Horse News

800+ Montana Horses Sold at Auction for $380,000

Story by Amanda Venegas of

Most Horses Fetched High Prices

BILLINGS – Officials are calling this weekend’s massive horse sale of James Leachman’s horses a success after a majority of the horses were sold.

Crow Agency Superintendent Vianna Stewart says 805 horses went through the sales ring and were sold. Half of the remaining 24 horses were redeemed by their owners before the sale. Leachman was not one of those owners.

Stewart says BIA and Crow Agency officials are still determining what to do what the dozen or so leftover horses. They were too sick to go through the sales process.

Meanwhile, the overall sale brought in $380,365. On average, the horses sold for $466.50 a piece. Stewart says the costs of the sale and care, plus trespassing damages continues to grow and officials are not sure if their costs will be covered by the auction. The highest selling horse was a stud in his teens that fetched $6,000. One mare even sold for $6,000. The lowest bids accepted was $25 a piece for two yearling horses. Stallions brought in the most money, with 16 of them on average getting $2556.25. The 208 head of young studs sold for an average price of $555.26. The 418 head of brood mares brought in $418.06on average a horse. The 162 fillies got an average bid of $270.59.

Auction officials say demand was very strong among all classes, especially in the young studs (2-3 yr olds) and that brood mares sold well. Around 400 registered buyers signed up during the two day sale.

8 replies »

  1. So they’re not sure what to do with the dozen horses who were too sick for the auction???? A sad day for horses and horse lovers everywhere.


  2. The prices were pretty high so hopefully the KB’s didn’t get many. Wish there was some way to find out. Maybe watching the road to Canada. Atleast it not to Mexico.


  3. Being there was the only way to tell how many semi=trucks with horses in them left the lot. Living here I couldn’t bare to see that “success”. The Crow Tribe benefitted monetarily from this, and THAT is the ONLY reason they did it—for the money. It is disingenuous for them to say otherwise.


  4. While some horses probably went to slaughter in Canada, there was good news for others … in my opinion, many others.

    A couple more Billings Gazette articles:
    Jim Glenn of Sidney, Iowa: “The prices were TWICE AS HIGH as I thought they would be. On the other hand, I spent $200 for one mare and would have spent $500.” “Darold Tomsheck drove 350 miles one way. ‘I just wanted some of the horses. The Jim Leachman horses are really great horses,’ he said.” “Wyola rancher Delano White Clay was hauling his yearling filly home on Monday after waiting four hours on Sunday.” (You don’t buy one filly to send her to slaughter.)
    ” … one Canadian buyer purchased 40 horses. He was going to take them and ride them and try to get them ready for another sale. Broke and rode, you can sell them for a pretty good profit.” ( Which is true.) Re: Mr. Barber. I don’t think he (or his agent) would have purchased 19 horses for $11,000, and trailered them back to Texas just to send them to slaughter in Mexico.

    The average price was $466.50. As of a few weeks ago, the price to Mexico was .31 a pound. I don’t know the current price to Canada. Most of the horses looked pretty skinny under their winter hair. So, say, 1,000# average x .31 = $310. No killer buyer is going to overbid on any horse when he can go to another auction and pick up big, fat horses up for next to nothing.

    I know this is just a smattering of comments on a few of the 805 horses, but I don’t think the majority will be slaughtered, at least not yet. We can only pray for those who will.


    • Sounds very good to me, Linda. Much more hopeful than before the sale… wondering and worrying. Some lucky horses I think. mar


  5. It sounds very hopeful that these well remembered horses brought fairly good money for this kind of auction and that they went to good homes. Hope springs eternal.


  6. Hopefully, the ill horses will be rescued by a rescue who will take care of them until they can found a good home. I would have loved to have one, but being in California and the total outlay to take time off of work, find someone to haul the horse back and all would have been prohibitive for me at this time. I hope all the horses end up with loving homes and will not again see such a travesty in their lives. I volunteer at a sanctuary here in California and she has two horses that “hate” humans, they have been so tramatized and harmed by the human race. This is a travesty. These animals deserve so much more. They give to us and have for a long time and should not have to go through any suffering by a human being. Did I say human being. Anyone who would harm these animals are not human beings they are nuts and need to be penned up themselves and spent the rest of their lives at hard labor mucking corrals and any other horrible job I could think of. Let’s hope God will see that these horses end up with loving homes and will receive the love they so deserve.


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