JANUARY 25, 2003 Sale Report:

Crackerjack geldings called the shots and continued their hold on Billings Livestock Commission Companyís "most wanted" list while blue-blooded breeding stock - both stallions and mares - maintained their front and center presence at Billings Livestockís January 25 "Winter Special Catalog Sale".

              

The dayís events started on a high where a frenzied loose horse trade ran red-hot and smokin with 80 head offered on the loose and the highest average per head recorded in an 18 month period.

              

An enterprising loose horse market saw the top 50 - that is two out of three horses selling "as is, where is" - averaging $618, while the top seller himself - a bay gelding - brought $1,550.

              

Loose horse sale averages include the top five at $1,210; Top ten at $1,044; and the top 20 - thatís 25% - averaging $892.

              

Always held in January and only held once a year, the annual "Cabin Fever" tack sale offered an over-abundance of collectible and used tack.

               

On to the catalog sale where stallions secured first and second sale spots for the day, with Hip 48 "Poco Okie Doke" an 86 AQHA Chestnut Stallion x Docs Okie Quixote joining the ranks of the BLS high sellers club.

               

A breeding horse he is, and the "little big horse" - a finalist in the 1989 NCHA Futurity - and with $13,000 in NCHA earnings - passed on his winning ways producing over $100,000 in money earning offspring.

              

Purchased for a final bid of $9,000 by the73 Ranch, Winnett, Montana, the magic mix of Doc Bar and Poco Tivio mares crossed on a daughter of Poco Pine produced "Poco Okie Doke".

               

Opportunity knocked with Hip 65 "Dual Fly" a 99 model AQHA Sorrel stallion by the $11 million dollar sire Dual Pep.                  

 

With a mother who had earned over $4,000, the ready to ride and breed stallion was consigned by Chad Green, Roanoke, Alabama and sold to Vicki Boyd, Fromberg, MT for $8,500.

                

Inga and Helga - a registered team of Fjord mares - a rare offering at Billings Livestock, drew a crowd and caused commotion. Broke to ride or drive double, triple, or four-abreast, the choice pair of mares were consigned by Urban Donnafield, Sheridan, WY and purchased by Jake Clark, Powell, WY for $6,000.

              

Geldings were good to go and go they went - with the high selling gelding bringing $5,750 and the top five geldings alone averaged $4,030.

             

Hip 132 "San Jeta Bars JB" a 98 APHA Black gelding consigned by Chris Witcher, Miles City, MT was gentle, easy to look at, and had been used heavily in the feedlot and on the ranch.

              

The started head-horse sold to Sam Habib, Fowler, CA.

Strength in the gelding market is validated in the "BLS Top 20" where 12 out of the top 20 selling horses were geldings - three of them grade.

            

Again, the solid, honest, seen-a-dayís-work kind of gelding saw the highest demand, while plainer, younger stock remained the buy of the day.

            

Demand remained strong throughout the day as a full house of buyers had the opportunity to bid on a total of 238 head.               

 

Confirmation of a solid market is reflected in the "pass out" or "no sale" percentage - a lean 5% of the dayís offering - repeating Decemberís record breaking figures.

            

Breakdown on the dayís sale averages include the top five at $6,670; Top ten $5,065; Top 20 at $3,862; Top 50 averaged $2,547; while the top 100 head of horses sold brought $1,780.

            

February 22-23 will be the next horse sale event at Billings Livestock and will feature the "February Catalog Sale" highlighted by a special, limited session of "Sons and Daughters" of Champions and Money Earners along with a session of "NFR" horses - horses consigned by NFR qualifiers.

            

For more information, to consign, or to request a catalog, contact Bill and Jann Parker, BLS Horse Sale Managers at 406-245-4151 or 1-800-635-7364. See it all at www.billingslivestock.com