Western Bloodstock, for more than 20 years the premier sale company for the cutting horse industry, has been sold by Ben Emison and Milt Bradford to Jeremy and Candace Barwick of Stephenville, Texas.
“I could not be happier,” said Emison, 75, a licensed auctioneer with more than 40 years experience in the cutting horse business. “Milt and I are still going to be on the Western Bloodstock team. Don’t look for any changes, except for having a young guy with a lot of bright ideas to move things forward.
“Jeremy knows as much as I do about the horse industry,” added Emison, who first met Barwick at a Silverbrook Ranch Sale in the late 90s, when Barwick was a teenager, and has known Candace and her family for 30 years.
The Barwicks, who also own Shadow Oak Ranch, a Quarter Horse breeding, training and rehabilitation center, are both National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Champions. Jeremy, 36, claimed the NCHA Open World Championship in 2006, 2007, and 2009 on Dual Rey Me, the career winner of $818,177, ranked third among cutting’s all-time leading money-earners. Candace was the 2008 NCHA Non-Pro Reserve World Champion on Dual Rey Me.
“I’ve trained horses for the last 15 years, along with operating the breeding and rehab facility, but the biggest part of my business has been fitting people with horses to show or breed,” said Barwick. “It’s the part of the business I love the best and this is an opportunity of a lifetime for Candy and me.
“When I first approached Ben and Milt about it, I thought we’d probably never be able to get it done. But part of the arrangement is that they both will be working very closely with us and all of the policies and procedures will remain the same.
“They have obviously built a very successful business and we will not make any changes without consulting with them.”
Western Bloodstock was founded in 2000, and it’s first venue was the 2000 NCHA Futurity Sale. Since then, the company, which also produces farm and ranch sales and dispersals, has become an integral part of the cutting horse industry through three major sales in Forth Worth: the NCHA Futurity Sale, the NCHA Super Stakes Sale and the NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale. In the past 20 years, more than 26,000 horses have gone under the hammer at Western Bloodstock auctions.
“We had a meeting with the NCHA Sale Committee before we went ahead with the transaction and everyone was very enthusiastic about it,” said Bradford who, at 63, has been involved with equine sales for more than 30 years. “Jeremy and Candace have the business experience and resources behind them to make a very positive impact for horse owners and breeders, as well as for the NCHA.”
Candace’s mother, Mary Lee Dixon, is the granddaughter of Charles W. Lamar Sr., founder of Lamar Outdoor Advertising Company, the nation’s largest owner and provider of highway billboards and signs.
“My mom and my step-dad, Bill, have kind of guided us in the right direction through this,” said Candace. “They were our sounding board and have been a big factor in everything we’ve done.”
Western Bloodstock’s next venue in Fort Worth is the NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale, Aug. 2-3, at Will Rogers Equestrian Center.