The smell of fresh shavings, clean horses, and hay greet you as you walk into the staging tent, and a unique buzz of excitement lingers in the air. Buyers are dreaming of the could-be and what-ifs, while sellers tend to make final preparations to ensure their horses are ready to perform and sell for top dollar. The exhilaration approaches peak level as the appropriate introductions are made from the auction block. Then the moment everyone has been waiting for arrives: when the first horse steps into the sale ring.
If you want to be part of a day like this and are looking for your next trail partner, ranch horse, or elite athlete, you don’t want to miss the 7th Annual Legacy Ranch Horse Sale in Prescott, Arizona, at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds. September 17th features 39 horses for your consideration in conjunction with Olsen’s Arizona Equifest. This year’s horses, like the 6 years of horse sales before, come from the K4 Ranch owned by the Kieckhefer family and the Diamond A Ranch, managed by the Kieckhefers, which are working cattle ranches alive with rich history, knowledge, and land mass. These ranches are run traditionally, requiring a large ramada of working horses to get the job done. The K4 Ranch has been selling horses since the 1940s and is notable for breeding and raising quality horses, which led the Kieckhefer family to find a way to sell horses more efficiently. Thus was born the Legacy Ranch Horse Sale.
The horses in this sale will fulfill the needs of various equestrians, from the weekend trail rider who needs an old dependable to the team roping cowboy who needs something with a motor and some smarts. These horses are bred to work with bloodlines from both ranches tracing back to influential and well-known sires such as Colonel Freckles, Peppy San Badger, and Driftwood Ike. The younger stock in the sale has massive potential, making prospects for rope or ranch horse futurities. Past sales have produced many champion horses, both in their owner’s hearts and in the show pen, but one of notoriety went to Tuf Cooper, four-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Champion. He purchased a horse from the sale indirectly a few years ago and came back just last year to buy another one. When talking to Sarah Kieckhefer, wife to Rick and a large part of the sale, she mentioned Tuf returned to the sale because he was pleased with the horse’s smarts and foundation.
There is a method to create solid horses as Cooper has purchased. The Kieckhefers find it essential for their horses to learn how to walk through the rocks and rough terrain, so their horses are raised in large pastures that require colts to find their feet and can reach water sources spread throughout the large area. Horses are started under saddle around two years of age, but then they are turned back out to continue growing. They are brought back in as 3-year-olds to get some more work, but even then, the horses aren’t pushed hard to ensure longevity. As four-year-olds, the horses get a chance to experience ranch work where they gain lots of miles, wet saddle blankets, and more of those real-world smarts most riders need.
While you’ll have your pick of 39 head, there are a few standouts in the program to note.
See My Credit Maxed, AKA Groot, is a 2017 bay gelding. There is nothing sharper than a gorgeous bay horse and when you add talent and a willing attitude the sky is the limit. An all-around ranch horse, there is no job too big or too small. The genetics can back up this talented gelding by the late Bestcreditmesunfrost and out of a Cee Booger Red/ Call Me Ike mare. In the arena, he is ready for town, heading or heeling, and has moves that would make any horse show judge pay attention. He is quiet, gentle, and suitable for a multitude of different riders.
Moonlight Eclipsed, AKA Wanda, is a 2019 bay mare. Wanda has shown exceptional promise as a talented 3-year-old. A gorgeous well-built filly with genetics that backs up her ability. She will watch cattle and is starting to read their moves. She is already following cattle out of the box, has been hauled to town, and acts like she’s been doing it her whole life. Nothing fazes this filly, and she has the potential to be a superstar at whatever career she’s taken to.
Red Hot Speedy, AKA Cinch, is a 2010 bay gelding. He has been used in all aspects of ranch work, has packed game animals, and can be used by the family. He is a finished rope horse that has been used from open ropings down to All Girl ropings. Consigned by Noel and Kayleen Tyree.
Cholla Blue Salts is a 2019 Blue Roan Gelding. Bo is a pretty colored, exceptionally well-minded 3-year-old. He has a very extensive start as a top-notch ranch horse prospect. This boy’s demeanor and aptitude will carry him easily into any profession. He’s gentle, sound, sane, and wants to be your friend. You can use him on your ranch operation, in the arena as a performance horse, or just to ride the trails and have the prettiest horse there.
This year’s events start on Friday, September 16th, with a Ranch Horse Show at 8 am, followed by the series finale of the Olsen’s 4D Saddle and Buckle barrel race that evening. The Legacy Ranch horse sale is on Saturday, September 17th, along with demonstrations of the sale horses and other clinicians throughout the day. A complete vendor setup will be ready for your shopping needs, from tack to dog food and everything in between. Stick around for the team roping on Sunday, September 18th, and try out that new horse you just bought. While the Legacy Ranch horse sale is the event’s focus, even if a new horse isn’t on the list, there are plenty of other things to do during this packed weekend.