CSU Legends of Ranching Sale

The annual Colorado State University performance horse sale offers top ranching stock for buyers and real-world experience for equine sciences students.

By Christine Hamilton
The American Quarter Horse Journal
April 30, 2013

CSU Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale offers top ranching stock and equine sciences experience

Colorado State University Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale offers top ranching stock and equine sciences experience. (Journal photo) Scroll down for more photos from the sale.

The Colorado State University Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale wrapped up Saturday, April 27, with 82 head offered at the B.W. Pickett Equine Sciences Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was the largest consignment in the sale’s eight-year history.

Preliminary numbers had gross sales at $295,050, with an overall average at $3,598. The young stock averaged $2,995 ($10,000 high seller); the aged stock averaged $4,274 ($13,000 high seller). Many of the horses were eligible for the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge.

Consignments included young and finished stock from respected ranches from across the country in support of the CSU Equine Sciences Program and the sale’s real-world teaching purpose. The sale is part of the students’ learning experience, with the sales production class in charge of managing and putting on the sale, and the colt training lab in charge of starting the ranches’ young stock.

“(The sale is) life changing for most of (the students),” said Bobbie Walton, CSU department of animal sciences instructor in charge of the training lab. “It’s as close to a real-life experience as they are going to get in a school setting. And that’s our goal.”

Bobbie believes that many students come into the program with a limited view of careers the horse industry offers. The entire sale experience broadens their horizons.

“(The training class) shows them how much work goes in to doing this,” she said. “For a few students, the class certainly solidifies that (training horses) is what they want to do. But a lot of them decide that there are other things that they want to do.

“And that’s a good thing. Part of what we do here is to help students figure out what it is that they do want to do. There are quite a few of them that never even thought about sale prep or marketing as career possibilities. This helps them to see that there is so much more out there.”

The biggest change she sees in her students through the progress of the class is “in confidence … they get more confident and assertive.” In starting the young horses, “they have to work through things that they didn’t think they could, and they do it!”

In the past, many consigning ranches and professional members of the CSU Equine Sciences Advisory Committee have visited as guest clinicians and lecturers for the training class. This year, the students benefited from visits by Bill and Carole Smith of Thermopolis, Wyoming; AQHA Professional Horseman Kevin Meyer of Douglas, Wyoming; and AQHA Professional Horseman Julie Goodnight of Poncha Springs, Colorado.

“You have to have good horses and good work,” Bobbie said. “You take those good horses and put them with the students and allow them to learn.”

Cowan Select Horses LLC consigned the high-seller, Peptoplay, a 2004 sorrel gelding by Pepto Taz and out of Desire A Playboy by Freckles Playboy. The gelding was purchased by Dr. Kurt Shiner for $13,000.

High-selling young horse at $10,000 was Gunpowder Pick, a 2010 sorrel mare by PG Gunpowder and out of Pick The Pay by Sixes Pick, consigned by Burnett Ranches LLC, and trained by CSU student Kawena Schuman.

The sale learning experience includes a student competition the weekend prior to the sale, where training lab students compete with their trainees in riding and salesmanship tests. The 2013 Wagonhound Land & Livestock student competition winner was Joanes Sport, ridden and trained by CSU student Ian Kersch. Consigned by Saunders Ranch of Weatherford, Texas, the 2010 sorrel mare is by Sport N Bet and out of Joane Capitan by Doc’s Capitan.

“There are jobs to be had in the horse business,” Bobbie added. “A person just has to work. That’s the message I give to students. It’s a commitment; it’s a lifestyle not just a job.”

And the CSU Legends of Ranching Sale is a great instructor.