Black Hills Stock Show Horse Sale Moves to Kjerstad Event Center
From parking to seating, the Black Hills Stock Show Truck Defender Horse Sale should be a more streamlined event for buyers and sellers this year.
The horse sale will be leaving the traditional venue at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and heading to the James Kjerstad Event Center on the Central States Fairgrounds, Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1.
In the past the preview has been at the event center, while the sale was held at the Civic Center, but this year it’s one-stop shopping for horse buyers.
Paul Griemsman, who has been consigning horses at the Black Hills Stock Show Horse Sale for more than 15 years, said, “I’m real excited about it. It’s going to make it so much easier for me. It was always such a rush, to get everything loaded and hauled up there after the preview.”
Ron Jeffries, BHSS general manager, said “In order for the horse sale to continue to be successful, the sale preview needs to take place at the same place as the sale. We were unable to accommodate that at the venue it was at. We decided to move it entirely to the fairgrounds property, which will make room for expansion of the livestock events.”
In previous years consignors took their horses to the Kjerstad, performed in the preview, then loaded them up and hauled them to the Civic Center in the two-hour window between the preview and the sale. “You about had to hire someone to drive your trailer, drop off you and your horse, then go park and walk all the way back to the Civic Center,” Griemsman said.
Jeffries also said having the preview and sale in one location will give buyers a chance to get a better look at the horses and possibly even ride a horse they’re serious about before the sale.
Griemsman said safety was always a concern at the Civic Center, with people pushing strollers through the aisles behind horses, and lots of people who weren’t interested in buying horses coming through just to look at them.
“I think it will be a more serious horse-buying crowd at the event center,” Griemsman said. More seating and more space will allow for bigger crowds, and Jeffries hopes that the better format, more space and shorter timeline will draw more horses and allow them to continue improving the quality of the sale.
The change in location should speed the sale along, so people should be able to get done at the horse sale and still get to the Civic Center to visit vendors and take in other events on Saturday afternoon and evening.
With the horse sale freeing up the sale ring in Rushmore Hall, BHSS will be featuring a youth livestock show, which is a new event this year.
“Our expansion for the next two years is in the youth livestock categories,” Jeffries said. “Within three years we expect the youth show will be a dominant event the first weekend of the stock show.”
The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is starting a two-year remodeling and expansion project, which will provide more room for increasing the livestock shows and sales.