Triangle Sales Co. Begins New Chapter
The long-running Oklahoma sale company sells to auction veteran Jim Ware, who looks to expand Triangle Sales' focus.
September 23, 2014
Triangle Sales Co. is under new ownership after more than three and a half decades as the equine auction spot for all-around performance horses representing almost every discipline.
Created in 1979 by Cindy Bowling and her late husband, John, Triangle Sales Co. has been sold to Jim Ware, who is a former partner of Western Bloodstock. Ware learned the auction business from his family while growing up in northeastern Louisiana and has been active in the equine industry his entire life.
After celebrating a milestone birthday, Bowling, who is an avid scuba diver and reining horse competitor, made the decision to sell the company.
“I would never sell my company to someone that I didn’t think was going to go on and make it better, promote it, do better things and keep the name,” Bowling said. “I think Jim is honest and fair, and I think he’ll make me proud. His goal is to make it bigger than it is now and better like it used to be back in the glory days.”
“It’s been in business for 36 years, and you don’t do something for 36 years without doing something right,” Ware stated. “They’ve done a good job, and it’s in a great location that is convenient to a lot of different parts of the United States. It’s a lot more than just an auction to a lot of people. It’s kind of like family to a lot of folks.
“I’ve always had a big admiration for Triangle Sales,” Ware added. “It brings people from all over the world and not just for one particular discipline but many. I enjoy that. I like selling more than one type of horse.”
Ware takes management of Triangle Sales on October 8, immediately following the upcoming Fall Sale and is planning some changes and improvements to the January 16-18, 2015, sale.
Shorter sale days are planned, and Triangle Sales will offer “click-to-bid” Internet purchasing options through Superior Productions. Buyers will have peace of mind through free and immediate fall-of-hammer insurance that will be in effect for 24 hours. While the sale will still be held at Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma, it will move to a different building so that horses will be able to be worked live on cattle while being sold. Pre-sale barrel and rope horse demonstrations will be more formal to allow potential buyers to evaluate auction horses. Big screen TVs will be installed to enhance the sale experience, and Visa and MasterCard will be accepted for payment.
“I’ve sold thousands and thousands of cutting horses,” Ware said. “I have learned that there are a lot of great horses that may not be the flavor of the month at one sale but they may be a big attraction at Triangle for multiple disciplines. We’re always going to put a special emphasis on cutting horses because I know that’s the nucleus of performance horses, but expect a great variety of horses at the sales.”
“I have some employees that have been here since we started,” Bowling said. “The sale-day staff is a very cohesive group. They are more like family because we’ve all been doing this so long together. It is my hope that it continues to have that family atmosphere.
“It’s also that way with the customers – the consignors and buyers,” Bowling said. “Many of them have been coming here year after year. We had people that got married here, and one couple named their child Shawnee. The same familiar faces have been here a long, long time, and my goal is that it continues to have that honest reputation and family atmosphere, and I think Jim will do that. That’s very important to me. I have faith and trust in him that he will do this.”
Ware will add some well-known names to the Triangle staff.
“We’ve assembled a great team to sell the horses,” Ware said.
The auctioneers for upcoming sales will be equine sale veterans Steve Friskup and Don Green. Ware will offer his pedigree analysis along with Triangle mainstay, Ron Berndt and Wade Cunningham.
Other additions that Ware plans to make include adding a special session for AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders and a special barrel racing and speed horse session.
“A lot of people who are raising the versatility ranch-type horse don’t have their own sale or access to what they really need so we’re going to try to make that a really great venue for each of those people,” Ware said. “They will be special guests and have their own session at every sale.”
Ware added, “My involvement with racing Quarter Horses has really opened my eyes to the need for a market for barrel prospects throughout the calendar year. We intend to fill that void at Triangle.”
Bowling will stay on with Triangle Sales through April and then plans to devote her time to diving, reining, visiting family and volunteering with the Kairos Prison Ministry.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to make the transition as easy as possible and to make it a success,” Bowling said. “It’s my goal to make sure that Jim’s very successful in the future. Triangle has been here 36 years and there’s no reason it can’t be here another 36 years. I believe we are the oldest and largest.”