Roping School

Billings, MT - Horses, horses, and more horses - a record-breaking 1,001 head of horses - all classes, kinds, and quality - were offered at Billings Livestock Commission’s “Cow Country Classic Catalog Sale” and regular monthly horse sale September 25 - 26.

Brought to town by sellers from 14 states and five Canadian provinces, horses scattered to all four-corners finding new homes in 19 states and Canada. Over 605 people registered to buy during the two-day horse sale showcase.

“Rope Horses” were the featured attraction as 99 teams - aboard sale-horses only - competed in the pre-sale “show and tell” rope horse jackpot Friday afternoon in the BLS Arena.

With a time of 21.44 on three head, Hips 396 “ Gallant Rooster” a 93 AQHA Sorrel Gelding consigned by Lee Hagler, Ft. Lupton, CO and Hip 206 “Smart Little Array” a 97 AQHA Red Dun Gelding offered by Cindy Jo Rice, ridden by Tripper Rice, Pendelton, OR took home first place. The horses brought $3,200 and $6,500 respectively, selling to Texas and Arizona buyers.

“Rope Horses” also claimed 12 positions in the BLS Top Twenty Sellers listing - bearing an average ticket price of $6,567 with all but three wearing the red roan, blue roan, palomino, dun or buckskin color.

“Dualin Solano” a 2000 AQHA Sorrel stallion sired by Dual Pep and out of a $30,000 money earning dam by Doc’s Solano, took home the weekend’s top sale honors with a final bid of $14,500.

Offered by ARA Horse Co., Bixby, OK the pretty stallion sold to Hi-Line Horses, Hingham, MT.

High selling horses 2-3-4 were rope horses, including Hip 279 “Step N Kato” a 96 AQHA Palomino Gelding x Mr Kato Drifter offered by Lee Pederson, Milestone, Saskatchewan.

A solid, seasoned pickup horse, he’d been hauled to the Canadian Cowboy Association Finals and to Canadian Professional Rodeo Association rodeos.

He’d picked up broncs, drug bulls, and carried flags in the grand entry, and was also a finished head horse. Stan Lewis, Lehi, UT purchased the gentle giant for $8,000.

He’d won a saddle over the Labor Day weekend and Hip 166 “One Tough Tramp” a 99 AQHA Blue Roan gelding x The River Tramp came consigned by Walt Johnson, Raynesford, MT.

Ron McQuay, Deer Lodge, MT purchased the big, roan, ranch ridden gelding for $7,600.

Montana’s working class gelding market continued it’s stonghold as buyers came to gather the “real deal” geldings. Top five geldings averaged $7,460.

Using geldings ranged in price from $1,000 to $8,000 - with occupation, quality, eye appeal, and user friendliness the deciding factors.

Mini-production sale offerings included weanlings from Bob McIlhattan, Bozeman, MT. The extra-nice set of fitted babies averaged $842.

Gene Escott, Faith, SD offered six head of weanlings from his well-known program including Hip 291 - a bay filly by GE Frosty Drift and out of a Frenchman's Guy granddaughter. The correct filly brought $1,500.

A great team of strawberry roan geldings was offered by Russell Kent, Waubun, MN."

Pete and Charlie" were full brothers, five and seven years old. The Belgian and American Cream cross geldings had been driven in parades and used on wagon rides.

The honest team brought $8,200 and sold to Carroll Johnston, Watford City, ND.

Overall sale averages include the top five selling horses averaging $9,020; top ten brought $7,830; top 20 at $6,915; top 50 came in at $5,313; and the top 100 head of horses sold brought $4,077.

America’s number one loose horse market saw the top selling loose horse bring $1,500. The top five averaged $1,105, top 10 brought $975, top 20 averaged $854, top 50 came in at $712, while the top 100 averaged $609.

Billings Livestock’s next sale event is set for October 23 - 24 and will feature the annual “Fall Special” catalog sale. Featured in October will be performance horses and mini-production sale offerings.

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