It’s always hard when one chapter in our lives ends and another begins. Saying goodbye to the past and all those good times. It’s a pain, a real pain, but this is a story of how it actually can be more of just a growing pain instead.
Last year my trusty steed, Trip, injured himself while unselfishly serving me. We were walking down the trail at around mile 13 when he came up lame. Long story short, he has been off ever since so this past spring I decided to get busy finding a replacement horse to be my trail buddy. I learned about The Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale which was coming up in April in Lexington, Va. It sounded interesting so I made plans to attend. Now I have been to horse sales before, and the idea that I might go and be lucky enough to come away with a great horse was appealing but really daunting. I decided to take a chance. My good fortune began with the first phone call.
The name is Jackie Turnbull. Jackie is the producer of this great sale, and that’s the first thing you need to know. She encouraged me to come, to come early, and to come with my trailer as she felt sure I could find a horse to suit my needs. She was right, too. There were over 100 horses to choose from at this sale. I needed the time to sort through them all. Jackie had a pamphlet available with details about every single horse which made studying them much easier, and all this same information was available on the web prior to the sale, too. I spent Thursday and Friday studying prospective horses, talking to owners and trainers, test riding, and studying some more. It all paid off when Saturday came and the sale took place.
I had had real concerns about my capabilities to understand exactly what was going on during a sale like this. Things happen quickly, and large sums of money are at stake. I wasn’t sure I would be competent in bidding or even participating in it all. Jackie reassured me there would be people there to help me if I needed it. Once again, she was right, and I came away having purchased a very nice gelding which is turning out to be exactly what I went looking for. His name is Shiloh. He is sound, calm, well trained, and a wonderful trail horse. He probably could be so much more, but now that he’s mine he will shine only on the trails, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice!
I can not say enough good things about The Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale. Jackie is a very knowledgeable horsewoman, and she knows how to cull the riffraff and offer only reputable sellers with quality horses for sale at this sale. That was evident from the beginning, and I came away completely satisfied and very impressed. In fact, the whole experience was so enjoyable that I am planning to attend again next year, and I am not even in the market for another horse. Thank you, Jackie, for encouraging me to take a leap of faith!!!
Another happy owner who purchase hip #31, Buckeyes Ozzie at the 2019 Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale! Thank you Rhonda for sharing your story. What a lucky guy Ozzie is to be with you too! God knew…..
I purchased Buckeye’s Ozzy last April at the Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale. I needed something to help me heal from some of the things my police career sent my way. He was exactly what I needed, and I needed him more than I realized. He’s taught me so much about riding, patience, living in the moment and has been such a fun boy. We’ve done miles of trails, some team penning, and he’s been a great lesson horse and playmate for the kids on occasion. He’s always gentle, and kind and he will be with me the rest of his life. I never dreamed I would be able to bring him home from the auction. It was a dream come true and everyone tells me he was just meant to be mine, and God knew I needed this little gelding with the forelock that’s always a mess.
Rhonda Potvin Fields
Dear Jackie Turnbull, Mike and I wanted to send you some pictures of our Awesome little man we bought last year at Your sale. We were looking for a good pony for our 2 and 5 year old granddaughters. They started taking lessons at 4 and doing shows. Just lead line at that time. Then they moved into Short Stirrups. This little guy that we purchased at the Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale had the name Chicken Bob, but there is nothing chicken about him. We couldn’t have asked for a better horse for our granddaughters, they are even learning to do jumping with him. He has a great mind and has been willing to work. They ride his poor little legs off. We have to tell them to let him rest, but he doesn’t mind at all. He is the Perfect Pony that’s all I have to say. We are going to attend the sale again this year to see if we can find another pony.
Thank you for all your help too Jackie, it was a pleasure not only working with you but also your staff.
Rita, Chatterbox Farm
I went to the 2016 Great American Ranch and Trail Horse Sale last year looking for the perfect (for me) horse. I had had the perfect horse but she sadly coliced and died at the age of 26. I ended up with a beautiful (but very green) Rocky Mountain Horse. I sent her to trainer after trainer and she continued to buck me off. My confidence was completely shattered. All I wanted was a calm horse that I could ride alone or in a group and maybe do some trail classes with.
Someone told me about the GATHS so my boyfriend and I made a weekend of it, borrowed a trailer and hit the road from Ohio. I had already picked out a mere 25 horses or so from the online gallery that I wanted to try. I test rode probably 15 horses over two days. That was great that we could do that because my top pick before I got to the sale wasn’t even in the running after I test rode her (gorgeous but bumpy!).
Touched by Treasure Hip #13 (aka Zippy) was in my top 3. I test rode him a couple of times and even had a trainer friend of a friend ride him. He said Zippy was the best horse there (for what I was looking for). I agreed and told the seller “he’s going to be mine.”
Well, the day of the sale came and I was a nervous wreck. I had a couple of backups in mind in case I couldn’t afford Zippy but really wanted him. I even sat dead center in the front row! I had a number in mind that I wouldn’t go above. Well, needless to say, not only did I go over that number, I doubled it. I was scared to spend that much money on a horse (heck, I didn’t even spend 1/8 of that on my first car!).
Anyway, I won the bid and we took him home. He loaded up as if he’d been going into that same trailer for years. He met his new buddy and within 5 minutes they were grooming each other. Perfect.
On Monday morning, two days later, I went to work as usual. Wouldn’t you know, I was laid off. Yup, right after emptying my bank account. I was distraught and contacted Jackie Turnbull to see if she knew of anyone who might be interested in buying him. I didn’t push too hard in case I got another job soon. I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t get another job until September. But, I hung onto him. We bonded. We had fun together. We won my very first trail class together. And I loved him. Still do. And will never sell him. Thank you, Jackie, and the GATHS for putting on such a fabulous sale. I found my dream horse after all!
All my best,
I came to the Great American Trail Horse Sale in 2016 looking for a pony for my granddaughter. We have searched and been thru many pony’s looking for the perfect match for Gracie. We finally found him at the Great American Trail Horse Sale. Tuxedo and Gracie are best friends now and a perfect match. Gracie is very comfortable riding Tux and I truly think if left to roam, he would never leave the farm. He is a perfect gentleman when she is riding him. Though he is a pony, he acts more like a horse in his attitude. Tux was everything advertised and more. I can’t say enough about Buckeye Farm, Duane Yoder and his horses.
Just wanted to say I bought this beautiful boy from your 2016 sale and I am loving him. We won our first weekend show, trail and arena competition on Saturday and trail competition on Sunday! Consignor Ryan Eash did an awesome job training Sparetime Smokin Doc, making him the perfect horse!. Your sale was awesome! Just wanted you to know how happy I am that I came to your event to purchase a good trail horse.
Hi Jackie. Congratulations on another successful sale! Love the horse on your cover page ?? we purchased him last year at the sale and can’t say enough about how pleased we are with him. When I seen one part of the obstacle course was carrying the border collie dog I just had to send you the real life picture of it. We had a situation one day that we had to haul our border collie back in and that horse handled it like it was his job and never missed a step. Hopefully not soon, but if we need another horse we will be back!
I want to take this opportunity to thank you and Turnbull Equine Productions. I attended the Great American Trail Horse Sale on April 11, 2015 for the first time. I was looking for a horse to join my Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit. I had searched for 2 months with negative results I had my head set on getting a gelding and at least 16HH. However, when Horse #66, Harmonius Lady (aka Josie, consigned by Longhorn farms) came out, we made eye contact and for some reason I had to have her. I went home with a sorrel 11 year old AQHA mare at 15.1HH.
Within four weeks we took and passed a Mounted Search and Rescue test to certify her and she was deputized. She is getting certified on our Project Life Saver Program that seeks and locates Alzheimer’s patient and children with special need that wander off. She is great with children and has attended numerous events one of which had over 11,000 people in attendance (Halloween). I have the utmost confidence in her when we patrol the county to get the job done. The county kids love her when Josie and I teach classes for them in the summertime. She is requested in the schools and she has her own FaceBook page, Deputy Josie.
This past September and October I attended a Police Colloquium and the NAPEC 2015 Championship, respectively, in Lexington Kentucky. Josie trained on crowd control and fell right in as if she had done that all her life. I had not competed since the early 80’s in Spain and I think Josie never competed. We went into the competition cold, looking to leave with a great experience and nothing more. We placed 6th in two events (Team Obstacle Course & Equitation) and came in 2nd Overall Novice Equitation/Obstacle Course.
But here is the best thing about this wonderful horse. Her temperament is awesome! She is just about bombproof and although we’ve been only together for close to 7 months, it’s as if we’ve been together a lifetime. We love our trail rides together when we’re not working. My husband, who had never been on a horse in his life, was able to ride her. So we’re coming back this next spring to get my husband a horse. Hope to see you there and thanks again for my wonderful partner.
Thank you for providing me the opportunity to purchase such a beautiful horse. Since I obtained Hey What Ya Doin, “Butch”, I have joined a trail riding group and have made many amazing friends. Butch and I carried the American flag in the July 4th, 2015 parade. He loves my handicapped Aunt Kim. He has brought total joy to my life and has touched so many people. He loves to swim also!
In 2013 we attended the Great American Trail Horse Show in Lexington, Virginia. It is a beautiful facility. We were looking for a good quiet riding horse for my husband to pleasure ride. We saw a buckskin that we both fell in love with and decided he was the one for us. The owner of the horse was Clarence Schlabach from Ohio. We contacted him and his wife and talked to them about quit extensively about Ranger. Mr Schlabach was upfront and honest of a person you could ask for. We bought the horse Ranger at the sale the next day, and Mr Schlabach helped us by making arrangements for the horse to return to Ohio with him so we could pick him up there. That was a great help to us. My husband has had many enjoyable rides over the last year and we have became very good friends with the Schlabach’s. We are making our plans to get ready to attend this years horse sale,and we are looking forward to reuniting with our friends and to all the events that will be going on.
Wayne and Beverly Shough
Wind Ridge, Pennsylvania 15380
I think you remember the horse that I bought. Tex Nickelback, a 4 yr. old black gelding. It’s been a whirlwind of a year, in late June he was diagnosed with cancer. Nickelback had to have chemo “every week” since August (it took about 6 weeks for the equine oncologist to come up with the right compound). The last 2 rounds of chemo were given every two weeks vs. weekly. He had his “LAST” chemo this past Thursday 2/20/14. Only time will tell for the complete prognosis. Please don’t misunderstand, there is No Way anybody could have known this was going to happen to him & I don’t blame anyone. If it hadn’t been for my Vet, Dr. Carmen Franck, I don’t know if it would have been discovered at all until too much damage had been done.
Now for the Good part of my Boy! I have had horses most of my adult life, I have Never Ever had one with the personality of this guy! He is truly the Class Clown. Keeping up with him is like having a 3 yr. old ADHD child on crack! He has to be in the middle of everyone’s business it doesn’t matter if he knows you or not! Nothing can be left out around him, it doesn’t really matter what it is. He will carry it off, eat it, empty it and at times “hide” it. He just happens to be the “sweetest ride” I have ever had! Common Sense and Smart doesn’t even begin to describe him, his beauty is breathtaking…. (I’m sorry, I guess I sound like a proud Mom). We have really had a fast and hard bond between us dealing with this weekly chemo. This may sound a little corny, but that horse is my “best friend” and will be until the day one of us isn’t here any longer….
Last year was the first time that I attended the sale and I bought the Horse of my Dreams!!
Our mule Katie was sold at the Great American Trail Horse Sale February 12, 2005. She is a very nice well-trained, attractive trail mule and is a solid performer at trail challenges, versatility and ACTHA events. She currently has 650 miles logged in the regional New England Horse and Trail program.
I am the very pleased purchaser of hip #34, Blazes Little Skip an APHA gelding, consigned by Clarence Schlabach of Ohio at your Great American Trail Horse Sale in 2011. I want to take this opportunity to thank you and Turnbull Equine Productions.
While I specifically attended the sale not to buy, but to educate myself on trail horses and meet people who developed these horses, I soon found the Great American Trail Horse Sale was the right place to secure exactly the type of horse I wanted. I took advantage of the timing and purchased a high quality horse from consignor Clarence Schlabach. Your sales representatives helped me make all of the arrangements I needed.
Please note that in my opinion, Clarence Schlabach is certainly the type of seller that any sales company would want to cultivate as a repeat consignor. His character, honesty, knowledge of his horse and professionalism as a horseman is flawless. If anything, the paint gelding that I purchased on April 16 is even better than Clarence described him to be. I am highly pleased and honored to own such a wonderful horse that is providing so much enjoyment for our family.
With all best regards,
Clarke County, Virginia
My name is Darlene Rose and I purchased a lovely Draft Cross (Ben) at the GATHS in 2011 from the Raber family.
Ben was everything Mr Raber said he was and more and worth every penny I spent. Ben loves attention and is very accepted in his herd. On the trail he is a dream! He knows exactly where his feet are which makes some of the hills we descend seem easy. He loves to play in the water, and crosses bridges. The real test was the 4th of July parade with fireworks, flags waving, crowds clapping, people jumping in front of us and wanting pictures. Candy was thrown across the road and on his back while I was waving a huge flag… he walked that parade like it was being thrown for him. 🙂 I’d bet if Ben were to compete in a trail competition he would win it. I have and will enjoy this horse for many years and I would hunt Mr. Raber down if I ever wanted to buy another horse.
I would like to express my gratitude to Ray Raber and his family for creating such a wonderful horse for me. You and your family please keep doing what you do with horses. Words can’t express how happy I am and how much I love Ben! He will be my friend to the end!
Thank you for letting me share and I hope to be at the next GATHS in 2012.
Eastern Shore of Maryland / West Virginia
Our friend and I both purchased horses at your sale. I bought the Rocky Mountain Gelding named MX PIRATES TREASURE aka Kahula, and our friend bought one of the higher selling horses. The competition and sale were so much fun!!! We always attended, but the past few years have been unable to. Glad it worked out for us this time!
Saturday a friend of mine showed Kahula for me in a horse show, I was busy showing my other two geldings so would not have had time. I was very pleased with how he handled the commotion and was actually better behaved than my seasoned Tennessee Walker that has been shown years! So far I could not have been more pleased with him. I am so picky when it comes to finding a trail horse that I can click with. It has been several years since I have felt that with a horse. I never would have dreamed Kahula would be the one, but so far he is sure proving to be what I had been looking for.
I went on a 10 mile ride with Kahula, here are a couple pictures from the ride.
I had a great time at your trail Challenge. The weather was beautiful and everyone was friendly and seemed to have a good time.
Thanks for a good day with my horse. It was nice to meet you.
Susan Funk and Rosie
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the weekend! What a great, well organized event you put on. I bought a fabulous horse, Docs Golden Mahogany, now known as “Cowboy” and felt like I certainly had all the information on all of the horses to make an informed decision. You put on a first class event.
Thanks for a great weekend.
I just wanted to give you an update on my fabulous palomino quarter horse, Cowboy. Cowboy and I have had some wonderful trail adventures together. I have taken him to weekend trail rides on every weekend that it didn’t get rained out. He is a wonderful horse, and we have definitely bonded. He does everything that is asked of him and is definitely a happy camper on the weekend camp outs. I can’t say enough about his temperament and his willingness to overcome any obstacles that are put in the way on our adventures. I definitely love my boy and am so happy that I was the one that got to take him home.
Thanks again for a wonderful experience at your sale and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a forever companion and trail partner.
I feel compelled to write and say what a wonderful event. My husband, Scott, and my friend, Sonia, drove 6 hours to come see the competition and to buy a new horse. We weren’t disappointed and will come again next year.
The grounds were beautiful and the people who ran the facilities were friendly and accommodating. Mother nature put us all to the test with the flash floods and biblical storm, but the crowd rallied and the auction went forth.
Thank you for putting on the show and giving us something to look forward to next year. Below is a picture of my new mare. We met the owners and they were kind enough to give us their business card and filled us in on all the details. This was the first time this mare had been sold and was a favorite of the ranch hands to ride. It was the seller’s first time to this auction, my first time and the horses first new home. It was meant to be!
2005 APHA/Pinto Gelding, 15.1 hands
Multiple Futurity Champion/ Purchased at the Great American Trail Horse Sale 2010.
When we saw Major at the Great American Trail Horse Sale he was a quiet, gentle broke gelding with lots of potential and very pretty too. When we bought him at the sale he had no APHA or Pinto points on him. Within one year, Major finished 13th for Novice Youth Rookie of the Year in the nation. Major is a great show horse and quiet for anyone to ride. He has his Novice Youth Western Pleasure ROM. He has 26 points in Novice Youth Western Pleasure. Phenomenal hock and great front legs. He is Eligible for Gelding Plus shows. Major was shown by a child that had never shown before. We have sold and purchased horses from The Great American Trail Horse Sale and have always been pleased with the results. We are offering Major for sale at this time because we are in the training and show business and we want him to be a great show horse for someone.
Lucas and Stephanie Cash
Lucas Cash Show Horses
Ima Kurly Kid was purchased at your sale and I wanted to tell you how much we enjoy him. My kids show him in their 4H shows where they have gotten some blue ribbons with him in halter, showmanship and western pleasure. They have ridden him on trail rides and he is a great horse with a great disposition who loves attention. When my youngest daughter Kelsey takes him on trail rides, people are amazed how he is with her when they come to a bank or steep hill he takes baby steps with her. It is amazing how he takes care of her. We don’t have to worry about her when she is riding him. He is a very smart horse. We are lucky to have bought him from you all.
Thanks, Wilma Howell, West Virginia