The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 8, 2013

One busy barn

Auction one of few remaining

COVINGTON, Ind. — With hay and grain prices running high, and domestic slaughter effectively shut down, the times they are a changin’ for the U.S. horse market.

Todd Yundt, owner of the Veedersburg Sale Barn in Fountain County, Ind., is trying to adapt to the new economic climate by diversifying and finding new ways to promote his sales.

“A lot of places like mine have closed down,” Yundt said. “Some have tried to reopen but don’t last six months. If you don’t promote and advertise, you’re not going to last long.”

The sale barns that used to be a mainstay of rural, small-town America have been hit hard by the economy, and Yundt, who has traded in horses and livestock his whole life, said the price of feed is his biggest concern.

“Horses are as cheap as I’ve ever seen them. You have more in hay and grain in a month than the horse is worth,” he said. “A lot of people sell their horses, their saddles — they sell everything and they’re out of the business.”

Yundt has held horse and tack sales at the Veedersburg Sale Barn every third Saturday each month since he bought the place in 2001. For the first few years, sales averaged 150 head per month. But the closure of the last three remaining horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. in 2007, the stock market crash, the recession and the high grain prices dealt a big blow to the horse market, and gradually caused the number to plunge to 50 head per month.

In order to stay on top of the market, he added another sale ring for used equipment and diversified with a monthly sheep and goat sale, and a twice-monthly sale of small poultry and miscellaneous household items.

“Friday is what we call our chicken sale. But really, if it has feathers on it we’ll sell it,” said Phyllis Yundt, Todd’s mother who helps out with the business. “The first Wednesday of every month is our sheep and goat sale. We have three big buyers that come from out-of-state and buy loads. Prices have been good so far.”

The biggest sheep and goat sale to date boasted 600 head. On horse-sale days, Phyllis Yundt said auction-goers come from all over Indiana and Illinois.

“Sometimes people call and ask if we have horses with specific bloodlines. We sell any breed; grade horses (horses with no papers), quarter horses, Arabians, draft horses, ponies and, on occasion, a Mustang or Paso Fino.”

On a recent Saturday night, auctioneers Brian McDaniel of Wheatfield, Ind., and Tanner Lewis of Lafayette, Ind., were hawking used and new horse tack, brushes, gate latches, muzzles and horse-themed household items such as tempered-glass chopping boards before the start of the horse auction.

Meanwhile, trailers were pulling up in the crowded parking lot to unload horses or hay, which is auctioned outside the building.

Cathy Klopfeustein of Monticello, Ind., and her friend Linda Brisbin were sitting in the bleachers in the main ring looking for deals on new tack.

“I really enjoy it,” Klopfeustein said about the auctions at the Veedersburg Sale Barn. “I come for the used saddles. They have lots of supplies like buckets, brushes and useful everyday stuff.”

Brisbin, who runs a saddlery in Burnettsville, Ind., said she likes to see what people are buying, and how much they’re paying.

“This is a really nice place to come, especially for families. There aren’t too many horse sales around anymore,” she said.

Noting the declining market for horses, she added, “Because of the economy, we’re seeing a lot of what we call sale-barn horses, but a while ago there was an Arabian gelding that sold for $1,400. Had the market been like it was before, it would’ve sold for $5,500.”

This year, Yundt added a horse auction on New Year’s Day and had more than 300 buyers turn out.

“It’ll most definitely be an annual thing,” he said.

But the economy is still making it hard to plan for the future. “It’s the big unknown,” he said. “In this business it’s either feast or famine. What bothers me the most is the high price of grain. It makes it more expensive to have chickens, and we’re seeing the same thing with other small animals. People sell their cages and their equipment and get out, just like with the horses. It used to be that there were always new people getting in, but we’re not seeing that as much anymore.”

Linda McGurk is a freelance writer for the Commercial-News.

IF YOU GO

Sheep and goat auctions start at 7 p.m. EDT on the first Wednesday of each month, year round. Poultry and miscellaneous auctions start at 6 p.m. EDT the second and fourth Friday of each month from March through November. Horse and tack auctions start at 2 p.m. EDT on the third Saturday of each month.

For more information about the Veedersburg Sale Barn, go to: http://www.veedersburgsalebarn.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 30, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Monday, 11-11:04 a.m. — An unintentional alarm activation at 1714 E. Fairchild St.Monday, 1:01-1:10 p.m. — A medical call in the 1200 block of Cleveland Street.Monday, 3:59-4:16 p.m. — A carbon monoxide i

    July 30, 2014

  • YMCA offers new college, career program DANVILLE — The Danville Family YMCA plans to launch a new college and career readiness program during the 2014-2015 school year called YMCA Achievers. YMCA Achievers is a college and career readiness program offered at more than 1,400 YMCAs across th

    July 30, 2014

  • DATS begins East Main discussion DANVILLE — The Danville Area Transportation Study, along with the city and The Lakota Group, invite the public to join them in a new way to help imagine the future of Danville’s East Main Street Corridor. An online virtual public engagement forum has

    July 30, 2014

  • EU adopts tough new sanctions on Russia BRUSSELS — Shocked into action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner and the resulting deaths of more than 200 Europeans, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, to be followed swiftly by similar

    July 30, 2014

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Morr.jpg Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel on Tuesday unleashed its heaviest bombardment in a 3-week-old war against Hamas, striking symbols of the militant group’s control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip’s only

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Starved Rock Closed T_Morr.jpg Starved Rock trails still closed from storm damage UTICA — A majority of the 13-mile trail system at Starved Rock State Park in northern Illinois remains closed because of significant storm damage that happened four weeks ago.The park is waiting for an emergency contract to be awarded for tree remova

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three arrested in Rothery robbery DANVILLE — City police have made three arrests in connection with a brazen armed robbery Tuesday morning in downtown Danville.The robbery was reported just after 10 a.m. Tuesday at Rothery Jewelers, 147 N. Vermilion St. City officers and county deput

    July 30, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleSunday:Battery in the 100 block of South Buchanan Street.Monday:Burglary in the 1300 block of Lape Street.A woman arrested for domestic battery in the 100 block of North Logan Avenue.Deceptive practice in

    July 30, 2014

  • School sign-up begins

    July 29, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Must Read