SALMON, IDAHO -The Salmon Select Horse and Mule Sales are more than just equine sales, for many it's like a giant family reunion as consigners and buyers from numerous western states gather with local residents for four days of socializing, equine trading, competitions and friendship. Celebrating its 41st anniversary, activities kick-off on Thursday, April 11th, at the Lemhi County Fairgrounds north of Salmon, with over fifty vendor booths, a groundwork demonstration by Misfit Farm, the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association (IOGA) Swap Meet and the Salmon Select Sales, (SSS) social gathering, featuring the Idaho State Championship Wolf Howling contest.
Friday is basically reserved for the mules. The 14th annual Salmon Select Mule Sale begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature fifty-three mules. Aside from being able to ride and pack, several of the mules are also broke to drive. And, this year, some have very impressive show records from events like the Montana Mule Days and the Shelbyville Mule Celebration in Tennessee. Prior to the sale, there are plenty of activities. Amber Wagoner of Wagoner Training in Dillon, MT will be doing a mini clinic, "Helping Your Equine Become Soft & Supple.” Members of the Salmon River Backcountry Horsemen will offer information on various mule-related topics and a hands-on packing clinic. Then help with the packing contest in which sale mules are judged on their ability to stand while being packed, then lead over various obstacles as well as picking up their feet and trailer loading. Several of the mules will test their speed in the 2nd Annual Jeff Allen Memorial 400 yard Mule Race and others will compete in the Mule Trail class. The sale ranch horse competition and open barrel racing is also on Friday.
Saturday, April 13th Horse Sale day, starts with Cowboy Church, then the open performance, trail horse and rope horse competitions. The Horse Sale begins at 1 p.m. and will feature 126 horses, including registered Quarter Horses, Paints, several ponies and a few draft-cross horses. Two interesting crosses are lot #12, Rolex, a Friesian/Quarter Horse and lot #82, Shurley Shine, a Thoroughbred/Shire. The day ends with the boot stomping Horse Sale dance. Sunday features a full day of team roping events. Throughout the weekend, over twenty Montana Silversmith trophy buckles will be awarded to the competition winners and the Top-Selling equines, consigners and buyers.
For over forty years, the SSS has been major part of the Salmon community. Most of the event is staffed by local residents and members of numerous community organizations. The various competitions like the horse and mule trail classes, mule packing, performance and roping events are all organized by dedicated volunteers, many who have participated in the event for many years. Each year the sale continues to grow. Originally the only consigners were local ranchers. For this sale there will be consigners from throughout the West and as far away as Arkansas. According to Sale Chairman, Fred Snook, Jr., an estimated 1,300 people are expected to attend this year.
For more sale information contact Fred Snook, Jr. at (208) 756-2125 or visit the website at: http://salmonselectsale.com/ Information on all the equines consigned for both sales and the daily schedule are on the website.
Susan Dudasik is an equine journalist, PATH Certified riding instructor and a mule enthusiast. She's competed in numerous trail class events, holds clinics and teaches groundwork and trail classes at Misfit Farm in Salmon, Idaho. The advice given here is meant only as a guide. A professional trainer should handle any serious horse training problems.