Quarter-horse reins in interest

BACK in Gracemere for the first time in nine years, Scott Fraser survived his mates' welcome-back drinks and bought himself a special gelding at the National QuarterHorse Sales yesterday.

At Gracemere Saleyards from Victoria, especially for Australia's biggest quarterhorse sale, Mr Fraser and partner Linda Fletcher bought a gelding, Shortys Special.

The couple scooped it up for $2250, and taking into account its sentimental value, are extremely happy with the buy.

"I rode the horse's father, Special Oak, who was showed by Greg Jolly.

"I lopped him down before he was showed.''

This goes back to when Mr Fraser worked at Barcaldine in 2000. He has been on horses much longer than he had ever been at school.

"My dad was a drover and I got on my first horse when I was two,'' he said.

Recognising Shortys Special's family background, Mr Fraser decided to take a look and liked what he saw ? "a very quiet horse''.

With the idea that Shortys Special would be a great horse for Ms Fletcher to train he rang her at home in Nar Nar Groon, Victoria.

"He rang me up and said: 'They've got this horse I just love him','' she said.

With a new horse to train on the horizon Linda made the trip to Gracemere and put in a bid.

While the two were hoping to spend $1800 to $2000 they were happy to spend a little over, considering it still to be a cheap buy.

As for the sales themselves Peter Coulson, Elders horse sales co-ordinator, said they had a successful day.

"We sold 97 horse from a catalogue of 145 horses day and expect to sell 240 tomorrow.''

The average horse price was $4050, while the average for a ridden colt was $7300 and $2150 for a led colt.

Two ridden colts made top dollar yesterday, selling for $19,000 each.

A sales record was made with the sale of two ridden geldings, each going for $13,000.

Today all female quarter-horses will be sold and are expected to fetch a greater price than their male counterparts.

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