Sale Report for January 26, 2008

Cowboy Collections

A sale-day chock full of “everything cowboy” including good geldings, roping steers, and the tack to tame them - all came to town for Billings Livestock’s “Winter Special Catalog Sale” and annual “Cabin Fever Tack Sale” January 26.

Better geldings remained bulletproof as geldings claimed every spot in the top twenty sellers listing - including one horse that sold on the loose.

Jackpot ready, gentle, and a solid ranch employee, Hip 72 “Pepper” a 2001 Grade gray gelding was a finished heel horse offered by Bryce Dunleavy, Billings, MT.

Trip after trip, ride him in the arena or out, the good little heel horse brought $5,700 and sold to Dottie Taylor, Filer, ID.

Another nice gelding - also offered grade - was Hip 64 “Viper” a 2002 red roan consigned by E.J. Frink, Wanblee, SD.

With a ranching background, the attractive horse had 20 days heeling steers in the arena and sold to roper and rancher Frank Billy, Havre, MT for $3,400.

The big news of the weekend was the blazing loose horse trade - right back on track and bucks better than it has been in three months, the loose horses reclaimed their lost ground and gained some - as the top selling loose horse brought $2,200 and the top 20 averaged $823.

Horse for horse, the loose horse sale averages tell the story - $386 per head average on 118 head - that’s up nearly $150 per head over December’s figures .

Offering only collectible and used tack, the “Cabin Fever Tack Sale” seized a captive audience where the once-a-year tack event - held each January at BLS - sold bits to bridles and saddles to doctor‘s buggies, with the top pieces - two Montana Prison-made horsehair hitched headstalls - commanding $4,000 and $3,250 respectively.

The unique pieces crafted by Deer Lodge, Montana Prison inmates in the early 1920’s sold to a Florida collector.

They had been in the same family since they were made in the 1930’s, and a black pair of angora wooly chaps came consigned by Westby, MT rancher and horseman, Bob Leininger.

The special pair of chaps had seen minimal use and sold to a Wyoming buyer for $1,500.

Additional noteworthy pieces included a pair of spotted, batwing chaps built in the 1930’s or 40’s by Miles City, MT saddle maker Al Furstnow.

The chaps also included unusual fringed conchos that were original to the design. The piece of Montana cowboy history brought $1,400.

Forsyth, MT rancher Larry Cole offered his lifetime collection of using tack which included a pair of double mounted Canon City, CO prison-made spurs which fetched a final bid of $1,300.

Stats for the one-day winter sale include 207 head offered with nine “pass outs or no sales”, 12 roping steers, and 584 pieces of tack.

All inclusive horse averages include the top five at $3,820; top ten at $3,130; top twenty at $2,580; and the top 50 head of horses sold averaged $1,898.

A big, three day sale event is set for February 22-23-24 and will feature the “February Catalog Sale” highlighted by a special, limited session of “Sons and Daughters” of Champions and Money Earners in addition to the NFR Session.

All classes of horses will sell with a preview of the rope horses, cutting horses, barrel horses, and saddle horses set for Friday, February 22 at 11 a.m. at the Horse Palace Arena. Rope horses, calf horses, and cutting horses will all preview on cattle.

Catalogs will be available on-line Thursday, February 14 with hard copy catalogs mailed on Friday, February 15.

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