Grint and Girls colts are hot commodities
Through the years, Dawes County, Nebraska, hasn’t been known for exporting much other than people, cattle, wheat, hay and alfalfa seed some years. But that changed about six years ago when Jeri Grint Anderson stepped up her involvement in her father’s Quarter horse business that is headquartered seven miles east of Chadron.
This past spring, Jeri sold nine of the first 10 colts sight unseen to horse lovers as far away as Massachusetts, New York, Michigan and California, as well as three to the Colorado Springs area and one to Kansas. It’s the fourth consecutive year that the Kansas rancher has acquired a colt from Grint and Girls, the name that is on the shop/garage at John and Sheri Grint’s place along Highway 20.
John Grint, a native of the Sargent, Neb., area in northeastern Custer County, grew up in the “horse business” and has been involved in it nearly all of his 70-plus years. He says his grandfather, Floyd Pulliam, besides owning the sale barn in Sargent, was a horse trader “from the time he was a little boy until he died,” and bought and sold “thousands of horses” during his lifetime.
After graduating from high school and serving in Vietnam, John Grint enrolled at Chadron State College in the spring of 1968, left a couple of years later, but returned in 1974 as the field representative in northwest Nebraska for the state’s Board of Educational Lands and Funds that manage what are commonly known as school sections. He’s been here ever since.
“I met a lot of great people and never wanted to leave,” Grint notes.
In the ensuing years, he and Sheri, a native of Perkins County who began writing letters to him while he was in the military, married and raised three cowgirls–Johnna, Jami and Jeri. He also sold trailers, helped with every rodeo held in Chadron, often swinging open the chute gate during the bronc riding, until he was at least 65, and raised a few horses.
He recalls getting into the horse business by purchasing two mares, Sugar and Tiger, nearly 40 years ago when he owned just a few acres of land.
In recent years the business has expanded. The Grints were able to purchase pastureland on both sides of Highway 20 after the original owners retired or passed away.
Grint and Girls also known as Grint Quarter Horses now have 20 mares and their colts are hot commodities. Some of the buyers begin making payments long before the colts are born and others purchase them after Jeri sends them a picture of the foal soon after it is born. The colts will run in the pine-studded pastures with their mothers until they are weaned early this fall and shipped to the new owners.
The buyers won’t be getting an untouched weanling. That’s particularly true this year because Jeri has spent nearly every evening in the pastures, sometimes giving the mares a piece of cottonseed cake and petting the colts. Both mother and offspring love to see her coming and frequently nudge another horse out of the way so they can get her attention.
All three Grint girls grew up riding horses, competing in Little Britches and other junior rodeos and continued that activity at least through high school. Jeri also was on the rodeo team at Chadron State College, where she majored in English education. She taught in the Rapid City Schools for six years and at Gillette, Wyo., for 14 before becoming the director of field experience and certification in the education department at CSC in the summer of 2020.
That allowed Jeri, her husband Jeremy and their son Jarek to move to Chadron. They live on one of the places the Grints purchased.
Before the move “back home” was made, Jeri already had become a major player in the Grint Quarter horse business. Six years ago, she began posting photos of her family’s horses on the internet. She now has at least 5,000 pictures of horses on her cell phone and 4,500 friends on her Facebook “horse page: Jeri Grint.”
Since then Grint colts have been sold into at least 20 states as well as to both Sweden and Mexico. John admits that without Jeri’s help, he might be out of the horse business now, but her involvement and the success it’s created have perked up his interest.
He’s especially proud of Nic, a 13-year-old stallion that is officially classified a buckskin, but is an unique copper-colored, friendly fellow with perfect conformation. Nic went back to work in mid-May when he was turned into a pasture with a group of mares to pave the way for next year’s colt crop.
A second stallion, Boone, a blue roan, was put in another pasture with the remaining mares.
Jeri says $1,600 is the lowest price she puts on a colt. Most go for at least $2,500. Blue roans are currently the hottest commodity and fetch the most money, she said. Many of the buyers are repeat customers. Some insist on getting the full sister or brother of a colt they’d previously purchased.
The stud colt that went to Sweden two years ago sold for nearly five figures after the buyers saw its photo and genetic testing determined that all its offspring will be roans.
Writing the check to the owners isn’t all that’s involved in acquiring a colt. It also can cost up to $1,300 to have it delivered to faraway places on either coast.
Jeri notes that one of this year’s colts, Suede, a true buckskin, isn’t for sale. He’s being retained to perhaps be the next Grint and Girls stallion.
Jeri is planning to become even more involved in the horse business this summer. Although it’s been 20 years since she competed, she’s anxious to ride Copper, a big gelding who is a descendant of both triple crown winners Secretariat and Seattle Slew, in some barrel races this summer.
Down the road, she’s also contemplating using Roxy, a two-year-old blue roan mare that was trained by James Pease at Piedmont, S.D., for breakaway roping and cow-horse competitions.
“I’ve never been without a horse, no matter where I’ve lived,” said Jeri, who was the Junior All-Around Cowgirl at the last of the 30 Nebraska State Little Britches Rodeos held in Chadron in 1990, the same year that her sister Johnna was the queen.
“Now that I’m back home and have more space for horses, I’m going to try to make a comeback,” she added.
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