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On a warm winter’s day in the historic high-desert town of Wickenburg, Arizona, with freshly frosted mountains as the backdrop, cowgirls from all over the nation converged for an opportunity to not only glimpse, but also possibly take home, the horse of their dreams.
The resort at Rancho de los Caballeros, a 20,000-acre Sonoran Desert mainstay established in 1948, was the convergent point for Cowgirl Cadillacs, a horse sale like no other, put on by the Sankey family—stock contractors and horse experts—who gathered a most unique and widely varied assortment of “push button” horses—all trained and presented by women.
And there was something for everyone. From the chart-topping 2011 Gypsy Vanner black gelding WHR Kodak “Rambo” consigned by Sarah McKibben that went for $88,000, to a ever-so-sweet bald-face roping-ready 2005 black pony mare named “Tina Turner” that sold for $7,000, the sky was the limit with close to 50 horses being sold and gaining new, deserving homes.
The 3-day event, which was sponsored and presented by COWGIRL Magazine, got off to a cold and wet start, due to a sudden change in the weather, forcing the cancellation of several clinics that just could not be conducted in the rain. But the morning of sale day opened with clear blue skies and warm temperatures to create a picture-perfect setting for the highly anticipated horse sale on Saturday.
A larger-than-expected crowd showed up for a morning viewing of the prospects that included everything from NRHA-winning Quarter Horses to seasoned roping AQHA veterans, molly mules, Friesians, a Peruvian Paso, Canadian horses, APHA Paint Horses, and a 2015 Paint/draft cross named Willie that sold for $71,0000.
Cowgirls from many equestrian disciplines showed off their prospects with demonstrations of cattle work, roping, reining, dressage, and even sidesaddle, pacing their mounts through a series of exercises to demonstrate their temperaments and abilities. After the preview, the horses, owners, and trainers made themselves available for buyers wishing to inspect the animals and ask questions.
Some of the well-known consigners included Reata Brannaman, Christina Tift, Sarah McKibben, and barrel racer Lisa Lockhart.
The horse sale auction itself was held on a lushly manicured lawn outside the resort lobby, where staff needed to add chairs for the overflowing number of buyers who registered for the auction.
When the final hammer dropped, close to 50 horses were sold with an overall sale exceeding $800,000.
Cowgirl Cadillacs will return to Rancho de los Caballeros and be presented again by COWGIRL Magazine on February 22, 2020. Mark your calendars for an event that is truly for—and by—cowgirls.