CSU Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale continues offering unique opportunities for students | TheFencePost.com

CSU Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale continues offering unique opportunities for students

Story and Photos Tony Bruguiere
Fort Collins, Colo.
Colorado State University student trainer Amanda McCarthy of Arvada, Colo., and her mare, Gallos Charmin Tari, in front of the Legends of Ranching barn at the Pickett Equine Center.
Tony Bruguiere |


High Seller $10,000 PC Dustin Della, consigned by Wagonhound Land & Livestock

Average $4,627

High Selling Young $9,700 Gallo Jezzy, consigned by T-Cross Ranches student trained by Bailie Van Leuven

Average Young $3,900

High Selling Aged $10,000

Average Aged $5,306

The Colorado State University Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale is now in its ninth year and continues to be a winning formula for everyone involved.

The equine science program at the university offers unique opportunities found at no other school.

Each year the students in the equine marketing and colt starting classes combine their efforts to put on the Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale.

The students from the sales management class do literally everything that is required to put on a top quality horse sale. They negotiate with sub-contractors, communicate with the ranches and do all of the work required to produce the catalog.

On actual sales day, they are everywhere, getting horses to the right place at the right time, doing paperwork with buyers, setting up the sales ring, and being in the two barns helping perspective buyers.

The sale is the final exam for classes that started back in August.

The Legends of Ranching Sale brings together the students from the colt starting class and young horses that are donated from the breeding programs of the invited ranches. Some of the horses have had minimal human interaction, while others have been started, but none of the donated horses exceed the level of halter broke.

The project of starting and breaking these young horses to ride and being ready for the sale spans much of the academic year.

The 20 invited ranches each provided at least one young horse to be trained and offered for sale by the students. The ranches also consigned older, experienced horses that were used on their ranches to the Legends of Ranching Sale.

The list of invited ranches includes some of the largest historic ranches in the country, and also AQHA Best Remuda Award winners, like Singleton Ranches, Wood Ranch, the Burnett Ranches (6666) and Haythorn Ranch Company. Also participating are AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Gould Ranch Cattle Company and the T-Cross Ranch.

The T-Cross Ranch and its founder, Robert C. Norris, have had a long association with the CSU Equine Science program. T-Cross Ranch was one of the ranches invited to participate in the first Legends of Ranching Sale and their commitment remains strong in the ninth year of the Sale.

T-Cross consigned four horses to the sale and donated two horses to be started by students.

Robert “Bob” Norris started the T-Cross Ranches in 1950, and the famous T-Cross brand was the first brand registered in Colorado and is synonymous with quality ranching and cutting Quarter Horse blood lines.

The outstanding stallions of the T-Cross Ranches include Bobs T Cross, Charmin Jose, Gallo Poco Cross and Cowtowns Cat.

Bob Norris is a past president of American Quarter Horse Association and the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association. He has also served as a director of the National Cutting Horse Association. In 2011, Bob Norris was awarded the prestigious AQHA Breeder Legacy Award which recognizes 50 consecutive years of breeding the American Quarter Horse.

“The T-Cross is a top-notch, legendary ranch and they have won several awards. Mr. Norris definitely knows and cares about his horses. I genuinely appreciate the consignment of this horse and T-Cross for giving back to the University,” said student trainer Amanda McCarthy.

Gallos Charmin Tari, a 2012 Gray Mare by Mr Gallo Del Cielo and out of Charmin Tari Cross, was assigned to Amanda McCarthy from Arvada, Colo.

Amanda is a 22-year-old senior. She has been riding since she was eight years old and she has done a lot of disciplines. Currently Amanda is doing mostly show jumping.

“I really learned a lot from this class. I have been breaking in race horses down in Australia and competing for clients down there for a couple of years,” said McCarthy. “Most of the horses that I have broken in have been racehorses. I learned a lot of techniques during the class that more prepare a horse for ranching. I’ve never started a young horse to work on cattle before.”

T-Cross horses are known throughout the equine industry as being great performance horses with good dispositions. McCarthy had nothing but praise for Gallos Charmin Tari.

“This horse has a really good work ethic. She is naturally athletic and has good control over her body. She has a really mature mind for a two-year-old,” said McCarthy. “She would make a really good performance horse. Performance is part of her pedigree with money earners and AQHA performance points. As far as being a broodmare prospect, she has very good conformation. She also has a very feminine and refined head and she has a really good disposition that you would want to breed from.”

After spending almost a year training their horses, the students feel a certain amount of regret when it comes time to sell them. Amanda was no different, and she considered buying Gallos Charmin Tari.

“I thought that she would sell for a lot, so I told my mom not to even bother getting a bidders number. When she went for only $3,600, I almost cried. Then, when my friend, Jackie Kemp, told me that she had bought her, I almost cried again. I’m so happy. She is a wonderful horse,” said McCarthy.

Amanda’s association with the horse that she started will continue, as McCarthy will finish Gallos Charmin Tari for Kemp and be involved in showing the horse in ranch versatility.

The colt starting class at CSU gives students the unique opportunity to work with young horses from ranches that are legendary in the equine industry.

This was not lost on Amanda McCarthy when she said, “This is a phenomenal horse. I am just so humble and appreciative of T-Cross because they have given me this opportunity that I will cherish forever. This horse has been an absolute pleasure to work with.” ❖

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