Stallion Parade draws area horse owners

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— The Stallion Parade is like a TV dating show, minus the roses.

Sunday afternoon, area horse owners gathered at the Saddle Mountain Ranch in hopes of finding a good stallion to breed with their mares. Others just came to watch and enjoy the sunny day.

For the first few hours of the event, hopeful breeders had a chance to visit with the stallion owners to exchange phone numbers and other matchmaking statistics.

For the finale, stallions were paraded around the arena as Saddle Mountain Ranch owner John McRoy rattled off their descriptions.

He gave their pedigrees, ages, height and production records.

Stallion owner Rebecca Rolando compared the event to a bachelor auction. Rolando talked to perspective buyers who were interesting in paying a $750 stud fee to breed their mares to Rolando's Quarter Horse, Skip N Staints.

"We came mainly because there was such a large group of stallions here," she said.

Ten stallions were on show at Saddle Mountain Ranch, just outside of Milner. Saddle Mountain Ranch owner Christi Northrop said about 100 people passed through the barns Sunday.

It is the second year for the Stallion Parade, which allows the horse community a chance to see the breeding opportunities available in Routt County.

"This is pretty much for fun and to see what the valley has to offer as far as stallions," onlooker Sonja Morton said. "You wouldn't know about them. There wouldn't be the exposure to all the different stallions if they didn't have an event like this."

For many of the visitors, it was a chance to get back in touch with their friends in the horse community after a long winter.

Northrop, who had four stallions on display, said that people came from as far away as Moffat and Grand counties to check out the breeding selection. Most of the stallions featured were Quarter Horses, but paints, an Arabian and a Morgan were also on display.

Northrop said there are about 30 active stallions in Routt County, which meant the parade held about a third of what the county had to offer.

To see all those horses, Northrop said, owners would have had to travel all over the county.

April, May and June are the primary months for breeding horses in Northwest Colorado, Northrop said. With an 11-month gestation period, breeding in late spring times the foals to be born after most of the snow has melted.

Last year was the first time Saddle Mountain Ranch hosted a Stallion Parade. Jeanie Jo Logan helped organized the event last year, which was held at night on a weekday.

"I know a lot of stallion owners, we just wanted to get them together and bring the horses together," Logan said. "There are so many disciplines of riders, so many breeders. We are just trying to bring them together."

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