horses, I witnessed some very positive developments for our industry! As I wandered through the parking lot, I saw license plates from Washington, California, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, and I know there were also people from Hawaii present. Plus, I saw plates from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Dually impressive is the fact that the volume buyer came all the way from Montana!
The Hershberger family worked extremely hard to ensure both buyers and sellers were pleased with the results of the sale. Nikki Hershberger looked after the bids, while her husband, Jason ran from horse to sale horse (Hershbergers had several of their own consignments, which kept him very busy.)
And their sons, Gavin, Wyatt and Garrett were responsible to aid in the set up and cattle operations. Needless to say, it was a busy, busy day for the family.
Held at Buckeye Equestrian Center, this sale truly had something for everybody. It featured reiners, cow horses, cutters, barrels, head, heel and calf horses. Many of the offerings had top pedigrees, earnings and credentials in the show pen.
The Hershbergers ensured all prospects had a chance to show off their stuff, with a preview starting earlier that morning. Cutting and roping cattle were provided, as well as barrels and a chance for cow horses to go down the fence. In all, the opportunity gave sellers a good chance to get their horses working in front of a motivated, buying audience. In a down economy, it was very promising to observe this sale’s average at $6,985 and the Top Ten Average at $15,350.
The high seller was Hip #93, Jackies Double Chunk, a gorgeous gray gelding sired by Tee J Double Jackie, selling for $24,500. Two sale horses were destined for sunnier weather afterwards on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Hips #22 and #51 were sold to Daryl Medeiros for $18,700 and $15,000 respectively. Both of these geldings were well-bred and presented superbly on sale day. Hip #22 was a son of Pepto Taz, with an Open Performance ROM and the 2009 Arizona State Champion Heeling and Heeling horse.
Two important points I noted at this sale, on the subject of the industry: 1) Grade horses sold very well, and; 2) there was a big demand for kid\’s horses.
Personally, I was very impressed with the bids that grade horses brought. For example, Hip #25, a 2003 grade gelding, sold for $2,500. This horse has been used in the feedyard and was a seasoned heel horse, and was a prime example why good using horses have value. If they’re trained and offer a skill to someone, grade horses are valuable.
Case in point, take Hip #2 “Frosty,” for example. Here was a 1997, grade, gray gelding that was also a finished head horse. Fast, sharp and 100% sound. Frosty brought a bid of $8,800. And this was only the beginning of the sale…
However, the highlight of my day was watching a young girl raise her hand on a 2001 pony gelding. Eagerly, she would wait for permission from her grandfather and when she had it, hold her number up high on Hip #16, also known as “Gunner.”
When it was clear that they were the successful bidders, the young granddaughter ran full tilt to her new mount and climbed aboard. Everyone in the crowd was as excited as she was, for the acquisition of this new pony.
I had a chance to speak with the grandfather, Mr. Southworth of Lewistown, Montana, who was accompanied by not one, but three of his granddaughters to the sale. He told me he had built a ranch for his grandchildren to enjoy in Montana, and was at the Hershberger Sale to find mounts suitable for each of them. My next question to the kind man was, “Are you looking to adopt any more grandkids? Cause if so, I’m interested!!”
For more sale highlights, check out www.hershbergerhorses.com