It was moron night at the auction.
I went to the monthly auction in GA last night - OK, I know it was Valentine's Day but after 40+ of them, I can get away with it once in a while.
The first 2 for sale were a pair of yearlings in bad shape, nothing that some feed and a bath couldn't cure but skinny. One was a "Saddlebred" and sold for $65. The other was a grade and sold for $35.00
During the sale I went back to check on a mini that I was waiting to come into the ring and heard a lot of commotion coming from one of the stalls (the stalls were ~15 x 40 with gates on the two ends like a pass through to get to the isle on the other side).
The grade filly (it was announced that she had only had a halter on once) had been snubbed to a post on the wall of the stall and was pulling back to the point of nearly choking. Instead of loosening the lead line, these morons kept kicking her to move her forward. When she didn't they kicked harder and she went down - still held fast to the post. Then these idiots yanked harder on the lead, pulled her tail, and kept kicking her. Thank goodness she finally got up. The six jerks that were doing this congratulated themselves and left the filly tied.
At one point I started to open the gate and go in there to loosen the lead line and have a few "words" with them but a woman that I knew stopped me and said that she knew the 6 of them and my going in there would be the worse thing I could do for that filly and myself.
When I went to look at the mini, there were a bunch of "yahoos" standing around him and one was trying to ride him. This cretin was ~6' and 190lb - the mini was ~32". THIS time I had plenty to say. The owner finally came over and said something too. When the mini finally made it to the sale ring, my bidding stopped at $50 over what I wanted to spend and guess who won the mini - the cretins.
There were some pittiful horses and a few nice ones last night. A registered QH, palomino, gelding came through that I saw in the back and wanted to watch. He was a 6 year old from OK that was just brought in from the range. He was broke as a 3 year old then let out to pasture. When I was him in the back, I looked him over and his mouth was scabbed on both sides - like he had a twisted wire bit that was worked back and forth on him recently. When they brought him in the ring the cuts had opened up and he had blood on both sides. He fought the bit and they took the bridle off to work him bridleless. He certainly had some training and worked very very well. This was a nice gelding. His bidding got up to $900 and they "no sale" him - wanting $1,200. If I was in the market, I would have paid the 1,200 gladly.
There were a few underweight long yearlings or 2 year olds that couldn't bring $200 and some broke ponies that went between $100 and $200. Some grade riding horses came through too. One well broke and gorgeous AQHA buttermilk gelding was the highlight of the sale and only brought $1500.
Anyway, that is my little rant. I was very disappointed at the quality of the horses, the condition, and the prices but that seems to be what is happening now.
It does appear to be everywhere. The auctions near me are doing much the same.
I haven't gone to a auction in a long time (since I purchased my Molly 2 yrs ago). I always want to come home with something! LOL
I appears nothing has really changed. What you discribe is the same type of thing I saw going on 20 years ago!
I used to go to the auctions in NJ and PA when I lived up north and you are right - in nearly 30 years of going - the only thing that's changed is the faces.
One would hope that it would get better as time went on, at the auction 2 yrs ago I saw the super skinny horses, skiddish horses, lame horses (mosft off the nearby track) & some nice ones. I saw a couple of the dealers that I had seen MANY years ago (I used to frequent the auctions before my kids came along)
Nothing changed. Only a couple of them got over $1500.00 and they were fancy buggy horses for the Amish. There were only a handful of decent riding horses in the place and they sold for between $ 700-$1200. Most of them were ones that were really young, really old, or hardly trained at all.
Lucky for me, I found what I was looking for, a draft cross baby and she ended up being black on top of it! It as love at first sight. I couldn't help but visit with her in the back.
The auction that I live near is pretty painful to watch sometimes. I used to go all the time with my old barn because they would actually buy horses for their schooling program, and then my new barn likes to go and watch every now and then just because it can be fun. (Gracie, my OTTB actually came from an auction) What's NOT fun is watching, like you guys were saying, some of the morons who work there. For instance, one time during the auction I went out with some friends to watch the sale horses ride in the ring before they went to be auctioned. One of the boys, (he looked around 17) who worked for the auction was on a horse that its owner had just dropped off to sell, and this boy was "exercising" (more like showing off his nonexistent riding skills for some girls) before it went through. BUT, the dimwit had forgotten to tighten his girth, so when he started cantering, his saddle slipped, and he fell off. His horse spooked at him falling and bolted after he had hit the ground because it wasn't sure why there was a western saddle dangling from its stomach, and frantically galloped around the ring. Luckily the ring was empty at this point. So, the boy jumps up from the ground and starts angrily chasing down the horse until he finally cornered him, and then when he had a hold of him he started beating the poor horse! BECAUSE HE HAD FORGOTTEN TO TIGHTEN HIS OWN GIRTH! My little group immediately ran into the ring and my friend's boyfriend stepped up, and some pretty harsh words were exchanged. I don't think the kid learned his lesson... but I hope he woke up the next morning black and blue, ugh! And that's only one story! I wish auctions cared enough to hire competent employees.
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