KeSa Quarter horses celebrate 20th annual production sale

CSU equine science student volunteers diligently readied weanlings for the KeSa 2017 Production Sale. Mayah Johnson, left, with No. 27 filly, and Emma Juchou, holding colt No. 32 take time out to pose for several admirers.
Photo by Marty Metzger |

Buyers from across the country vied for 52 top-notch equines ranging from weanlings to performance prospects to bred mares at the KeSa Quarter Horse Production Sale. Once again, the event took place at the Colorado State University Equine Center’s Adams Atkinson Arena. The sale on Sept. 2 was particularly noteworthy because it was the 20th consecutive one held.

With that many in its rear-view mirror, it’s no wonder that all went seamlessly well. Auctioneer Bruce McCarty brought professionalism to the block as Jim Gies, Troy Applehans and Randy Rasby served as ringmen soliciting bids from the eager crowd. Office personnel assigned bidder numbers, handed out free lunch (who says there’s no such thing?) tickets and handled computer entries for sales.

KeSa Quarter Horses owner Sam Shoultz proudly noted that the breeding operation has been associated with the CSU Equine Program for many years, serving on the advisory board for the Equine Production Lab. Additionally, KeSa has supported the Equine Science Program through the CSU Legends of Ranching Show and Sale.

This year, several horses from two guest consignors joined KeSa’s in the sale ring. Sunrise Farm owners Daniel and Lori Gardner stated that “operating for over 14 years, our program is designed to bring out the best qualities of the Blue Valentine and Driftwood bloodlines.”

Thomas Family Ranch brought a mare and foal to the sale. Their program strives to produce horses with versatility, athleticism, have good conformation, good bone, smooth gaits and pleasant dispositions. Further, they should be big enough to get out and cover ground yet be able to work in tight spaces while loading, sorting and shipping cattle. The Thomases are impressed by their first foal crop, which hit the ground in 2017. Coming from a diverse set of mares, those youngsters are nevertheless uniform in structure and good disposition.

Wherever there was a weanling, a CSU Equine Sciences Program student volunteer was also there, attending to its every need. From bathing the youngsters at the wash racks to brushing, leading, stall cleaning and answering prospective buyers’ questions, the young women were stellar.

Volunteer Emma Juchau meticulously washed her charge, a handsome buckskin weanling colt with a painted No. 32 on his golden hips to indicate sale order. Juchau advised that, like most of the other grooms, she accepted the assignment not for school credit but rather just for the experience. She currently does not own a horse but previously worked for 3½ years at a breeding facility in her home state of California. During a special pre-sale presentation, an audience gathered to hear Erin Contino, D.V.M. speak on Managing Chronic Arthritis in Older Horses. Contino is a professor of equine reproduction at CSU’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory. She holds a master’s degree in clinical sciences with a focus in equine radiology.

As in prior years, a parade of several of KeSa’s reference stallions opened the sale, allowing people to view the sires of many of the sale horses. These noteworthy premier studs included MR Junewood, Driftwood Sensation and Blue Fox Hancock (the latter, it was noted, produces 100 percent roans).


From the moment the first sale horse entered the ring, the pace was quick but measured to properly present each horse. Bids were raised in-person as well as by agents on phones. The initial entrant, Klassic Blue Fox, immediately wowed the crowd with his good disposition, impeccable conformation and favorable bloodlines. When the 2-year-old blue roan colt by Blue Fox Hancock and out of top producing mare Gerries Klassy Bay exited the sale ring, it was to the tune of $10,000.

Dave Anderson, of Hooper, Neb., said he had bought a stud at the 2015 production sale and returned this year seeking KeSa fillies or bred mares.

“We’re sold on their bloodlines and their horses. That’s why we’re here again today,” Anderson said.

He accomplished his mission, first winning the bidding wars on a couple of impressive weanlings. Anderson’s third purchase was a big, classy, ebony mare named Black Rosewood. The well-mannered 8-year-old, offered for sale by guest consignor Thomas Family Ranch of Kersey, Colo., is bred to MR Junewood for a spring 2018 foal. Rose, as she is called, fetched $4,200.

Not only is Rose carrying a foal by a premier KeSa stallion, she carries noteworthy bloodlines and displayed a calm demeanor throughout the sale and beyond. As the Thomas Family awaited their mare’s new owners, 9-year-old grandson Connor wanted to lead the mare around one more time. Towering over the boy, she carefully walked beside him down the aisle and out the back door of the barn for a few last photos with the family.

“I’ve never ridden a horse exactly all by myself yet; maybe when I’m 10. But I like to lead Rose,” Conner said.

More of the day’s top prices included MJH Sassywood, a 2000 Palomino mare in-foal to Blue Fox Hancock, $6,500; Poquito Jo Jo, bay 2007 stallion, also $6,500; Junewoods Foxy Man, 2015 buckskin stallion, $5,000; a 2017 buckskin colt by MR Junewood and out of Blue Plenty Foxy, $4,400; Sensational Junewood, 2009 bay roan mare in-foal to MR Junewood, $6,700; 2017 bay colt by MR Junewood and out of The Last Katy, $4,200; previous colt’s dam, The Last Katy, a 2002 mare bred back to MR Junewood, $10,000; 2017 grullo roan colt by Blue Fox Hancock and out of Plenty Fox Coup, $6,100; Foxy Carole Smith, 2015 blue roan filly by Blue Fox Hancock and out of Plenty Carole Smith, $5,000.

— Marty Metzger is a freelance writer from Fort Collins, Colo. She can be reached at