A pick-up and horse trailer occupied every available parking space at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture's (NCTA) Livestock Training Center for the First Annual NCTA Horse Sale. The sale held on October 22, was organized and produced by the equine marketing class at NCTA with guidance from their instructor, Loriann Lindner.
The sale began with 44 lots groomed and ready to show, either by halter or with full riding tack. As each horse was presented in the ring, scripts were read and testimonials given providing back up to the bloodlines or training the horse had to its advantage. For many, this wasn't just the selling of animals, it was a display of the work they love to do with horses, or finding a new home for a horse that has been
a dependable worker and an
By mid-sale, there were 56 bidders keeping their place in the stands. As with any sale, the seller doesn't always know exactly what the buyer is looking for, and with horses, it can be a wide range of possibilities. Some buyers have broad goals for the horse they are looking for, while some have very specific needs.
"With the market the way it is now, you need to play all your cards; grooming, photos, training, scripts and advertising," said Loriann Lindner, NCTA equine marketing instructor. "Most everyone sold
what they brought and seemed
The sale became an opportunity for horse owners to consign a horse to sell, but the main objective was ultimately the learning experience that the equine marketing students would have. Consignors and NCTA students knew the market has not seen as much demand and were prepared to play all their cards in presenting the horses in the sale. The NCTA equine program itself had extra horses due to donations over the years. Students in the equine marketing class had worked with those in order to prepare them for the sale.
Lindner said there had been many calls to consign horses even after the cut-off date. In the interest of advertising each horse in the best way possible, the class didn't add to the consignments if they couldn't properly promote the horse. The accurate recording of information for consigned horses is a job that involves quite a few details, especially to achieve the best representation.
The complete sales package that Lindner instructed the students in using fits right in with industry expectations. According to North Platte area horse trainer, Dusty Barner, there is still demand for
a finished horse that can be put
right to work.
"Horses with bloodline, good conformation, color and gender will still bring their money," said Barner. "Good horses sell great, average horses sell poorly, and there's got to be somewhere to go with the bottom end of horses."
Barner notes that there just aren't as many people who use horses on a daily basis to accomplish the work that they do. That horse earns its keep when needed for work, but its upkeep is still a year-round obligation. With consideration of the rising costs of feed, then keeping a horse becomes an expensive venture. For more and more owners, the horse needs to meet a particular need so that they can justify the expense of keeping it.
Presently there is an overabundance of horses, which just drives the price downward, especially now when feed is priced high and alfalfa supplies are very tight. If the horse doesn't have qualities that stand out, then it becomes subject to the market, and Barner has observed that there is no bottom to the market.
The proceeds from the sale of the NCTA horses will go back to support equine studies program at NCTA. Several sponsors donated items such as tack, horse supplies or feed to be auctioned off during the sale. Those sponsors were: DM Tack-Dennis Moorland-Weatherford, Texas; Pawnee Springs Ranch, Maxwell, Neb.; Animal Clinic, Ogallala, Neb.; James Marshal Hats, Arthur, Neb.; Figure Four Traditions, Arthur, Neb.; Bits N More LLC, Broken Bow, Neb.; Valentine Feed Service, Valentine, Neb.; Ag Supply, Curtis, Neb.
Pro Printing of North Platte made and donated the banner used in the arena during the sale. NCTA received a lot of local support in the way of volunteers at the sale. Regina Andrijeski took care of the clerking duties. Steve Krull, veterinarian, was available to check over any health issues with horses or Coggins tests for those traveling over state lines. Arena ringmen were from the local area.
The sale is over, but the class continues with reviewing the results of the sale, writing thank you notes and getting feedback that will help them make changes for future sales.