Giddyup: Here come the horsesWant a yearling or a stallion? More than 200 horses will be up for grabs Saturday at Double J Horse Sales first fall sale at Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange in Dickinson.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
Want a yearling or a stallion?
More than 200 horses will be up for grabs Saturday at Double J Horse Sales first fall sale at Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange in Dickinson.
The fall sale, which was renamed and relocated from Bowman to Dickinson this year, will involve consigners from the Midwest, including North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota and Canada.
“Some of the biggest horse ranches ever in North Dakota were in the southwest part of the state and horses are still pretty popular here and in the states around North Dakota,” said Joe Hickel, Ray, an auctioneer who co-hosts the sale with John Bearman, Minot. “This is ranch country after all, and this sale has gotten to be quite popular.”
The sale will begin at noon and Hickel expects it to last six to seven hours this weekend.
“We have 3,000 catalogs we mail out and advertise in the
Midwest and beyond and that draws them in,” Hickel said. “The catalog allows buyers who are looking for certain kinds of horses to see what we have. A lot of them also have pictures of the
horses listed in the catalog, as well as extensive footnotes about their accomplishments, and all of that helps lead buyers to the right horse for them and their needs.”
Terry Hammel, who formerly owned a ranch near Killdeer before he moved to Hot Springs, S.D., where he runs Hammel Ranch, came back to North Dakota to put some of his horses in the Double J Horse Sale last May.
He also plans to put two more horses in the sale this Saturday.
“I buy and sell a lot and the first things I look at are the animal’s feet and legs,” he said. “If the feet and legs aren’t sound, they aren’t worth anything. You also want to watch and make sure the horse has a decent disposition because you don’t want to get home and not be able to ride it, but they screen the horses well at this sale.”
To help better match the buyers with the horses, there will be an 8 a.m. ranch horse competition.
“This gives buyers some comfort to see what the horses do and lets people see that there is quality there. If there’s not
quality, they’ll see that too,” Bearman said.
Owners of the horses are asked to have their horses perform four of the eight required maneuvers that are laid out in the
Double J Horse Sales catalog.
“But they won’t know which four until the morning of the
competition, so they have to practice all eight maneuvers,”
Bearman said how the competition will run.
Obstacles involved in the competition include: open and close a gate, dismount, re-bridle and drop bridle off, perform a figure eight, drag a log, load a trailer, cross obstacles, turn a box,
dismount and pick up all four feet, jump a log, run down to the end of the arena and do a left or right rollback.
“A good percentage of the consigners, if they want to, also rope and ask for steer,” Bearman said. “It’s really neat to see how hard they’ve worked on these obstacles at home, and the horses really can do them, which proves that they are better than others.”
Having grown up on a farm and ranch, Hickel has rarely been without a horse, as he started riding and raising his own colts since childhood.
“Even with my experience with horses, (Bearman) has been like a big brother and mentor to me,” he said. “He’s been around the horse block awhile.”
Bearman, a Minot insurance agent and auctioneer, knows a thing or two about horses.
“The first horse I ever got was in 1963 at Stockman’s in Dickinson in the same barn we will be in on Saturday,” he said. “I was nine and went to a horse sale there with my dad, and I got a colt. I’ve owned a lot of horses since then, and my wife and I, who have two small children, also trail ride and use horses for cattle.”