In an era dominated by flashy Landmark incentivised sales the Emerald Ag-Agrow Horse Sale was the place to be on Saturday the 22nd of June 2019 as 93 (less a few scratchings) ridden stock horses and quarter horses were galloped & spun & whirled & twirled in front of the packed stands.
The atmosphere was hopeful as children in prams were strategically parked, prime viewing postions staked out & designated coffee purchasers sent to wait out the excessively long queue at the coffee van.
The drought still biting & the trend towards untrained staff filling the void of station hand positions ensured that station managers were on the look out for quiet, set work horses that had done the miles. Those high headed, half haunted stock horses that gave the impression of being a bit of a handful & most likely girthy on cold morning were left doing motorbike turns in the sand with no or only 1 or 2 low bids.
Acres Destiny bloodlines dominated seemingly being the ‘horse of choice’ by campdrafters who are prolific in the region. Every man & his dog these days seems to have a stallion by AD although the vast majority are unproven & if they were expecting to get big money for their progeny they would have left sorely disappointed.
Smaller, 14hh or thereabouts horses also found it hard to find a worthy home for decent dollars & many were passed in. One vendor in tears as her AD bred gelding out of her favourite mare didn’t get a bid, mainly due to him looking like an oversized, roly poly pony, short neck & wide as he was high.
A well known vendor has changed their tact as a marketing ploy using a friends 11 year old to ‘ride’ their horses in an attempt to raise prices. Their horses are known for being high headed, flighty & hard to handle. The crowd wasn’t fooled & their horses only sold for the average ‘work horse’ price, not the inflated ‘kids pony’ $$$.
We sat ringside with cousins who were on the hunt for a reliable mount for their 11 year old daughter. They snapped up a nice, 15.2hh gelding for just under $4 grand who’d had 12 months steady stock work although only 3 years old. Personally I felt other horses would have suited better & time has proven me right as she is out-horsed but you can only make suggestions & time will always tell…
Top priced was a beautiful black registered stock horse mare who worked kindly & sold for $14 000. 80 lots sold under the hammer to return an average price of $6360 on an aggregate of $362,500
The market for quiet, steady, free moving, with a good foundation of steady mustering work horses proved strong as always with a good of average of $5 to $7 grand for 8 to 10 year old horses ready to just jump on and take to work. Presentation always matters & the ‘pretty’ buckskins & roans also brought higher than average prices, even if their conformation & training was on the ordinary side.
The sale concludes three days of jam packed everything agriclulture on the grounds just east of Emerald, Central Qld. Did you attend? Will you be there next year? Comment below…