POAs, Parties and Pleasure Series: Thursday at the Reichert Celebration
Thursday brought super charged excitement to the Reichert Celebration, in the form of some “small packages!” The POA Show Pony and Yearling Sale ran the first pony through the sale pen at 4:45pm, and the sale was off to a great start. Run by Alan Parker Auctions, 31 ponies were slated to go through the sale pen.
This year, the Reichert provided a booth where interested parties could click and watch videos of all sale horses where a video was available. Three screens were hooked up so that spectators could click and choose which videos they wanted to watch, making it convenient to preview sale horses. The auction is streaming online as well, about which I spoke briefly to Janet Hoke of Alan Parker Auctions before the POA Sale started. “We’re really excited about the new online options,” said Janet. “We’re basically like a television station, hooked up so that people can watch the POA videos and the online auction and bid online with Proxibid.”
Proxibid is a service used to allow buyers to bid online from the comfort of their very own home. You can choose a hip number to “watch,” if you want to keep your eye on a particular hip number, and bid on that horse if you so choose. “We only had a few days notice that it would be available though, so it’s been a whirlwind.” says Janet, who was en route to the sale pen.
Alan Parker was very positive about the sale. “We’ve got some really big plans in the works for this show and these sales, and things are just getting better and better,” he shares. “I think [the POA sale] can really grow into something huge… we’re just getting it going.” The high seller was hip number 22, Too Blue To Be True, by Pal Cavalcade. The sorrel leopard colt sold for $4,100. “We’ve got some new things going this year… a real ‘new frontier,’” chuckles Alan. “We are able to sell the horse remotely. The consignor pays the fees and they can be in northern Minnesota and sell their horse. All we need is a video. Probably about half of the ponies [sold today] weren’t even in Fort Worth.”
I was able to chat with Alan about the equine industry as a whole, and he had some interesting thoughts. “We really need these big shows for people to come to, or the industry is just going to trickle out,” he mused. “People need to keep coming and keep making these good personal connections. As great as it is to sell horses online, you miss out on the human element. People can watch sales online, but then the vendors can’t sell their stuff because people aren’t coming to the shows. It will be interesting to see what path these things take.”
The Reichert Stakes Sale begins Saturday morning at 9:00 am, during which buyers can also watch and bid online. The sale includes broodmares, embryos and both hunter under saddle and western pleasure prospects. Those yearlings purchased in the Reichert Stake Sale are eligible for the 2014 Reichert Celebration Two Year Old Stakes Class. Since it’s inception, the Reichert has paid out more than $2,000,000 in prize money in the Stakes alone! Who wouldn’t want to be in on those checks? This year’s 2013 payout is $218,500. Between the POA sale and Reichert Stakes Sale, 206 horses are slotted to run through the sale pen here in Fort Worth.
New for 2014 is a Buyers Choice Two Year Old Western Pleasure Stakes, with a guaranteed $30,000 paid out to first place horse. Yearlings are able to be made eligible for both the HUS stakes and the WP stakes if an additional $1,000 is paid at the sale. That way, if a western pleasure prospect is brought, the buyer can make it eligible for the 2014 HUS stakes, and vice versa.
Thursday also marked the final two classes of the new Pleasure Series. The series of eight classes was designed to give “the other 80% of trainers a shot at big money,” explains JR. “About 20% of the trainers are doing all the winning. We wanted to level the playing field.” Four Non Pro and four Open events graced the John Justin arena at Will Rogers Memorial Center, one of each for four nights.
JR began the Pleasure Series strong by adding another $500 to the winner, as well as a Reichert Celebration saddle. The classes were very competitive, and JR added money and saddles for these exhibitors. The Two Year Old Open Junior Western Pleasure was won by Hot Lopin Cowboy, shown by Danielle Burns for Bill/Cindy Cosentino taking home a check for $480. And congratulations goes to the last Pleasure Series winner, Hot And Dreamy, owned and shown by Abby Floyd who also took home a $480 check, winning the Senior Non Pro Western.
The Reichert Celebration and the new Western Pleasure Super Sires program threw an exhibitor party/welcome reception for the inaugural Super Sires class, which will be held on Saturday as a Three Year Old Non Pro class. The class is designed for the offspring of the new “Super Sires” and has $80,000 in cash and prizes payout. First place will be awarded $10,000! Stallions include Good I Will Be, Diesel Only, Too Sleepy To Zip, Presidential Order, and more. View the full list here! The welcome party featured live music, a taco bar, and even some putt putt golf! Proving that cowboys do more with turf than just feed it to their horses….
The second major event from Thursday was the Signature Harris Leather and Silverworks Three Year Old and Over Limited Western Pleasure Class. This year, the class is not limited to a Maiden event, however there were maiden bonuses available for horses! The judges for the class were drawn out of a hat, with Robin Griggs, Dean Bogart, Murray Griggs and Kim Myers (tiebraker) chosen. Some pre-class entertainment included a presentation of the Harris family, and some arena-wide singalong to “Sweet Caroline,” “Don’t Stop Believing” and some T. Swift to keep things “current.” The show was almost stolen by a sweet basset hound puppy, a present from JR Reichert to Susan Scott to thank her for her years of help and service. The John Justin arena had filled up quickly, everyone eagerly waiting the event.
Once the class finally began, it was a great showing of horses and trainers. Congratulations to Patrick Heeley riding The Immortal Rose to the winner’s circle, owned by Robert Roger, winning under two judges. The pair took home a check for $3,850 with a $5000 maiden bonus, the Harris show saddle and Reichert Champion buckle. “Patrick Heeley is going to be someone to look out for!” Alan exclaimed after watching the placings. Second place went to Only Happens, owned by Gale Remington, shown by Jeff Long. Second place brought home a $3,650 check and a Harris headstall.
More to come this week: the big POA McClaren Futurity, The Equine Chronicle Color Classic Open and Limited Divisions, The Three Year Old Western Pleasure Super Sires Non Pro Western Pleasure, the Equine Sports Medicine Two Year Old Open Stakes Championship, the Reichert Stakes Sale, and much more! Keep checking back in on our Reichert Celebration page for photos, stories, news and results.