Featuring the League of Legends and Legend Buttes Sales
The League of Legends Sale is the leading AQHA gelding performance horse sale in the United States. Turners provide 50% of the sale horses, while the other half is carefully vetted to their high standards. Photo by McFarland Productions.
Elite horse sales are not produced in a season; rather, they consist of year round planning, marketing, researching, and building connections with sellers and buyers. Reputable sales take years of consistency, and no matter the amount of Facebook followers or the size of the ad in a magazine, nothing beats the attention garnered on a personal level, by word of mouth, according to Legend Buttes Horse Sale founder, Robin Scherbarth.
She and her husband, Cody, hosted their first sale in Crawford, Nebraska in 2019. “It was very scary to start with,” she says. The couple were not yet married, and Robin was still in college, but they took the leap with the help of Robin’s relatives, who have owned Crawford Livestock Marketing for decades. The stability of the sale barn, including the clerks, location, and facility, were available to them from the start, not to mention their lifetime in marketing livestock of all kinds, and their own experience as both ranchers, breeders, and trainers.
The Legend Buttes Sale, named for the nearby landmark in Crawford, Nebraska, brings together all around horses of every caliber to suit any buyer. Courtesy photo.
“We appreciate what auctions can bring to sellers,” she says. While it can be difficult for horse sales to distinguish themselves from one another today, Scherbarth says they take an individualized approach to selling horses. Large quantities of horses is not the goal of the sale. Their aim is to ensure that the sellers and the buyers are happy. To do this, horses are vetted to be “sane and sound.” She says, “It’s about finding the horse a good home.” Their slogan is “Honest people, honest horses.”
Taking her lead from her family’s approach to selling cattle, who are happy to sell for the owner of a herd of 400 down to 40, she knows the key to remaining relevant and growing is to treat the “little guy” no differently than anyone else.
Scherbarth has also taken a unique approach to ensuring marketing quality with incoming horses. Consignors to the Legend Buttes Horse Sale have the option to purchase a “media package” where professional level photos and videos are offered for a fraction of the regular cost, in addition to their consignment fee. She also utilizes several social media platforms year round to garner interest.
Though a relatively young sale hosted by relatively young people, the Scherbarths have remained patient and steadfast in their honest approach, and it is paying off. After four years, they have seen steady growth, and their 2023 sales are scheduled for Jun. 16 and Sep. 22.
Legend Buttes Sale in Nebraska and The League of Legends Sale in Montana are both spearheaded by horse training couples. “It’s not always easy, but what better business partner than someone you love and respect,” says Scherbarth. In a similar origin story, each sale began when the founders decided they would like to create the best place to market their own horses.
Eight years ago, Chad and Paje Turner of East Helena “had an array of really nice horses on hand.” With the market in a stable position, it was a great time to start a sale of their own. Two decades in the performance horse business was, and is, their solid foundation. “Our reputation is the brand behind League of Legends Horse Sale,” she says. They brought with them business connections, previous buyers, and high quality horses: the perfect recipe for success.
Chad and Paje Turner of East Helena, Montana, brought with them two decades’ worth of a reputation to their inaugural sale. Eight years later, League of Legends needs no introduction. Photo by McFarland Productions.
For several years, The League of Legends has been the Leading AQHA Gelding Performance Horse Sale in the country, breaking nationwide average and high-selling records. Last year’s sale average was $68,338.00, with the high seller at $310,000, and the second high seller just $10,000 behind.
Much the same as the first sale, Turners provide 50% of the consignments in order to quality control. The other half are consigned by invitation-only from approved sellers, providing buyers with only the best quality possible. One might say they are the “stuff of legends.”
Though geldings do spectacularly well, the sale is not limited on sex or age. Last year, their first stallion was sold, and they have always featured top-notch mares. A great asset of Turner’s sale is that consigned horses are versatile, capable of not only performing in the arena, but also knowing a day’s work outside. Each horse must participate in the first two events of the preview, including ranch horse and trail horse, followed by the optional events of team roping, barrel racing, and calf roping.
Both Cody and Robin Scherbarth have deep roots in livestock marketing and auction sales. The availability of Crawford Livestock Marketing allowed the young couple to confidently begin their horse sale endeavor. Courtesy photo.
The “Casual Friday” of their preview is unique and memorable. With the consignors’ permission, anyone from the public can meet and ride horses they are interested in buying. “There’s not a horse for every rider, but there’s a rider for every horse,” says Turner.
Besides the Turners’ full-time job training and competing, Paje also manages her marketing strategy year round. Their print advertisements and regular social media updates work wonders–their Facebook page alone boasts 30,000 followers–but like Scherbarth, they find the greatest interest and loyalty comes by word of mouth advertising, which speaks the loudest about their well-earned reputation.
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