“King,” the $67,500 Percheron gelding bred by Jim Lane, Birtle, Manitoba. (Mid-America Draft Horse Sale photo)

Heavy horse enthusiasts experienced an adrenalin rush at the 2016 Mid-America Draft Horse Sale, February 23 – 26 at Gordyville USA Auction Center, Gifford, Illinois; when Lone Oak 12 Viking (King), an 18.2 hand Manitoba-bred Percheron gelding topped the sale. “King” sold for $67,500, a record price for a Percheron gelding sold by public auction.

Given the collapse of North Dakota’s oil industry, Gord Ruzicka of Viking, Alberta, who had charge of Jeff Berger’s Black Gold Percheron Hitch, was instructed to disperse the American rancher’s hitch horses. Shown at Denver’s 2016 National Western Stock Show earlier in the year, the Black Gold Percherons topped several classes. This in the face of fierce competition. On the cusp a stellar year in North America’s showrings, the eleven Black Gold geldings sold for a sum of $250,500. The stable’s show wagon, harness, tack and equipment, were retained, for Berger feels international market for oil will recover in the coming years.


Beach Farms Dominator, the $61,000 gelding sold to Shining Star Percherons, Iowa. (Draft Horse Journal photo)

Kirk Messenger, a Cheyenne, Wyoming, rancher, who employs Brian Coleman of Didsbury, Alberta, to school, fit, shoe and show the Mark Messenger Memorial Percheron Hitch, purchased three Black Gold geldings. Messenger paid $57,500 for “Skipper, $26,000 for “Ace” and $9,500 for “Mator.” The age of these three Percheron hitch horses is seven, four and nine, respectively.

Many of the horses sold at the 2016 Mid-America Draft Horse Sale captured a top dollar. A Michigan-bred Percheron gelding sold for $61,000; an Ohio-bred Percheron mare sold for $60,000; while a Missouri-bred Percheron mare won a $40,000 bid.


The record crowd seen at the 2016 Mid-America Draft Horse Sale. (Mid-America Draft Horse Sale photo)

Belgian and Percheron breeders from Western Canada were not stopped by a low Canadian dollar. They purchased a Belgian stallion and several Percheron females. The record breaking trade saw 272 head of Belgians and Percherons sell for an average price of $7,470. Needless to suggest the flyting trade blew veteran horsemen were blown out of the water. The Managed by local Amish horsemen, the 2016 Mid-American Draft Horse Sale drew buyers from across America, six Canadian provinces and Germany.