Amazing Mules

Billings, MT - Trail-wise and tourist-tested, mules made the news at Billings Livestock Commission’s “Spring Special Catalog Sale” featuring Outfitting, Guide, Guest, and Dude horses along with a special session of “Roans Only” March 25 - 26.

Spring weather brought 887 head of horses and mules to town, including 52 cataloged mules.

Three mules shared the honor of “Top Sale Mule” each commanding a $3,500 price tag, including Hip 77 “MacKenzie” a 16 year-old black john mule offered by Black Mountain Outfitters, Emigrant, MT, and Hips 165 and 165X “Ned and Prince” both four-year-old blonde sorrel john mules consigned by Hell‘s A‘Roarin Outfitters, Gardiner, MT.

Fancy and gentle, all three had seen the “wow” of the wilderness, been driven, packed, and ridden.

Mckenzie sold to Bryan Brundage, Buckley, WA, while “Ned and Prince” sold to Dusty Crary, Choteau, MT.

The top five selling mules averaged $3,260, and the top 10 brought $2,790.

With 523 buyers registered and a completed sales percentage of 94%, the two-day sale sent horses and mules to 17 states and two Canadian Provinces.

All-star geldings coming off capable cowboys continued to see strong demand as the weekend’s top five using geldings averaged $5,090, with the top ten at $4,590.

Handy met pretty, and Hip 297 “Jack” a 99 grade gray gelding owned and shown by Riggin McIntosh, Torrington, Wy was the weekend’s high selling gelding bringing $5,700.

Shown both heading and heeling at the sale preview, “Jack” had been ranched on and hauled to roping jackpots. Matador Cattle Co., Dillon, MT purchased Riggin’s horse.

One of the "ROANS ONLY" session, Hip 70 "Rooster Cogburn" a grade, red roan three-year-old gelding consigned by Ryan Roen, Worden, MT had already seen heavy ranch use, straight from night calving duties. The ready-to-go gelding brought $4,300 and sold to McGinnis Meadows Ranch, Libby, MT.

Hip 140 “Jamaicas Plaything” a 97 AQHA bay mare x Playgun and out of a Wheeling Peppy and Doc Quixote bred dam topped the sale with a $7,000 bid from Jim Reinhardt, Billings, MT.

Offered by M & M Ranches, Mario Madgrugal, Laredo, TX the mare sold bred to HW Smart Chic x Smart Chic O’lena.

With 350 horses offered loose, the absolute best loose horse market in America saw the top 50 set a new record - averaging over $1,048 per head.

Loose horses are sold with no rider, no speech, and no guarantee.

Sunday’s loose market saw all-time highs as the top five brought $2,110, top ten averaged $1,798; top 20 at $1,434; and the top 100 averaged $835.

Billings Livestock’s next sale event is set for April 22 - 23 and will feature the eighth annual “Rope Horse Special” catalog sale and regular monthly horse sale.

A jackpot team roping - open only to sale horses - will kick off the weekend’s activities on Friday, April 21, where buyers and sellers alike will have the opportunity to watch the rope horses under competition circumstances.

All classes of horses will sell including mares, stallions, finished horses, prospects, and young stock. Cattle will be available to show the cutting horses, calf horses, and rope horses. Catalog deadline is April 5, with a supplement printed for later entries.

See it all at or contact Bill and Jann Parker, BLS Horse Sale Managers at 406-245-4151.