Federal government disperses 805 head of Leachman horses at auction | TSLN.com

Federal government disperses 805 head of Leachman horses at auction

by Jeri L. Dobrowski

It took little more than 12 hours over the course of two days to sell 805 horses that once belonged to James H. Leachman of the famed Leachman Hairpin Cavvy. Impounded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for habitually trespassing on the Crow Indian Reservation in southern Montana, the U.S. Government offered the animals for sale at the ranch where they were bred and raised.

Rick Young, of Rick Young and Sons Auctioneers, Absarokee, MT, was notified on Monday, March 28, that his company would be calling the sale on April 2-3. Their bid for services was selected from among those submitting to the BIA for the opportunity. As he welcomed the crowd, Young said their goal was to sell a horse every 60 seconds.

Approximately 400 individuals paid $25 for a bidding number, of which $15 was refunded with the purchase of a horse. Only those with numbers were allowed access to the modest-sized sales pavilion. Others watched a live video feed in the lobby and under a large tent erected nearby.

Sold “as is” with no guarantee that any of the animals could be registered or have registration papers transferred, the colorful herd of blue and red roans, palominos, bays, sorrels, and chestnuts sold for an average of $466. Among them were 15 mares with newborns at side and an equal number of aged stallions. Fifteen others were either redeemed by owners or held back due to illness.

Demand was strong for 208 head of two- and three-year-old studs, which averaged $555. Fillies of the same age averaged $271 on 162 head.

Brood mares sold well, with an average of $418 on 418 head. A 1999 blue roan mare sold to an Arkansas purchaser for $5,200 just minutes before the sale concluded Sunday at 4:40 p.m.

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Aged stallions averaged $2,556, including the sale’s high-selling lot #817, Derek Hancock, a 1997 son of Hancock’s Blue Boy, which sold for $6,000.

At the bottom was a one-eyed weanling which sold for $25.

Representing Montana as directors of the American Quarter Horse Association, Marilyn Randall and Stan Weaver were on hand to answer buyers’ questions regarding registrations. Manning a table in the lobby of the sale barn, they encouraged successful bidders to pursue transfer on the older animals. Weaver noted that keeping the papers intact with a horse at the time of sale adds value.

Randall went to bat for the cause, contacting the BIA and Montana’s two senators to make it a possibility. “When the government became the owner of the animals, we worked with the BIA to impress upon them the importance of getting the transfers,” Randall said. “I called our U.S. Senators to help get this handled. Many of the horses from 2004 and earlier are registered. If it’s possible to positively identify them, the BIA will be assigning transfer to the new owners.”

Unfortunately, not every horse sold was eligible for registration. As Randall noted, “Papers from 2005-2008 are pending. They were never paid for; those papers are going to cost more. And, there are no stallion reports after 2008. Those need to come from the owner of the stallion. That never happened.”

Immediately following the sale, Jim Glenn, Sidney, IA, counseled one young lady about negotiating the complexities of a delayed registration. He suggested that Leachman might follow through with the necessary signature if she would complete what she could before sending it on to him.

Glenn, who worked with Leachman in the past to market Hairpin Cavvy stock, was surprised at what people were paying. “I expected the young ones to bring about half of what they got,” he commented. “The mares went about $100-$200 higher than I thought they might. Ninety percent of the buyers didn’t seem to care if they got papers or not. I expected the herd studs to go for around $1,000 since there is no guarantee the papers will transfer.”

Hairpin Gumbo Pete, a 2000 red roan own son of Gumbo Roany, sold for $5,500 to an out-of-state buyer. Hairpin Sip n Whiskey, a 1999 own son of Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, sold for $4,500, also to an out-of-state buyer. Hairpin Arapahoe, a 1999 red roan with Blue Valentine on the top and bottom, went to a Montana buyer for $3,750.

Krista Parkin, Troy, ID, wasn’t concerned about registration papers on the four fillies she purchased, saying, “You don’t ride paper. A good horse is a good horse.”

Parkin and her friend Sandy Christian, Clarkston, WA, made the hastily-scheduled trip with hopes of finding good ranch horse prospects.

“I was looking for bloodlines for ranch horses,” she said, “especially Roany. Color wasn’t a consideration, it’s never meant anything to me. I was looking for good legs. Leachman had a good thing going, if he would only have continued to manage the program.”

The sale grossed $380,365. Once expenses pertaining to trespass damages, the round-up, and auction have been covered, any remaining monies will be divided among Leachman’s creditors.

It took little more than 12 hours over the course of two days to sell 805 horses that once belonged to James H. Leachman of the famed Leachman Hairpin Cavvy. Impounded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for habitually trespassing on the Crow Indian Reservation in southern Montana, the U.S. Government offered the animals for sale at the ranch where they were bred and raised.

Rick Young, of Rick Young and Sons Auctioneers, Absarokee, MT, was notified on Monday, March 28, that his company would be calling the sale on April 2-3. Their bid for services was selected from among those submitting to the BIA for the opportunity. As he welcomed the crowd, Young said their goal was to sell a horse every 60 seconds.

Approximately 400 individuals paid $25 for a bidding number, of which $15 was refunded with the purchase of a horse. Only those with numbers were allowed access to the modest-sized sales pavilion. Others watched a live video feed in the lobby and under a large tent erected nearby.

Sold “as is” with no guarantee that any of the animals could be registered or have registration papers transferred, the colorful herd of blue and red roans, palominos, bays, sorrels, and chestnuts sold for an average of $466. Among them were 15 mares with newborns at side and an equal number of aged stallions. Fifteen others were either redeemed by owners or held back due to illness.

Demand was strong for 208 head of two- and three-year-old studs, which averaged $555. Fillies of the same age averaged $271 on 162 head.

Brood mares sold well, with an average of $418 on 418 head. A 1999 blue roan mare sold to an Arkansas purchaser for $5,200 just minutes before the sale concluded Sunday at 4:40 p.m.

Aged stallions averaged $2,556, including the sale’s high-selling lot #817, Derek Hancock, a 1997 son of Hancock’s Blue Boy, which sold for $6,000.

At the bottom was a one-eyed weanling which sold for $25.

Representing Montana as directors of the American Quarter Horse Association, Marilyn Randall and Stan Weaver were on hand to answer buyers’ questions regarding registrations. Manning a table in the lobby of the sale barn, they encouraged successful bidders to pursue transfer on the older animals. Weaver noted that keeping the papers intact with a horse at the time of sale adds value.

Randall went to bat for the cause, contacting the BIA and Montana’s two senators to make it a possibility. “When the government became the owner of the animals, we worked with the BIA to impress upon them the importance of getting the transfers,” Randall said. “I called our U.S. Senators to help get this handled. Many of the horses from 2004 and earlier are registered. If it’s possible to positively identify them, the BIA will be assigning transfer to the new owners.”

Unfortunately, not every horse sold was eligible for registration. As Randall noted, “Papers from 2005-2008 are pending. They were never paid for; those papers are going to cost more. And, there are no stallion reports after 2008. Those need to come from the owner of the stallion. That never happened.”

Immediately following the sale, Jim Glenn, Sidney, IA, counseled one young lady about negotiating the complexities of a delayed registration. He suggested that Leachman might follow through with the necessary signature if she would complete what she could before sending it on to him.

Glenn, who worked with Leachman in the past to market Hairpin Cavvy stock, was surprised at what people were paying. “I expected the young ones to bring about half of what they got,” he commented. “The mares went about $100-$200 higher than I thought they might. Ninety percent of the buyers didn’t seem to care if they got papers or not. I expected the herd studs to go for around $1,000 since there is no guarantee the papers will transfer.”

Hairpin Gumbo Pete, a 2000 red roan own son of Gumbo Roany, sold for $5,500 to an out-of-state buyer. Hairpin Sip n Whiskey, a 1999 own son of Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, sold for $4,500, also to an out-of-state buyer. Hairpin Arapahoe, a 1999 red roan with Blue Valentine on the top and bottom, went to a Montana buyer for $3,750.

Krista Parkin, Troy, ID, wasn’t concerned about registration papers on the four fillies she purchased, saying, “You don’t ride paper. A good horse is a good horse.”

Parkin and her friend Sandy Christian, Clarkston, WA, made the hastily-scheduled trip with hopes of finding good ranch horse prospects.

“I was looking for bloodlines for ranch horses,” she said, “especially Roany. Color wasn’t a consideration, it’s never meant anything to me. I was looking for good legs. Leachman had a good thing going, if he would only have continued to manage the program.”

The sale grossed $380,365. Once expenses pertaining to trespass damages, the round-up, and auction have been covered, any remaining monies will be divided among Leachman’s creditors.

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