Reliving horse history - First classic horse sale is at 1 p.m. today in Medora

MEDORA - You could hear the horses coming, thanks to the neighing and braying of mares with their colts following close, before you actually saw them cross the Little Missouri River with the Badlands surrounding them near Sully Creek Park.

MEDORA - You could hear the horses coming, thanks to the neighing and braying of mares with their colts following close, before you actually saw them cross the Little Missouri River with the Badlands surrounding them near Sully Creek Park.

"Today is a beautiful day for a horse round up," Becky Tescher-Robison said Saturday, as she came from Montana to see her brother Doug Tescher of Medora round up around 30 of his horses for the first Medora classic horse sale today at 1 p.m.

Tescher's family, friends and ranch hands crossed the river and backed up traffic on the East River Road south of here to bring stock to sell for an event that looked like a picture from an Old West history book.

"Doug was worried about the colts getting into town OK," said his wife Julie Tescher. "It's all looking good though, everything went OK bringing them in."

The group of riders and horses rested behind a butte nearest the stockyards after meandering through the Badlands for over 3 miles from Sully Creek Park. Going back in history is the concept behind today's first classic horse sale here at the town's stockyards. The Tescher's Bar-X Ranch is joined by three other ranches for the auction which features around 70 horses from a variety of breeds.


"Years ago, the stockyards were where our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were selling and shipping horses onto the rail," said Shelia Marie of Painted Badlands Ranch in Medora. "It's like going back in history."

The sale has generated interest far and wide, she added.

A tent and bleachers are set up by the AmericInn in Medora and the Teschers and other ranches hired an auctioneer, ring men and brought plenty of stock.

"People are coming from all over. I've received calls from people in Minnesota, Texas and Virginia, there's been a lot of interest," said Doug Tescher. "We thought people would enjoy it since we aren't too far from town. I'd been thinking about this for a few years and it took a lot of planning, but I didn't have enough time to do it by myself, so I called some people and we plan on doing this every year if possible."

Along with the Teschers and Marie, Jeff and Kelly Gorrell of Beach and the Gerhardt family of the 4-Tines Ranch near Mandan also are selling stock.

"A bigger share of the horses were born and raised in the Badlands," Marie said. "This is horse, ranch, cattle country and a good spot to have the sale. We've sent catalogs all over the country and Canada, but you never know how many will actually show."

Most of the Teschers' horses go back to foundation red quarter horses, said Tescher.

"They are performance ones with old bloodlines," he added. "Both my dad and uncle raised horses forever. They started 50 years ago. My dad gave me a choice in 1981 between a cow and a horse; I took the gray mare which is where I started. I rode her, got colts from her and went from two or three mares up to 25 of them today."


The Teschers and Marie are neighbors and also knew the Gorrells and Gerhardts as ranchers.

"We always knew we wanted to have one," Kelly Gorrell said about the horse sale. "We got together with Doug (Tescher), knew Medora was a nice place for a sale and a good outlet. It was kind of a whim. Plus, we didn't want to haul them all over (the state) to sell."

Gorrell hopes the sale will become an annual event depending on how it works out today.

The Gorrells were raised on horses and always ranched. Jeff grew up around trotters and helped his father Jay raise horses, while Kelly was raised in Winnett, Mont. The Gorrells have a good idea of the kind of horses needed to compete in rodeos or used on the ranch and strive for versatility in their horses. Their sons Colt and Clint are rodeo competitors and help their parents with breaking, breeding and the general care of the horses.

Marie also comes from a ranch family that always is around horses south of Medora. She was an only child and learned how to ride a horse at a very young age to move cattle with her parents.

"I've dedicated more time to horses and strive to breed ones which have versatility, cow sense, show halter, pleasure and race to make good ranch or arena horses," she said.

Marie continues the family tradition with her daughter Sonya. Marie has sold horses in Italy, Japan, Germany and Canada.

"People like horses. There's always a lot of interest," Gorrell said. "We own mares and studs, but not enough to put a sale on ourselves, and Medora is unique itself where you find all types of people from trail riders to tourists and rodeo riders."

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