Lisa Fulton reflects on how the Fulton Ranch has sold their equine athletes over the years and how selling horses has changed…
The Fulton name and high-quality horses have been synonymous to one another for over 28 years. From barrel horses to rope horses, the Fulton Ranch has been breeding and selling industry leading equine athletes since their establishment in 1995.
How have the Fulton’s been able to build and maintain such a strong presence in the horse industry for so long? Since the birth of their program, the Fulton Ranch has continued to change and adapt how they sell their high caliber herd, to keep up with the ever changing horse market.
“The Industry has changed so much,” said Lisa Fulton.
In 1999, Brian and Lisa began working on an inaugural production sale, which made its debut in 2000. For over 20 years, this sale was an essential part of the Fulton’s marketing program and horse selling business.
Changing it Up
2020 brought about a change in this program, unintentionally, due to an unforeseen complication…COVID-19. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic changed everything across the world, including the horse market. For the Fulton Ranch, this was a pivotal moment. Lisa knew it was time to reset and revise how the Fulton Ranch was going to market and sell their prospects.
“Now-a-days, all of these big events are having their own horse sales,” she continued, “It’s a little harder to draw them to the North Country when you can walk into a horse sale at the event you’re at.” Lisa also credits COVID-19 with changing the format of sales too. “I think things are done so much more online
these days,” she explained.
Why You Should Put Some in a Sale
Horse sales aren’t just about selling your horse. Sales are a great way to market not only your horses, but your name too. By putting horses in sales across the country, producers everywhere have the opportunity to build up brand recognition.
“To keep our name out in the public and to keep some of our horses out in front of the public, we need to put them in some sales,” said Lisa. The Fulton Ranch now mainly sell horses through private treaty but will be putting horses into three different sales this year. “We are going to the inaugural Platinum Medal Horse Sale. We will also take a few to the Pink Buckle sale in October. We then will take a few to the BFA sale, and then we are done,” explained Lisa.
Selecting Horses for a Sale
When trying to decide which horses to put in which sales, there are several different overall rules of thumb to follow, according to Lisa. Lisa explains the three main things she looks at before enrolling one in a sale.
First off, she looks at what path is best going to suite that horse. For example, if one is bred to be a barrel horse, it makes more sense to enroll them into a sale for barrel horses. If one is bred to be a rope horse, enrolling them in a sale like the Platinum Medal Horse Sale makes more sense.
Next, Lisa considers the pedigree. “Sometimes this year’s prospects have prior siblings
that are doing things at certain events, and I take that into consideration too.” “I like to bring one that’s bred well, and that will catch your eye. Really, I like to bring one that is the whole package,” explained Lisa.
What Ages Work Well
“The age to put one in a sale is something that has changed considerably too,” said Lisa. For more barrel-based incentive sales like the Buckle Sales, Lisa suggests taking 2-year-olds who are riding around well.
For rope horse sales, the age range is a little bit more diverse. “For rope horse sales, we are taking anything from 2–10-year-olds.
It’s a little different because we are taking anything from a prospect with a sibling that’s competing
well, to one who’s actively being roped off of.” For non-stallion incentive sales such as the BFA, Lisa
usually enlists yearlings in the sale.
How to Market
Social media is a great way to get your horses out there.
“If you put a series of three good photos, and their pedigree on Facebook, that’s a great start to marketing one,” said Lisa. Lisa also stressed that making sure your horse is well groomed, and looking good in the photos is essential to the sale as well. “You need to make sure that baby is looking good. You
could have the fanciest pedigree in the world, but the ugliest horse if pictures aren’t taken right,” stressed Lisa.
Premier Horse, and all of the individual horse sale groups on Facebook are all avenues Lisa uses to market and sell her horses and reach new potential buyers. Sale catalogs are another piece to marketing that is often over-looked. When determining what sales to possibly put your horse in, make sure they have a nice sale catalog that really highlights the horses within it.
“When you are breeding to a stud, you need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of your mare. Then, you need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the stud. Then combine what you’re planning on breeding it for.” “Don’t just breed to a stud because he’s in the incentives. Breed for confirmation.” Lisa stressed.
The future is bright for the Fulton Ranch. Make sure to look for “Streakers Got Cash”, a 2021 bay roan gelding, and “Epic Slice of Pie”, a 2021 gray mare, in the Pink Buckle Sale on October 5, 2023.
Additionally, check out fultonranch.com or follow the Fulton Ranch on Facebook for more information on their ranch and horses available!
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