What makes this auction extra special is that 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit 28 children who lost their fathers when a U.S. Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011, killing 30 Americans and eight Afghans. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) will pay 100 percent of the childrens’ college and provides a laptop and printer and covers the cost of books and housing. The Fallen Hero Stallion Service Auction will donate all proceeds to the SOWF.
The Fallen Hero Stallion Service Auction will take place on Saturday, Dec. 10, after the Western Bloodstock Breakfast of Champions/Stallion Alley and will begin at approximately 8:55 a.m. in the Watt Arena in the Will Rogers Complex.
Founded by Sgt. Amber Roberts of Brandon, Wisc., the Fallen Hero Stallion Service Auction is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that will manage the auction and donate the money to the SOWF. Roberts hopes that in the future the Fallen Hero Stallion Service can provide financial grants and scholarships.Along with the breedings, Roberts said an American flag that was flown in a combat mission in Afghanistan will be auctioned off as well.
Roberts is a U.S Army aviation operations specialist who was in Afghanistan at the time of the helicopter crash, working in the tactical operations center.
"The guys who died in the crash were assigned to our task force," Roberts said. Roberts, 28, has spent 11 years in the U.S. Army, with seven of the last nine years spent overseas.
Roberts has spent her whole life around horses and began showing buckskins. Her parents also bred horses. After Roberts joined the service, her mother got into Quarter Horses. She said her first time on a cutting horse, the horse went one way and she went the other way. After that, she was hooked.
“I’m more of a breeder than a shower,” Roberts said laughing. "I have two mares that I’m breeding to. While I was in Afghanistan, after the helicopter crash, I wanted to raise funds to donate to an organization. So while I was looking for a stallion to breed to my mares, I approached a group of horse owners that support our troops and proposed having a stallion service auction where stallion owners donate a breeding to their stallion and then mare owners bid on the breeding. The funds then go to help families of fallen soldiers."
Roberts credits Milt Bradford and Shane Plummer for helping her get the foundation off the ground and get the breedings from some of the top stallions in the cutting industry. While she was in Afghanistan, she contacted Milt Bradford, Weatherford, Texas, part owner of Western Bloodstock, the official sale company of the NCHA. Then Roberts got in touch with Shane Plummer, owner of SDP Buffalo Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas. Plummer is also on the board of the NCHA Stallion Committee. The three of them then quickly got the ball rolling.
“I hope you join us at the auction as we will present the stallion owners with flags as tokens of thanks,” Roberts said. “I think this a great way to give thanks to not only the stallion owners but those that buy these breedings and bring awareness to this new stallion auction for next year and the years to come.”
Roberts has four more years left of service and will be returning to Afghanistan in the fall of 2012. She hopes that when she gets out she will have time to show horses. To find out more about Fallen Hero Stallion Service Auction, call Amber Roberts at 920-539-6576. You can also visit her on Facebook at Fallen Hero SSA. Roberts also has a Fallen Hero Stallion Service Auction booth in the Exhibit Hall. Be sure to stop by and tell her how much you appreciate her service and hard work for our troops.