Out of the Box

Billings, MT - Rope horses lead the way as white collar professionals - ropers, reiners, cutters, and reined cowhorses - all arena ready and finished in their particular profession - swelled the “Top Twenty Sellers” listing at Billings Livestock Commission’s “Rope Horse Special and April Catalog Sale” April 24 - 25.

Every horse in the top twenty had a career - 14 of the 20 were rope horses, four were cutters, and one reiner and a reined cowhorse rounded off the count.

A rocky mountain spring weekend welcomed 794 head of horses including 90 head of “Rope” horses eligible to compete in the pre-sale team roping jackpot on Friday afternoon in the BLS Arena.

The well attended rope horse “show and tell” - designed to give the buyer and seller and honest opportunity to show and see the horses in action - hosted 99 teams with Travis Griemsman, Ft. Collins, CO heading on Hip 48 and Ryan Rochlitz, Glendive, MT aboard Hip 36 taking home the championship buckles.

Rope horses brought from $800 to $9750.

He came home raised and sired by the hottest cutting horse sire in America, and Hip 134 “Ima Clever Boonsmal” a 2000 AQHA Sorrel gelding x Peptoboonsmal and out of a $39,000 money earning mother by Smart Little Lena took “Best of Show” and the weekend’s top sale honors.

The finished cutter - a finalist at Meadow View Ranch and Central Utah Futurities, and a Montana CHA Champion, came with nearly $2,000 in NCHA earnings, having been trained and shown by Shane Prescott, Twin Falls, ID.

Raised and owned by Manny and Mary Ann Fernandez, Long Beach, CA the gelding with the goods brought $18,000 and sold to Jay Proost, Twin Falls, ID.

Two of the the top five selling horses were calf horses - both mares and both the hard to find kind - bringing $9,750 and $7,500.

Poison in the roping pen, Hip 25 “Whos Heartbreak” a 97 AQHA Bay mare x Sons Who x Son O Sugar had been hauled and won on at PRCA and regional rodeos and was offered by Paul Cope, Nampa, ID.

The exceptional mare brought $9,750 and sold to Lee Caldwell, Lehi, UT.

Blonde and all business, Hip 144 “Max Spring Bid” a 99 APHA Palomino mare x Black Eyed Max came from Canada and Shawn Williamson.

The finished calf and heel horse had seen ranch and pasture use and went home with Dusty Thomas, Moorcroft, WY for $7,500.

Stallions had sting with three gracing the top twenty, including Hip 200 “Sunsational Dondi” a 98 AQHA Gray x Sunsational Shadow.

Head, heel or just ride around and look good, the pretty fellow turned heads, came consigned by Kevin and Joan Sedivec, Cummings, ND, brought $7,800, and left with Dennis Nelson, Sheridan, MT.

Sale averages include the top five at $10,150, top ten averaged $8,495, top 20 brought $6,942, top 50 $5,110, while the top 100 head of horses sold averaged $3,906.

Demand for gentle ranch and stock geldings continues to be strong, while true value was again found in the younger, less experienced horses. Using geldings brought from $1,500 to $5,000.

Loose horses ran rampant with 323 head offered “as is, how is, where is” - from riders to buckers - with Billings Livestock’s loose horse market again setting the pace for the nation.

The top horse on the loose demanded $1,925, followed by $1,500, and $1,300.

Loose horse averages came in at $1,460 on the top five - that‘s a $100 per head increase over 2003; top ten at $1,260; Top 20 brought $1,108, the top 50 averaged $915 - that‘s $64 per head over last year - and the top 100 head of loose horses brought $750 - again, a $64 per head increase from a year ago.

Billings Livestock’s next sale event is set for May 22 - 23 and will feature the annual “Cow Country Classic” catalog sale in addition to the “Best of the Remuda” Ranch Gelding competition. Featured in May will be Ranch geldings along with kid’s ponies and horses.

Ranch Horse competition is set for 5 p.m. Friday, May 21 in the BLS Arena.

Cattle will be available both days to preview the rope horses and cutting horses.

For more information, to consign or request a catalog, contact Bill and Jann Parker, BLS Horse Sale Managers at 406-245-4151 or see it all at