It began years ago, sitting in the Salina, Kansas, sale barn seats, watching colt after colt enter the auction ring.
As any colt buyer or even breeder knows, it is impossible to foresee the future of a weanling when it is 6 months old. There are indicators present, but also many unknowns. You can base decisions on hard facts like registration papers, color, sex, size, and conformation. Even these “facts” can’t be sure things: colors change through time. Growth spurts are just that- the largest weanling doesn’t always result in the largest 3 year old. Conformation and condition are also subject to change, and bloodlines may be an indicator of performance ability, but there are always exceptions.
So, there we were buying colts- making our best guesses on potential, while only bidding to a price that left the door open to make money later. All of the weanlings and yearlings sold at that particular auction qualified for the Farmers and Ranchers Futurity so that didn’t play a factor in our decisions. There may have been better colts at the sale, but we were looking for the best colts for the money.
We went in as a family of 4 and after a day at the auction we loaded the trailer with 4 stud colts- one for each of us. The investment had been made and the exact future was unknown. We drove the 5 hours home, tired, but filled with anticipation and excitement, making final horse picks and brainstorming new horse names.
Fast forward 3 years- we’re planning our trip back to Salina, KS. Our family of 4, plus 2 of the horses purchased that October day in 2017, will load up with lots of time and effort invested and the future still unknown. “Yuma” and Casey will be looking fancy and smooth as they go through the futurity events. “Hondo” and Crayton will power through while demonstrating what miles or riding, roping, sorting and ranch work can do to prepare for the competition. They have created a special bond over the last 3 years and it shows.
Both “Hondo” and “Yuma” will be offered for sale at the Farmers and Ranchers Horse Sale following the Futurity. They do not have designated lot numbers, as they’re not in the catalog, but they will be auctioned during the special section featuring futurity entries. Auction Details
We hadn’t planned to enter all 4 in the futurity. We knew that realistically we couldn’t handle that yet. This will be our first experience competing in this event. Casey and Crayton have been preparing, and their horses are both coming along great. Garrett could probably handle portions of it, but it’s a lot of pressure for an 11 year old, so Garrett and I will watch and cheer from the fences, assist where needed and document the event the best we can.
Wondering what happened to the other two 2017 colts? Plus the following year we purchased a yearling, so we actually had 5 on hand that would qualify for the 2020 futurity. “Pat”, a bay gelding, was sold in March 2020, at Lolli Bros. He was initially Casey’s pick and after a trade with Garrett, Casey also inherited “Yuma” (a futurity entry). “Pat” was a nice gelding, but we had to lessen the work load so we could focus on riding the others. “Tyree”, a dun gelding, was my pick and Garrett’s 2018 sale purchase, “Tiveo” are both still being ridden here at the ranch. They’re for sale now, and will probably be consigned to a spring 2021 auction.
Now as we enter “crunch time”, with only weeks until we load the horses up and head to Salina, we are putting the finishing touches on the horses. The excitement is building and the pressure is mounting. Entering into a Futurity competition is a new experience for Schwieter Land and Livestock. Hopefully it will result in a positive outcome and start a tradition that will continue for years to come.