World Records Fall At Western Bloodstock Futurity Sales 2001
by Sally Harrison
It's official. Despite anxieties about the national economy, and reserved spending since September 11, the cutting horse industry has never felt better. "Right now, cutting is enjoying a great atmosphere," said NCHA president Lindy Burch. "Entries are up, purses are up, and the sales were way up."
Western Bloodstock's Preferred Breeders Broodmare and Show Horse Session, on December 13, led all sessions and broke the world record for the sale of a cutting horse at public auction, when MERADAS LITTLE SUE sold to Frank and Belinda Vandersloot, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, for $875,000. The great mare, an NCHA Horse of the Year and three-time NCHA World Champion, was consigned by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt of Houston.
Bidding started at $100,000 and tension in the packed arena spiked with the fast-paced volley of bids. The previous record had been set during the Brinkman Dispersal Sale in 1980, when DOC'S HICKORY sold for $750,000. MERADAS LITTLE SUE's sale also bested the previous world record for cutting broodmare sales, established at last year's Preferred Breeders Sale, when LITTLE TENINA sold for $695,000.
Vandersloot, president and CEO of Melaleuca Inc., owns Fort Ranch near St. Anthony, Idaho, is relatively new to cutting.
Western Bloodstock Futurity Sales drew buyers from around the world to Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth during the NCHA Futurity. Horse owners and breeders throughout the performance horse industry gauge the pulse of the market through Western Bloodstock sales, and this year's results signal a robust economy and a healthy future.
"There were actually 165 fewer horses catalogued in the regular sessions and they netted more than $1 million over last year," noted Burch. "It was a great success even flying in the face of the present economy."
The overall sale average for the 613 head that actually sold on December 9 through 16 was $21,343 compared to last year's average of $15,300. The top ten selling horses averaged $343,600, while the top 100 averaged $77,098. Eighty percent of all sales were completed.
"Western Bloodstock does a great job with the Futurity sales," said NCHA executive director Jeff Hooper. "They are really an asset to the industry and promote and support cutting in many ways, in addition to the sales."
"We had a lot of first-time buyers at this year's sale," said Western Bloodstock partner Jim Ware. " Cutting horses are more popular than ever and with good reason. There's been only one other sale that I can remember where a Quarter Horse sold for more than MERADAS LITTLE SUE. That was the Phillips Ranch Dispersal back in the 1980s, when they sold the race mare Justanold Love for $1,125,000. But in the last few years, Western Bloodstock's averages have been greater than the Quarter Horse race sales."
MIGHTY FINE SUE, a daughter of MERADAS LITTLE SUE, ridden by Kobie Wood, earned a special distinction during the 2001 Open Futurity. Western Bloodstock's popular Larry Hall Stakes program awarded a total of $84,000 at the prestigious event, and football legend Joe Montana received a check from Western Bloodstock for $67,200, as the owner of MIGHTY FINE SUE, the Larry Hall Stakes Open winner. Billy Martin received $16,800 from Western Bloodstock, as the owner of the Larry Hall Stakes Non-Pro winner, LITTLE PEPPY PEANUT.
Another all-time record was broken during the Preferred Breeders Sale Show Horse session, when BOWMANS LITTLE JEWEL, consigned by GCH Land & Cattle Company of Weatherford, Texas, sold for $470,000 to Peter and Nora Stent of Woodside, California. The Stents, who also own the popular sire DOCS STYLISH OAK, also purchased ANOTHER PLAYGIRL, a full sister to NCHA Futurity champion producer SOME KINDA PLAYGIRL, from Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt for $100,000. In the 1999 Western Bloodstock Futurity Sale, the Stents purchased sale topper Not Quite An Acre for $250,000.
BOWMANS FANCY, the dam of BOWMANS LITTLE JEWEL, also consigned by GCH, brought $510,000 from ST. NICK'S PINES, owned by Scott Follett of Gillett, Wisconsin. BOWMANS LITTLE STAR, a full sister to BOWMANS LITTLE JEWEL, sold to Jeffrey Matthews, of Warsaw, North Carolina, for $200,000, in the Preferred Breeders Yearling session.
Bill Gunlock, of Dayton, Ohio, co-owner of the stallion SR INSTANT CHOICE, paid $400,000 for CD CHICA SAN BADGER, dam of leading sire CD OLENA. The great PEPPY SAN BADGER daughter was consigned by Bar H Ranche of Weatherford, Texas, home of DUAL PEP and CD OLENA.
REMEDY FOR SWEETS, the earner of over $200,000, consigned by Linda Mussallem, of Gilroy, California, brought $300,000 from Karen Claycomb of Crawford, Nebraska. Claycomb also purchased NITA LIL LENA, a 14-year-old daughter of SMART LITTLE LENA, for $121,000.
Rick and Shelly Mowery's filly SOME REMINISCING was the high-selling yearling at $210,000. The SMART LITTLE LENA daughter, a full sister to 1997 NCHA Futurity open champion SOME KINDA MEMORIES, was purchased by Carol Ward of Rancho Murietta, California. The Mowery's own and operate Mare Care Inc., in Weatherford, Texas.
One of the highlights of this year's Futurity agenda was the second annual Breakfast of Champions sponsored by Western Bloodstock. The event included a free chuck wagon breakfast and a cutting seminar presented by NCHA Hall of Fame riders Lindy Burch, Kathy Daughn, Greg Welch and Mike Mowery. A video of the seminar is available through Back Fence Video, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the National Youth Cutting Horse Association.
For a complete list of Western Bloodstock 2001 Futurity Sales results, see the listing below or www.westernbloodstock.com.
2000-2001 Futurity Sale Comparisons
Total Lots Offered: 930 - 765
Total Lots sold: 770 - 613
Completed Sales: 82% - 80%
Actual Average: $15,300 - $21,343
Top 10 Average: $239,500 - $343,600
Top 20 Average: $156,000 - $222,250
Top 100 Average: $61,000 - $77,098
Top 200 Average: $40,000 - $49,165
Yearlings and Weanlings
Total Lots Sold: 511 - 361
Actual Average: $12,800 - $14,310
Top 10 Average: $101,500 - $119,300
Top 20 Average: $72,500 - $83,725
Top 100 Average: $33,000 - $34,425
Broodmares and Stallions
Total Lots Sold: 79 - 155
Actual Average: $23,687 - $34,305
Top 10 Average: $208,200 - $250,600
Top 20 Average: $129,875 - $149,450
Top 50 Average: $69,115 - $80,275
Performing Cutting Horses
Total Lots Sold: 68 - 96
Actual Average: $21,000 - $26,896
Top 10 Average: $51,000 - $136,400
Top 20 Average: $38,000 - $83,225
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