“Sure glad didn’t have to get horses ready and the place cleaned up for a sale and field day.”
For three decades, the second Saturday of October was that annual ranch affair, but thankfully not any more.
Oh, it was an undeniable success and heartfelt romance creating year around excitement, planning and anticipation.
Although there hasn’t been such a special ranch event since 2009, people still wonder: “when’s the sale?”
They even call, email and write for sale catalogs. “Sorry no sale,” but sure happy there wasn’t one this year, and none planned ever again.
Best part about it however is all of the most congenial remembrances so many others have.
Frequently, now a middle-age adult will comment: “I came to your judging contest every year. It was so much fun. I placed first one year.”
Perhaps more significant are the appreciative and fond memories of the sale horses. Last week, a buyer from years ago related, “I bought a gray colt by that Zane stallion. He sure made a good all-around horse. He’s retired now, but will always have a home with us; we call him Zane, too.”
Likewise, questions often are, “Do you still have your mares? Do you have that Hackberry Star mare? I’d sure like to have another colt out of her.”
In reality, it all began as a livestock judging field day following format of the one neighbor-friend Albert Morgan had.
Neighbors provided cattle, hogs and sheep along with the ranch-raised Quarter Horses for the judging classes. It was a community project as country friends joined with helping hands making sure the day went smoothly.
Prominent livestock experts served as contest officials with oral reasons required of often several hundred participants enhancing the learning experience. Agriculture leaders from across the country were featured program speakers adding authentic significance to the day.
Businesses throughout the Midwest provided memorable contest prizes that could be used, perhaps with lifetime value.
Transitioning, a horse sale was added in, with a futurity for purchased horses. Later on, only horses were included in the public judging, which was the state FFA Horse Judging Contest several years.
Those truly were the good old days, blessed times, not to do again.
Reminded of Psalm 77.5: “I keep thinking of the good old days of the past, without return.”