Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bidders, Spectators Pack Arena for World's Largest Clydesdale Sale

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bidders, Spectators Pack Arena for World's Largest Clydesdale Sale

Article excerpt

LAKE SAINT LOUIS * Dozens of Clydesdales groomed to the nines and wearing roses and shiny ribbons braided in their manes paraded through an arena here Saturday, as prospective buyers didn't blink at bidding thousands of dollars to take them home.

Buyers and sellers came from around the world to the National Equestrian Center's arena for the world's largest Clydesdale sale.

It was the first time that the sale, organized by the Clydesdale Breeders of the USA, has been held in the St. Louis area in its more than 30-year history, said the northern Illinois-based member organization's executive director Cathy Behn.

More than 125 Clydesdale mares, geldings and stallions from the United States and Canada were auctioned, with bids as low as a few thousand dollars and several Clydesdales selling for up to $25,000. The auction also was streamed live online, with bids accepted by phone.

At a preview held Friday, best friends Michaela Redeker and Jillian Klein, who are both 16 and live in Wildwood, walked through dirt-covered stables to get a close look. Redeker has a Clydesdale named Glen, and Klein wanted one so they can ride and show horses together in competitions.

"I've had a love and passion for horses since I was little, and I've been riding for about 10 years," Klein said, adding she has shown horses in competitions for the past seven years.

Video: Hear the sounds of the auctioneer at the Clydesdale sale

Klein, who attends Westminster Christian Academy, had a lacrosse tournament Saturday when the sale was held, so she sent Redeker and her dad, David Klein, with a list of five of her favorites.

As their lot numbers were called out, the horses were brought into the arena by handlers and trotted in front of more than 2,000 spectators and bidders, many of whom were wearing cowboy hats and boots.

David Klein kept his daughter updated via text.

In a rapid-fire cadence, auctioneer Steve Andrews rattled off increasingly higher bids.

"Buy now and by next year, you're going to double it," Andrews barked over the microphone as the bids slowed to a pause and vendors hawked Clydesdale-embroidered vests at a table nearby.

After multiple bidders edged up the price of the favorite of the five horses his daughter eyed, David Klein won with a $7,000 bid for a 3-year-old dark bay gelding named Fred, with a white face and white hind legs. …

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