Annual Amish auction draws a crowd
Earlier this month the Amish colony near Ashland, Mont., teamed up with Slug Mills and crew for their unique annual auction. Along with dozens of colorful handmade quilts and rugs, enough beautiful handcrafted furniture to fill a large home, toys, lawn furniture and home canned edibles they included a modest offering of horses.
Since horses turn all the wheels of this community, most were broke to drive as well as ride. Blue roan, red roan, grullo, sorrel, palomino, Paint and Appaloosa – the horses were nearly as colorful as the quilts.
Amish children and horses grow up together, which was evident by the amount of dust that was stirred up around the perimeter of the auction throughout the day. Nothing makes a horse as gentle as kids, and gentle horses are in high demand.
Four young girls entered the ring on an alert, responsive sorrel horse with a nice way of going. As the auctioneer touted his ability as a heading horse and dragging calves to the branding fire he was gaveled off at $3,300. A 3-year-old blue roan ridden by a brother and sister had feedlot experience and proved gentle as the brother jumped off and crawled under his belly and between his legs with sister still behind the saddle, drawing a bid of $2,000. Another sorrel used for ranching and feedlot work handled with a light rein to back, stop, and sidepass to sell for $1,900; the same amount commanded by a 4-year-old AQHA registered Grullo with only 30 days riding.
Sale-topper for a bid of $4,500 was an 8-year-old AQHA registered palomino gelding with lots of chrome – blaze face and three white socks – a good handle, and roping experience in and out of the arena.
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The road has been long, but saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell hasn’t lost his passion for rodeoing.