January 25, 2010

Recent Trip to the Harrisburg Sale

Although Terry finds himself in Pennsylvania on business every two weeks or so, I rarely get to travel with him. Huge responsibilities at home make it nearly impossible for me to share his experiences in the flesh (although his stories after each are prolific!). This trip, however, found me traveling along with him, and as we crossed from New Jersey into Pennsylvania on Monday night, we saw a falling star, all in flames, falling from the sky. It was so large and fiery we thought it was an airplane crashing! We chose to take it as an omen of good luck and happy times ahead. We stayed with our Menonite family the whole time, which is always joyful for me.

One reason for my eagerness to go this time was my quest for a Chihuahua puppy for my daughter. The other reason was the Harrisburg Draft Horse and Driving Horse Sale. This famous winter sale saw a huge collection of draft horses and harness horses under one roof, some of the biggest hitch horses, well broke farm teams, and finest, high stepping "drivers" you can imagine. We brought in two teams from the sale and took a team and a young stud colt out of there. All in all, there were about 500 horses at the sale. My biggest regret was that I didn't put aside enough money to leave the carriage business and enter the show world hobby, because there were some gorgeous hitch horses there to make even the most hardened horse farmer envious. My other fantasy was fueled by the spirited Dutch Harness Horse crosses that were there - I predict the Percheron/Dutch Harness Horse cross, both in harness and under saddle, will become the next Big Thing. Tall, up-headed, flashy, but not as "hot" as the pure Dutch, there was one black gelding with lots of chrome that made me want to swoon. For the most part, the horses went for a pretty good price, compared to sales that Terry regularly goes to. The highest selling draft went for $9000.00, according to our sources.

Another cross the Amish seem hot for is the Dutch/Saddlebred cross. We entered the driver sale just in time to watch a shiny black mare, trotting around the ring to a cart while the auctioneer did his thing, leap into the air like a deer, not once but four times, before tipping her cart and driver into the audience - a see of black coats and straw hats. Alas, she, her driver, and the sea of Amish men were unscathed, and the bid ran on until she sold for $3000.00. My guess is had she not danced so crazily, she would have brought more money.

After the two day sale, Terry and I spent a day moving draft horses into NewHolland. Twenty-five horses in all. All Amish/menonite farm horses. The sale barn was loaded with mules for a special sale on Friday as well - nice looking animals. We also ran around to all our harness makers on this day, and have re-stocked our harness shop. Last, but not least, we made one final stop to our friend's cousin, who had some puppies. That was a fruitful stop, and as you may have read in my earlier blog, the puppy now named Ledger, rounded off a very good trip for me and Terry.

Photos: Top: Paul, our Menonite friend, was housing an ox headed for South Carolina - he was so tall, I couldn't reach his withers! Paul said he weighed in at better than 3400 pounds!
Second: The team of Belgians and Percherons we took to Harrisburg. Shown with Terry is our friend, Mary (head turned) and her daughters, Linda and Rachel.
Third: Terry waiting to get into the sale ring with the team of Percherons.
Last: One of 25 Amish farm horses we trucked into the sale on Thursday.

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