The excitement of a positive sale environment was unmistakable among buyers, sellers and spectators during the recent Triangle Winter Sale in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Jan. 27-28. During the two-day event, 81 of the 456 horses that sold went for $10,000 or more. The consistently strong sales led to a net average of $6,200 and an 85 percent sales completion rate (less those withdrawn).
The Winter Sale totals are among the best for the venue and make it one of the top producing sales since Jim Ware, of Weatherford, Texas, purchased Triangle Sales in the fall of 2014. Triangle’s “Top $10,000 Club,” established for horses fetching sale prices of $10,000 or more, reached 141 total members for the entire year in 2016. Ware said selling 81 head for more than $10,000 in one sale is a remarkable achievement and a big market indicator.
He attributed the success to the Triangle sale structure, which is geared to provide a range of quality horses in multiple disciplines. Ware also believes the once lagging horse market, repressed by economic and political factors, is beginning to gain solid momentum.
“I think the market has, in part, been very politically driven,” Ware said. “We had three sales in October before the election, and people were uneasy about their spending. The sales remained successful, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do.
“I think people with horse interests feel more encouraged about the future now,” Ware continued. “Hopefully, we’re about to have a lot of fun in the industry. Also, there is more of a shortage in terms of horses on the market because of the cycle we’ve been experiencing, and things are picking back up for demand – if you’ve got good ones to sell it is going to be a particularly good time.”
The recent Winter Sale’s top 10 head averaged $25,800 and the top 50 averaged $16,700. While Ware’s first sale with Triangle averaged $6,500 in January 2015, he said strong sales did not run as deep; the slightly higher average was gained with the help of some loftier stand out purchases.
“The January 2015 sale had a lot of expensive horses,” Ware said. “We had a stallion [One Fabulous Time] that topped the sale at $125,000. When you look at this recent sale, the average is pretty close, and the highest horse we sold was only $47,000. So the strength was throughout the sale. There were a lot of good horses to choose from, top to bottom.”
The $47,000 highest seller Ware referred to was a 2009 palomino stallion named Von Step At A Time (Wimpys Little Step x Von Freckles x Colonel Freckles). The stallion was consigned by Cannon Quarter Horses, of Waxahachie, Texas, and purchased by Gaylon and Paulette Hayes, of Oklahoma City.
This was the first time in several years that a reining-bred horse has been the high seller at Triangle. Recent sales have seen this designation consistently go to cutting horses.
“It wasn’t just the cutting horses that were selling well,” Ware said of the Winter Sale. “Horses sold good in each of the sessions. We had a lot of nice ranch geldings that were gentle, rode beautifully and were really nice horses. They averaged good at $6,150.”
Hillis Akin, a longtime reining and reined cow horse breeder based in Gainesville, Texas, sold seven horses for an average of $11,500. High averages by session for the Winter Sale were: cutting show horses at $12,400, closely followed by reining show horses, at $10,600.
The second-highest seller was Spots Super (Spots Hot x Highbrow Supercat x Highbrow Cat), a 2012 cutting mare consigned by Slate River Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas. The mare sold for $37,000 to Reece Rakestraw, of Woodward, Oklahoma.
The third-highest seller was CD Dually, who sold for $27,500. The 2010 sorrel gelding (CD Olena x Lilly Dual by Dual Pep) was consigned by Paul Smith, of Midland, Texas, and purchased by David Murray, of Bullard, Texas.
The 2015 red roan colt Docs Metallic Oak (Metallic Cat x Sweet Stylish Win x Docs Stylish Oak) brought the fourth-highest price of $23,000. The colt sold to Steve Huckfeldt, of Morril, Nebraska, after being consigned by Ronnie and Kate Robinson, of Orlando, Oklahoma.
Rounding out the top five was Smooth Movin Marie (Smooth As A Cat x Smart Marie by Smart Little Lena), who sold to Nathan Barrett, of Lone Oak, Texas, for $22,500. The 2013 sorrel filly was consigned by John and Hope Mitchell, of Weatherford.
Triangle’s next event is the Spring Sale, slated for April 28-29.
“I like where we are and how things are taking shape,” Ware said. “We’ve learned that we do better with the two-day sale rather than three-day sale. So our goal for the upcoming year is two full days — except October, when we’ll also have a full day for barrel horses.
“It’s taken us a while to see what works best and to see where we need to be,” he continued. “This is the first time we have had our dates exactly where we want them. We know what is working and have a feel for how many horses we can sell well.”
For more information, including full sale results, visit trihorse.com.