Horse Creek Sale Company celebrates 30 years |

Horse Creek Sale Company celebrates 30 years

Jody Hall
for The Fence Post
Well broke, gentle geldings are hot sellers, but Horse Creek has a reputation for being able to sell mares well.
Courtesy photo

Times they are a changing. This year marks 30 years that the Horse Creek Sale has been in operation and they have seen a multitude of change in the horse industry.

On Nov. 9, Horse Creek Sale Company will have their last sale for 2019 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colo. Check in time is 8 a.m., previews are 10-11 a.m. and the auction begins at noon. Check their website for upcoming sales in 2020.

John Hayes took over the company 10 years ago. Initially he planned to run it for only a couple of years, but Horse Creek Sale Company is still going and getting bigger with over 80 horses at each sale. Consignors come from various states: Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, due to Hayes’s networking and numerous contacts in the horse business.

Horse Creek used to have monthly sales with over 100 horses at each sale. Hayes attributed the decline in horse sales to a diminishing number of breeding programs. He also said that breed horse shows have declined in recent years because breed associations have made it more difficult and costly to put on shows for local horse clubs. Sue Israel, assistant sale manager for Horse Creek, said the decline in horse family activities is losing the youth population. She said sports and academic activities take priority to insure scholarships.

“You can still see the influence of good horses in the 1940s and 50s.” Hayes said. “In Akron within 50 miles of my kitchen table there were five sons of Three Bars.”

Times have changed in the horse business. It’s hard to find quality horses. This could be a reason Horse Creek Sale Company has done well in the past. They bring together in one spot well bred, broke, attractive horses.

“They have to be fat, slick, broke, gentle and know a job,” Israel said.

Well broke, gentle geldings are hot sellers, but Horse Creek has a reputation for being able to sell mares well.

“Don’t forget some of the top PRCA horse are mares this year,” Israel said.

“I try to keep it affordable,” Hayes said. “I try to provide what the consignors need and one of those things is to have knowledgeable people on my staff.”

One of those trustworthy staff members is Israel. Hayes and Israel have been friends in the horse business for many years. She takes care of all the paperwork and gets all the documents organized for the buyers including the bill of sale, veterinarian checks and brand inspections. Jared Odens from Pierre, S.D., is also an asset to the team by handling all internet and social media posts.

“I think another reason why we have survived and we’re getting bigger is that I learned a long time ago people like to have a good time.”

If you’d like to see good quality horses in one spot, make plans to attend the next Horse Creek Sale at Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colo., on Nov. 9. If you’d like to consign a horse, go to or contact John Hayes at (970) 554-0564.

— Clark is a freelance livestock journalist from western Nebraska. She can be reached by email at