Since 2008, Texas A&M University has held a December sale of the horses used in the school’s horse breaking classes and from the broodmare herd. This year, the first May sale was held at N.W. “Dick” Freeman Arena in College Station, Texas. I traveled to A&M to see the sale and to visit with Dave Golden, the facility manager at the TAMU horse center.
A graduate of Texas A&M, I still have friends in the equine science department, and I have known Dave Golden since I showed in 4-H horse shows. However, until this year, I was unaware of the school’s sale.
“The first sale was in 2008, and we had consigned horses from Tarleton [State University] and Texas Tech, too,” says Golden. “It did well, but December is a tough month to sell horses. It’s Christmas, and the horse just look better in May. It took a few years, but we moved it.”
At this year’s sale, 23 head of horses were sold, including two consigned horses from A&M staff. The high-selling horse was a 4-year-old mare by Bobby Sox Playboy and out of Hi Cotton Candy 104, who is by Circus Circus, a son of Commadore Dee. The sorrel mare was started well and rode around the sale pen softly. The Top 10 sold averaged $1,750 a head, and the total sale average was around $1,200.
“We were pleased with the sale,” Golden says. “A lot of people have called looking for Jag [Chicoutmyblingbling] babies, but we aren’t selling them until this fall, and then they will sell private treaty.”
The school built a herd of broodmares stemming from the stallions Nu Bar and Rey Jay, and over the years have added Eds Cody, Freckles Playboy and many lines stemming from Doc Bar. Clinician Clinton Anderson donated the use of his Smart Chic Olena stallion, Chicoutmyblingbling, for several breeding seasons. Matt Lantz owns the stallion now, and he no longer stands at A&M. However, the A&M horse center has several 2-year-old, yearling and weanling offspring in their program.
Two “Jag” horses were ridden after the sale for buyers to see the quality of the babies.
“The Jag babies are curious and we can build on that,” Golden told the crowd. “They are gentle and don’t have the anger we see from some others.”
The assistant facility manager for the horse center, Krissy Schroeder, utilized Facebook to help promote this year’s sale, and many in the crowd said they saw the sale promoted there. Social media is used in many ways to advertise events throughout the horse industry, and Schroeder and Golden hope the added interest reflects in more buyers.
While an undergraduate, I took the “C” lab, 2-year-old colt breaking course and thought it was the best course I could ever take! It took me out of the classroom and back where I belonged, in an arena horseback. The course is still popular and now, the students strive to start a horse that will draw a high bid in the sale. Horses bred by the University are used in research projects and many courses.
Texas A&M stands TAMU Peppy Rey Jay by Pop A Top Pep, Dundee Colonel by Colonel Legion, Shadownics by Bueno Chexinic, and Sonitanovemberlena by Sonita Lena. For more information on the program, visit horsecenter.tamu.edu.