The spring horse sale in Wyoming brought big bucks in spite of the coronavirus.
It was welcome news to hear Carole Smith of WYO Quarter Horse Ranch say their 2020 spring sale was “the one of the best sales we’ve ever had.” Smith and her husband, Bill, decided to run their spring horse sale on May 16 in Wyoming despite the coronavirus and related event closings.
“I was nervous if the sale was even going to happen, but if Bill was, he never showed it,” Smith says. “Sure enough, about a month before the sale the county commissioner said we were good to go. “
Forty-seven horses sold through in-person and virtual bidding for a total of $828,250. The average sale price was $17,622, with 37 geldings bringing an average of $19,074. Two stallions averaged a price tag of $36,100. Smith says the averages were drastically higher this year than in recent years.
For a full look at the sale results, click here.
The high seller was WYO Scottish Blue, a 2018 blue roan stallion that went for $45,000. “Mick” is by ELS Scottish Nick and out of Whippets Nevada Nell by TJ Whippet, who Bill says has been “an exceptional producer.”
“I have never considered keeping a stud prospect by ELS Scottish Nick until this colt came along,” says Bill.
For the first time, the ranch enlisted the help of Superior Livestock to livestream the sale and take Internet and phone bids. Twenty horses ended up selling through the livestock auction and rural television production company.
“Bringing on Superior made it easier for people who couldn’t attend,” says Smith. “We will definitely use them at our fall sale and with the rest of our sales going forward. They made it fun.”
Smith says even with social distancing guidelines and online bidding available, they had some of the best crowds they’ve seen in years, “and they were buyers, not just lookie-loos,” says Smith.
It’s been a tough year for the Smiths. Their fall sale in 2019 was cancelled due to vesicular stomatitis, then COVID-19 threatened to cancel their 2020 spring sale. The next WYO Quarter Horse Ranch Sale is scheduled for September 19.
When doubt and fear could have easily caused the family to cancel the event, instead the Smiths stood firm and believed that quality of the horses in their catalog would make for a successful sale — and their beliefs paid off.
“We’re relieved and happy,” Smith says, and recommends other breeders should try virtual and in-person sales. “Every county is different. For example, in the county north of us, in Cody, all the sales have to be online. But in this day and age, try both online and in-person.”