TOPEKA, KS – A 3-year-old registered Belgian mare, described by its consignor as a “special” horse with a “spectacular” front end, sold for a record $100,000 last week at the Topeka Draft Horse Auction.
The amount, paid by Oak Haven Belgians of Fremont, Ohio, is believed to be a record price for Belgians at a public auction in the U.S.
The consignors were Rick and Andrea Welsh, who co-own the Topeka Livestock Auction.
“She was just a really, really spectacular mare,” Andrea said, referring to the animal’s powerful build. “She was special.”
Another factor driving up the price, Andrea said, is the horse’s genetic background. The mare’s Dam is Oak Haven’s Ivy. Her Sire is Agrestore’s JW Majistro and she is the granddaughter of the well-known horse in the Belgian breed, DLF Countrytime Isabella.
Ironically, the Welshes purchased the mare from Oak Haven Belgians when it was just a few months old. They hired one of the leading trainers to raise the horse and an expert fitter to prepare it for last week’s auction.
The headline-generating sale draws attention to the Topeka auction and builds on its reputation as a major market for Belgian draft horses in the U.S. The Belgian is known for it’s kind temperament and is easy to handle. They are still used for all manner of draft work, including plowing, feeding, logging, pulling carriages, hitches and sleighs. In addition, the riding of draft horses is becoming increasingly popular, in a variety of disciplines from western to jumping.
Altogether, there were 782 draft horses sold during the four-day auction last week. The total included 622 Belgians, 122 Percherons and 38 miscellaneous horses.
The second-highest selling Belgian mare was a 3-year-old consigned by Duane Coblentz of Beach City, Ohio. The buyer was Jonas Yoder of Lublin, Wis., who paid $29,000.
Rick and Andrea Welsh consigned two of the top three selling Belgian mares. In addition to the $100,000 horse, they sold
a 3-year-old for $27,000 to Elmer M. Miller of Arcola, Ill.
At $26,000, a 1-year-old Belgian mare consigned by Cactus Acres of Spencerville, Ind. was auctioned to Robert Barrett of Limekiln, Neb. Rounding out the top five was a 13-year-old consigned by Cedar Creek Farms of Grabill, which brought $25,000. The buyer was Bill Mullet of Farmington, Ohio.
Among Belgian geldings, a 3-year-old consigned by Wayne Yoder of Fredericksburg, Ohio fetched $22,500 and was sold to Ronnie Miller of Bristol. James Hostetler of Topeka consigned a 3-year-old that brought $21,000. The high bid came from Don Sherwood of Tunkhannock, Pa.
Vernon Miller of Topeka brought a 6-year-old gelding that traded hands for $15,000, with Allen Miller of Punxsutawney, Pa. writing the check. An unregistered gelding consigned by Marlin Mullet of Shipshewana sold for $14,000 and was purchased by Cory Rabenhorst of Maribel, Wis.
Two Belgian geldings each brought $10,000. The first was a 6-year-old consigned by Nathan Schwartz of Spencerville, Ind., and the second was a 3-year-old consigned by James Brandenberger of New Haven. Wilbur Yoder of Shawano, Wis. purchased the 6-year-old horse, and Ryan Taylor of New Brunswick, Canada bought the 3-year-old.
Elmer Miller of LaGrange paid $29,000 for the top-selling Belgian stud horse. The 1-year-old registered stallion was consigned by Harvey Knepp of Montgomery, Ind. Next was a 1-year-old stallion consigned by Ben Graber of Grabill that fetched $22,500. The buyer was Brian J. Miller of Millersburg.
Vernon J. Yoder of LaGrange had the high bid of $17,500 on a 1-year-old stallion consigned by Nathan Steury of Camden, Mich. A bid of $16,000 from Harley Schwartz of Akron purchased a 7-year-old stallion consigned by Paul Hershberger of Arthur, Ill.
Rounding out the top five Belgian stud sales was a 1-year-old stallion consigned by Nathan Steury. The horse sold for $11,000 and was purchased by Nicholas Nesbitt of Waterport, N.Y.
The Percheron sale was highlighted by a 3-year-old mare that fetched $57,000. The horse was consigned by Sunset Acres of Fredericksburg, Ohio and purchased by MMO Percherons of Taneytown, Mass.
Sunset Acres also consigned a second mare, a 3-year-old, that brought $15,000 from Samuel Graber of Grabill.
Jared Miller of Goshen consigned two Percheron mares, both 5-year-olds. The first was auctioned to Levi Miller of Baltic, Ohio for $12,750, and the second was purchased by Kim Davidson of Bright, Ontario for $12,000.
Cole Steinbrick of Marblehead, Ohio sold a 1-year-old mare for $10,500 to Abe Keim of Dundee, Ohio.
Jacob Yoder of LaGrange consigned a 4-year-old Percheron gelding that sold for $22,000. The horse was purchased by Tim Sparrow of Nephi, Utah. Next, a 5-year-old gelding consigned by Ray Wingard of Topeka fetched $18,500, courtesy of Ronnie Miller of Bristol. Miller also purchased a 3-year-old unregistered gelding for $15,000. The consignor was Joseph Hershberger of Dundee, Ohio.
Elam Wagler of Odon, Ind. brought a 4-year-old unregistered gelding that was auctioned for $14,000 to Tim Schwartz of New Haven. At $8,250, a 3-year-old registered gelding consigned by Lake Emma of Topeka went to Lonnie Yoder of Topeka.
Among Percheron studs, a 2-year-old unregistered stallion consigned by Farbig Farms of Goshen sold for $14,750 to Travis Fleming of Fenton, Mich. Jerry Slabach of Shipshewana sold a 10-year-old registered stallion for $5,000 to Tyrel Frey of Lakeview, Mich. Also selling for $5,000 was a yearling stallion consigned by Matthew Wittmer of Woodburn. The buyer was Michael Raber of Fredericksburg, Ohio.
Marlin Wagner of Montgomery, Ind. consigned a 3-year-old stallion that sold for $4,250, courtesy of Melvin Schwartz of Bluffton, Ind. Finally, Marvin Bontrager of Shipshewana brought a 1-year-old stallion that sold for $3,200 to Dale Slabach of Goshen.