2021 BHSS top seller: ‘Thanks for noticin’ me’ – Eeyore’s new owners pleased with his abilities
Invester Maudie aka “Eeyore” was one of the high selling horses at the 2021 Black Hills Stock Show Truck Defender Horse Sale. Consigned by Ron and Jordanne Wells and shown by Paul Griemsman, Eeyore brought $38,000 to split the top of the weekend a year ago. “We knew he’d sell good–we didn’t know he’d sell that great,” Ron Wells says.
The 2010 American Paint Horse Association tobiano sorrel carries the name of his great grand sire, The Invester, an American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame stallion. The sizable and handsome gelding served as a “family horse” for the Wellses. Ron and Jordanne, along with their three children aged 5, 7, and 8, manage a ranch for an absentee landowner near Springview, Nebraska. Everyone helps with the ranch work, and the family enjoys team roping together when time and work allows. “The kids get to ride most everything on the ranch that we sell. Usually everything we sell is pretty user friendly, as far as a family horse, ranch horse, and team roping horse,” Wells says.
They stumbled upon Eeyore by chance and saw his potential. “He belonged to my dad’s neighbor. He—for some reason—didn’t get along with him. We bought him and brought him back out here and went to work on him and he came around right away. He just wanted to please and be a good horse for the kids to ride and rope on. My wife roped on him at some ropings and he was just pretty talented,” Wells said. Eeyore had lots of money won on both ends team roping, as well as in junior rodeos, by the time he was consigned.
The ranching background on all of their sale horses seems to transition nicely into finishing them in the arena, according to Wells. After fall work is done on the ranch, they send their sale geldings directly to Paul and Jana Griemsman for a couple of months of focused roping and sale preparation. They have consigned two horses per year to the BHSS Truck Defender Horse Sale for seven years, using Griemsman to represent every single one. On a related note, Paul and Jana were named the 2022 BHSS Horse People of the Year.
Like Griemsmans, Ron and Jordanne Wells use Sammi Johnson of SJ Equine Promotions to market their horses through photography, videography, and social media. Following this yearly pattern has proven successful for the Wells family.
It is every horse seller’s dream to see their horses go to a home where they are used and loved. So where is Eeyore now?
Last January at the James Kjerstad Event Center, Toby Vineyard was the last man to raise his finger on Eeyore, buying him with just one purpose in mind: to put his kids on a good horse. “I don’t buy aged geldings at horse sales, ever,” Vineyard said. In fact, he had never been to a Black Hills Stock Show horse sale until that day. “The only reason I went there and bought him was because I trust Paul and what he said about the horse,” he said. “We’ve been friends for a long, long time. I called Paul and visited with him about it and it sounded like he’d be a pretty good fit for what we were wanting and we went over and bought him.”
Vineyard’s two children, Bronc (14) and Brindle (nearly 12) are active in the Wyoming Junior High Rodeo Association. Seeking a horse with which his kids could be competitive in multiple events, he found the perfect match with Eeyore. “He’s mainly my daughter, Brindle’s, barrel horse. He’s done an outstanding job of that. He’s really helped her with her riding ability and getting her confidence,” he said. Bronc uses him for team roping sometimes, and Toby has even hopped on him in a pinch. “I borrowed him a couple times for some Wrangler ropings when I had a horse that was a little lame. I borrowed him from the kids for some higher numbered ropings and I won a good bit of money on him last summer, too. He’s kind of just fit in wherever we need him. He does a good job,” Vineyard says. Eeyore is once again a horse for the whole family.
Vineyard made the most of his trip to Rapid City last year. He also purchased Hot French Express, a 2014 buckskin gelding sold by Josh and Sam Lilley. “I bought another horse that day that turned out to be pretty outstanding. It was kind of an uncharacteristic thing, but I was watching the preview and he kind of caught my eye. I won a lot of money team roping on him last year. I’ve got big, big plans for him,” Vineyard says.
Vineyard is originally from the Arvada/Clearmont, Wyoming area, but recently became the manager of the Sunlight Game Ranch in Hardin, Montana. The Wells family was thrilled that Eeyore went to a family that would appreciate him. “I was extremely happy. I didn’t really know the people but Paul knew the people really well and said he was going to a great place where he’d get ranched on and kind of be a junior rodeo kid’s horse and they’d team rope on him, too. I was tickled to death that somebody got him that was going to use him a lot,” Wells said.
Ron and Jordanne Wells have sold over a dozen horses at the BHSS Truck Defender Horse Sale, and are selling two more geldings this year. “It’s just been great for us. We’ve had a tremendous experience. Every year it just gets a little better,” he says.
They are offering Lot #87 Playguns Shooter on the first day and Lot #162 Jack Mr Tony on the second. Both sales—Friday, Jan. 28 and Saturday, Jan. 29—begin with the previews at 8 a.m. and sales at 1 p.m.
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