The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio presented by Gold Buckle Beer took place Saturday, March 11, in Wickenburg, Arizona, in conjunction with the National Team Roping (NTR) National Finals IX. The 64 consignments at the ninth annual sale drew spectators and buyers from all over the world and saw $2.39 million in team roping horsepower go through the sale ring. With 44 horses sold, the overall sale average was $54,409.
Lot 6, TRR Kadabra Cat, was the high seller when the hammer dropped at $160,000. “Honkey Tonk” was consigned by Brooke and Rodey Wilson of Wilson Cattle Company out of Canyon, Texas, and marks the couple’s second consecutive high seller at Rancho Rio. The 2015 red roan gelding was purchased by Javier Rodriguez of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Wilsons purchased Honkey Tonk—by Cats Hillbilly out of TRR Acres of Grass—from Texas’ Tongue River Ranch as a 3-year-old. He sports the Tongue River Ranch’s Crooked T brand on his left hip, signifying the gelding was bred on the ranch.
“Those ranch horses that carry those brands mean something to us,” said Brooke, an environmental consultant in the oilfield when she’s not ranching or roping. “It’s kind of a pride deal that we like to showcase. It’s not just a new fad; it’s horses that have been through the program.”
CRR Hurricane Fajita, lot 12, followed as the second-high seller at $115,000 and was purchased by James Hunter of Eagle, Idaho. “Capone,” a 2013 bay gelding was consigned by six-time NFR qualifier Joseph Harrison of Marietta, Oklahoma, who had ridden the 10-year-old at every major team roping event including the BFI, USTRC Finals and National Finals Rodeo.
Rounding out the top three high sellers was lot 49, JT Risin Sensation, who sold for $98,000. Consigned by Vaugh Warken of Maricopa, Arizona, the 2017 palomino gelding was purchased by Robin Walker of Peers, Alberta, Canada. “Kdaub” has a long list of rope horse futurity accolades with LTE of more than $74,000.
LiveAuctions.TV powered by Superior Productions broadcast the event live, bringing the sale to additional spectators and potential buyers worldwide. Renowned auctioneer, Steve Friskup, Muleshoe, Texas, was joined on the auction block by long-time team roping announcers Ferron Lucero, Stephenville, Texas, and Doug VanDyken, Bozeman, Montana, along with sale clerk Katie Yost, Billings, Montana. The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio continues to be the premier rope horse sale of the world and will once again take place in March 2024 during the NTR National Finals X. You can find additional information and sale results online at RanchoRioAZ.com.
Total Consignment – 64
Horses Sold – 44
Sale Average – $54,409
Top 10 Average – $90,050
Top 20 Average – $74,575
About Rancho Rio
Sitting on 55 acres just minutes from downtown Wickenburg, Rancho Rio is one of Arizona’s premier multi-use facilities. Each year our location hosts a multitude of equine events, gives visitors and snowbirds a place to spend the winter and serves as a trailhead for horseback rides through the scenic miles of the Hassayampa Riverbed. Complete with two outdoor arenas Rancho Rio will see more than 25,000 team roping teams annually. In the month of December alone, there are more than 60 ropings scheduled. Rancho Rio is home to National Team Roping (NTR). You will find opportunities for team roping practice, roping clinics as well as weekly barrel racing events throughout the winter months. Rancho Rio also hosts a number of events benefiting the Wickenburg community. For more information, visit RanchoRioAZ.com. For more information on National Team Roping or to become a member visit nationalteamroping.com.