Vegas brings top dollar at CWA horse sale

Sheep buyers attend Canadian Western Agribition looking for top genetics; supreme champion ewe sells for $1,300

First-time Canadian Western Agribition buyers showed no hesitation in bidding on what they wanted.

The top-selling ranch horse and the high-selling sheep both went to show newcomers.

Shawn Muhr, of Odessa, Sask., seemed a little surprised that he paid $17,000 for a three-year-old gelding officially known as JT Racing Hickory but commonly known as Vegas.

“It’s my first time here,” he said. “I did not expect to pay for the top seller at Agribition for 2018.”

But it was likely destined to be.

His 13-year-old daughter, Brooke, had already been riding Vegas for a couple of months because she boards another horse at the same facility.

She admitted to feeling spoiled after her dad wrote the cheque.

“I’m excited,” she said about actually owning Vegas. “He’s really calm and he doesn’t feel like a colt when you’re riding him.”

Well-known trainer Cain Quam consigned the horse.

“He’s probably the solidest three-year-old I’ve ever rode,” he said. “He’s just so quiet and gentle and ready to do anything.”

Shawn Muhr said the family, who run cattle and bison, were looking for a younger horse that Brooke can grow with and she already rides at Quam’s facility six days a week.

He said Quam’s reputation probably led to the high price.

Quam said he had about $10,000 invested in the horse so was happy with the price. He has attended many Agribition events and consigned high-sellers before.

“I knew this would probably be a good sale to showcase my horse at. We brought this horse knowing that no matter who bought him it was going to be a great horse, which would be good PR for us and it turned out better than we expected,” he said.

He added he was happy to be taking the horse right back home where Brooke will ride.

“I do like this horse a lot so he’ll live at our house for a while. It will be exciting to watch them grow together.”

Overall, the Agribition select horse sale grossed $105,950 to average $8,829.16 on 12 lots. Carlee Edge from Cochrane, Alta., bought three horses and paid the second-highest price for one of them at $15,000.

Sheep sale

At the sheep sale, the supreme champion ewe, a lamb born last January, brought the top price of $1,300.

Talya Stykalo from Dauphin, Man., said this was her first trip to Agribition, where she was hoping to find top genetics to help build the family’s flock.

“We have a mixed sheep and grain farm and we raise purebred Suffolks and Dorsets,” she said.

The supreme ewe known as Ward 31F was a Suffolk shown and consigned by Lois Trowell of Ward Suffolks at Saltcoats, Sask.

“She was a faultless ewe,” Stykalo said. “She was very long-bodied. She was perfectly sound all throughout.”

Lois Trowell from Ward Suffolks at Saltcoats, Sask., exhibits the supreme champion ewe lamb at Canadian Western Agribition. The ewe topped the sale at $1,300. | Karen Briere photo

The ewe will be added to the 28 breeding ewes and two rams the Stykalos run. They started their sheep operation about four years ago and she said they started out slowly and are now enjoying expanding the flock with top stock.

She didn’t rule out returning to the event to show her own sheep.

“It was a great show. There was good quality and it was a great sale,” she said. “Once this expensive ewe has her lambs maybe she’ll be coming back.”

Stykalo also bought one of the two rams that sold for $1,000 each, purchasing a Suffolk ram from Happy Hollow Farm at Princeton, B.C.

Another Suffolk ram from Rocking S Ranch at Nokomis, Sask., sold to Warren Moore from Stavely, Alta.

The sale overall grossed $24,510 for an average $490.20.

In the purebred show, the supreme champion ram was Cross Creek Egg Nog, a Dorset shown by Cross Creek Farm from Kirkella, Man.

Kimdain Sheep of Regina showed the grand champion market lamb and Double L Farms from Fox Valley, Sask., showed the reserve.

Double L also showed the grand champion single commercial ewe and the reserve champion commercial pen of two.

The grand champion commercial pen of two came from Furze Farms at Fairlight, Sask.

Michelle Cote from Spiritwood, Sask., showed the reserve single commercial ewe.

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