The Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) is in final preparation for its 42nd annual Louisiana Bred Yearling Sale. The three-day sale will take place August 2-4 at the Coushatta Casino Resort Pavilion in Kinder, Louisiana.
The first LQHBA Yearling Sale began in 1977 with just 39 yearlings. As the sale continues to grow, each year new connections travel from all regions in the United States as well as Canada and Mexico to bid on their future racing champion.
What is a Yearling Sale
Farms across Louisiana have bred and prepared their one-year-old Quarter Horses with the intent of selling to an owner as a future racing champion. The sale catalog featuring the pedigree and vital information of each of the 633 horses is offered in advance. During the three days of the sale, each yearling is paraded in the sale ring and the bidding begins!
Rogelio Marquez, Jr. of Rosenberg, Texas, has bought several quality yearlings and explains the evaluation process. He is the proud owner of Dashnunder Afullmoon, a filly purchased for $44,500, who is closing in on the $600,000 earnings mark in her racing career.
“Walking the stalls with our trainers is very important,” said Marquez. “We are checking conformation and looking for a horse with a good temperament. We must have asked to take Dashnunder Afullmoon out of her stall five times and she was always relaxed and settled. Finally, as much as we might like a horse, it’s important for our trainer to like them too.”
Once the auctioneer says “sold” the new owner will make the payment and the yearling will head to their new home. They will be cared for as they will continue to develop and begin training for the 2-year-old racing campaigns. There are four racetracks in Louisiana that offer lucrative purses and each of the sale graduates are paid to date and eligible to compete in the 2019 LQHBA Louisiana Million (RG1) at Evangeline Downs.
“I’ve had new owners approach me about buying Louisiana-breds,” said leading trainer Kenneth Roberts, Sr. “The incentives are really good. For me, why do I want to go anywhere else when I can run in my home state and make a very good living?”
Huge Rewards From Modest Sale Expenditures
What is most impressive is the number of very modest purchase prices for horses that develop into major champions, yielding huge return on investments for their owners.
Jess A Saint, a son of Jess Louisiana Blue, sold for $7,200 at the 2013 LQHBA Yearling Sale. Bred by Jumonville Farms in Ventress, Louisiana, he was purchased by owner Julio Rios. The next year, Jess A Saint won the 2014 LQHBA Breeders Futurity (RG1) at Evangeline Downs. He accepted a check for $445,000, the winner’s share of the richest Quarter Horse race in Louisiana.
Jls Dashn And Zoomn, bred by JLS Speed Horse Ranch Inc., of Opelousas, Louisiana was a $7,500 purchase at the 2013 LQHBA Yearling Sale. He has earned more than $500,000 for his owner Jose Guzman.
Tate Farms of Ville Platte bred TF Racee Runaway and offered him in the 2015 LQHBA Yearling Sale. When the bidding did not meet their goal, the Tate family bought back their colt for $8,000. He scored a neck victory in the 2017 LQHBA Louisiana Million, which was a dream come true for Tate Farms.
“My dad and I worked our whole lives for a win like this,” said Stephen Tate. “It didn’t sink in that night, but even eight months later, it’s something I think about every day!
Exciting Three Days on Tap
Coushatta Casino Resort Pavilion continues to be an exceptional venue for the sale. Attendees enjoy the ambiance, comfortable hotel accommodations, dining and gaming.
“We have received numerous compliments on both the quality of the yearlings and the overall operation of our sale,” said Ryan Robicheaux, LQHBA president. “Of course, hospitality is very important as well.”
So even if buying a racehorse is not on your agenda this year, spend a few hours at the 2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale. The setting, sights and sounds are truly unique and entertaining!
Martha Claussen served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years and continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.
Photo credit: Coady Photography
2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale Information
Thursday, August 2: 5:00 pm
Friday, August 3: 10:00 am
Saturday, August 4: 10:00 am
Coushatta Casino Resort Pavilion, Kinder, Louisiana
Free and open to the public
Sale catalog available online at LQHBA.com or by calling (318) 487-9506
Link for online viewing: www.lqhba.com