NILE Select Horse Sale Average Higher

by Andy Schwab

The Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) recently wrapped up their 55th annual NILE Stock Show and Rodeo. Contestants, participants, and spectators came from all over the country to partake in the annual event that highlights livestock and agriculture. Contestants bring their best breeds of livestock to showcase in competitive shows with the opportunity to win prizes and earn top spots in a series of different auctions.

One of those auctions is the Gold Buckle Select Horse Sale that is conducted and managed by a committee whose members have a variety of experience in the equine industry. The mission is to hold sales where breeders, trainers, and exhibitors can market high-quality horses to buyers within and beyond the borders of the United States.

The sale horses are selected by the committee and screened by a DVM prior to the sale. Every effort is made to sell only the top-quality horses out of those consigned. This year was no different with a total of 124 consignments.

Bonnie DeVerniero, NILE Equine Programs Director told Northern Ag Network’s Andy Schwab the sale was very successful saying, “Overall sale averages increased as well as the percentage of horses sold; so that means we were better able to meet our consignors expected prices this year.”

Of the 124 consigned, only 20 horses loaded in the same trailer they came in to return home with the consignor. For the horses that punched a one-way ticket to their new homes, they did so with a larger dollar sign. This year’s high seller dropped the auction gavel at $26,000 with the overall average on the top ten horses finding a price on the north side of $15,000.

DeVerniero also noted colts with certain training gathered bids of $10,625 on average.

“There were some fantastic horses in the sale this year. Some of the highlights of the sale were the two-year-old colts that participated in the NILE Colt Classic with Bill Oliver Horsemanship,” said DeVerniero.

Along with the Colt Classic Sub-Division, other young horses made it in the highlight reel. Hip #511 “Royal Dualin Pepto” consigned by Ashley Quarter Horses in Belt, MT helped push the yearling division to an overall average of $5,663. The yearling stud also sent Ashely Quarter Horses back to Belt with a new belt buckle stamped with high seller.


The majority of the sale consisted of weanling studs and fillies with demand driven a little more towards the fillies. In comparison to stallions, weanling fillies averaged $900 more a head at $3,310 despite the high seller in the division being a stud colt consigned by Ward Fenton of Worden, MT that traded owners over an $8,500 transaction.

The Gold Buckle Horse Sale capped off a week of equine events that started with the NILE Ranch Rodeo. That event featured a facelift to the format as contestants qualified the day before the finals which DeVerniero said offered tough competition among a great atmosphere.

“32 teams from four states competed for a spot in the Championship Round on Saturday night.  The entire atmosphere was great, and the competition was tough.  9 teams earned their spot in the final round along with last year’s defending champion team.  The top bronc riders and teams earned $14,200 over the weekend with prizes going to the Top Hand and Top Horse,” said DeVerinero.

When asked about the year over year comparison, DeVerinero said they saw an increase in participation across the board. “We welcomed new exhibitors that had never attended the NILE before, as well as many returning exhibitors that have been coming to Billings year after year,” said DeVerniero.

The countdown is on for next year’s show that will kick off in Billings, MT on October 13th.

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Northern Ag Network – 2022

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