by Tanya Hopper

Some of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry’s finest broodmares, pleasure and performance horses, and yearlings were offered at Sand Creek Sales during the 2004 Celebration. The six-day event featured more than six hundred entries including the largest group of high-quality yearlings ever assembled for a public auction. The sale, a division of Sand Creek Farm and owned by Bob Kilgore, was launched in 2003 and has quickly risen to fame as “the place to go” for selling horses by implementing never before used practices in the sale business. By thinking outside the box, the Sand Creek organization has taken the horse sale business to a whole new level – a higher level.

What Sets Sand Creek Sales Apart?

Sand Creek was the first sale in the industry to offer the “same day settlement” policy and that alone has been a magnet when attracting sale entries. “People love the idea of not having to wait for their money,” says Brian Kilgore, “and we are proud to have been the first sale to initiate this practice.”

Sand Creek also offers sellers the opportunity to promote their offspring in the month prior to the sale with over 400 stalls available for stabling on the sale grounds. “We offer stabling on the sale grounds at a minimal fee beginning in early August,” says Kenny Lawrence. “This allows prospective buyers to view sale entries prior to the event.” No other industry sale offers this service.

Another ground-breaking addition to Sand Creek was the on-site restaurant dubbed the “Café at the Creek.” Offering delicious meals provided by the renowned Bell Buckle Café, with over 2500 square feet filled to capacity each day of the sale. “We wanted to offer our customers not only a place to sit and relax and watch the sale, but also great food. Bell Buckle Café is one of the most celebrated restaurants in Bedford County and we are honored to have them manning our restaurant,” says Bob Kilgore.

Yet another first of its kind feature offered by Sand Creek is a full time sales staff. The Sand Creek crew is available to buyers and sellers five days a week, 52 weeks a year. This is implemented by no other sale in the walking horse business. The organization boasts a top-notch staff led by general manager and sale veteran Kenny Lawrence. Lawrence is no stranger to the horse sale business with more than 25 years experience in the field. “This year’s Celebration event was an incredible success,” says Lawrence. “We were thrilled with each of our daily sales, but we were especially proud of our Yearling Spectacular event, where we sold over 400 yearlings.” According to Lawrence, the yearling market is not quite where it needs to be yet, but is on its way, with a noted increase in prices from 2003. “As our numbers reflect, we sold a lot of colts for big prices, but we are most impressed with the number that sold in $3,500 - $8500 price range. This is a dramatic increase in the prices since ‘03,” says Lawrence, “This tells me we are getting there.”

Assistant manager Brian Kilgore is a newcomer to the sale business but his horse background helps him play a significant role in the Sand Creek operation. Having grown up in the business and participating as an owner and exhibitor, Brian has learned the business from an early age. Brian assists Lawrence in the day-to-day sale operations as well as helping with the sale promotion and scouting top horses. “We buy and sell horses seven days a week, 365 days a year,” says Brian.

Administrative manager Kim Wilson is a valuable member of the Sand Creek team. Wilson’s longtime involvement in the industry as an owner, exhibitor, buyer and seller along with her superb people skills give her the advantage when dealing with sale customers. “I feel I can understand their viewpoint and what they want, having been there myself,” says Wilson. “Our goal here is to provide the best outlet for people to sell their horses and at the same time provide superior customer service,” she says. In addition to manning the office, Kim is responsible for sale promotion and organization.

Celebration Event 2004: The Facts

Saturday, August 28th featured some of the industry’s select broodmares such as the top selling Pride’s Golden Doll, dam of World Grand Champion Out On Parole. The mare, in foal to World Champion Pusher’s Black Hawk, was consigned by Rising Star Ranch and purchased by Mariella Fugger for $12,500. McNutt Farms and Eddie McCrary consigned the next highest selling broodmares. Following are the top three selling broodmares, their prices and the top three average price:

PRIDE’S GOLDEN DOLL $12,500 Consigned by Rising Star Ranch, purchased by Mariella Fugger In foal to Pusher’s Black Hawk

PUSH IN GOOD $11,500 Consigned by McNutt farms, purchased by Holland, King, and Kilgore Jose’ foal by side

PUSHER’S SASSY LADY $9,500 Consigned by Eddie McCrary, purchased by Darwin James In foal to Jose’ Jose’


Sunday, August 29th featured top quality pleasure as well as performance horses. Notable owners such as Johnny Conn Stables; Perry Taylor’s Spring Hill Farm; and 4-J Land and Cattle Company provided top quality entries, helping make pleasure/performance event a success. Bobby Hugh and Hessling and Ying were tied for the top selling entries for this day, while Hessling and Ying, also consigned the second highest selling entry. Following are the top three sellers from this day and their averages:

RPM’S PRO STAR $12,000 Consigned by Bobby Hugh, purchased by Brian Bonhill

RITZ’S HONEY YF $12,000 Consigned by Hessling and Ying, purchased by Phyllis Langley

FROSTED FLAKE $10,200 Consigned by Hessling and Ying, purchased by Vance Wall


Tuesday August 31st through Saturday September 4th saw Sand Creek offering one of the largest groups of high-quality yearlings the walking horse industry has ever seen. More than 400 top yearlings by champion stallions such as Jose’ Jose’; Pusher’s Black Hawk, Generator’s Silver Dollar, and I’m In Command; and Stonecutter were sold during these five days, with Ginger Hartlein’s Jose’ Jose’ sired entry, The Fandango, commanding $37,000, the highest price of the sale. Following are the top three yearling sellers and their averages:

THE FANDANGO $37,000 Consigned by Ginger Hartlein, purchased by Bill Williams

THE ULTIMATE HAWK $32,000 Consigned by Black Hawk Farm, purchased by Riehn, Potter, and Griffith

SWEET AND DANGEROUS $25,000 Consigned by Dr. George Wright, purchased by The Sand Creek Yearling Group



TOP 5 AVERAGE: $27,300

1.The Fandango---PRICE; $37,000---CONSIGNOR: Ginger Hartlein

2.The Ultimate Hawk---PRICE---$32,000---CONSIGNOR: Black Hawk Farm

3. Sweet And Dangerous---PRICE----$25,000---CONSIGNOR: Dr. George Wright

4. Strong Medicine---PRICE---$22,500---CONSIGNOR: Curtice McCloy

5. Stonecrusher---PRICE--- $20,000---CONSIGNOR: Chris Richards

TOP 10 AVERAGE: $21,150

6. Legendary---PRICE--- $17,000---CONSIGNOR: Ginger Hartlein

7. Command And Conquer---PRICE--- $15,500---CONSIGNOR: Crawford Colts, LLC

8. Dollars R Us---PRICE--- $15,000---CONSIGNOR: Burke & McCloy

9. The Star General---PRICE--- $15,000---CONSIGNOR: Mountain View Farms

10. AtWhatImTalkinBout---PRICE--- $12,500---CONSIGNOR: Robert Nelms

TOP 15 AVERAGE: $17,867

11. Cashin’ In At Sundown---PRICE--- $12,000---CONSIGNOR: Mountain View Farms

12. Soaring Free---PRICE--- $11,500---CONSIGNOR: Dr. Jim Hixon

13. Jose’s Wicked Feleena---PRICE--- $11,000---CONSIGNOR: Mountain View Farms

14. La Reina Rosa---PRICE--- $11,000---CONSIGNOR: Carolyn Barnett

15. Heathrow---PRICE--- $11,000---CONSIGNOR: Central Georgia Equine Services

TOP 20 AVERAGE: $15,950

16. Jose’s Funny Cide---PRICE--- $10,500---CONSIGNOR: Floyd Manis

17. A Jazz Fest----PRICE--- $10,500---CONSIGNOR: Blue Water Farm

18. Secure With Cash--- $10,000---CONSIGNOR: Vance Gray

19. Georgia’s Ritzy Lady--- $10,000---CONSIGNOR: O.H. Abernathy

20. MG’s Hot Zone BTF--- $10,000---CONSIGNOR: Dr. Keith Micetich

“We couldn’t be happier with our 2004 Celebration event,” says Bob Kilgore. “We owe a huge thanks to all the consignors and buyers who put their faith in us to provide them with the best outlet for selling their horses.” Kilgore continued saying it is Sand Creek’s intent to become the “industry’s sale.” With huge crowds in attendance, and great numbers it appears that Sand Creek has already reached their goal.

Sand Creek’s next big event, the Christmas Sale, will be held December 8-11. Originally, only two days were slated for the sale, but pre-entries have already merited adding two extra days. The four-day event will feature broodmares and pleasure horses as well as performance show horses. Entry deadline is November 15. Don’t miss out on this sure to be festive event, already being touted as the “industry’s Christmas Party.” Who knows what the Sand Creek crew has in store and what new standard they will set next?