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One of the West's few in-person agricultural events begins today and runs through Saturday.

Tim Hearden, Western Farm Press

January 26, 2021

4 Min Read
Amanda Bradshaw
Amanda Bradshaw is in her first year of managing the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale.Tim Hearden

Cattle, horse and dog buyers and consigners from throughout the West are converging on Northern California this week for the 80th annual Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale, which is being held in person with precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Nearly 400 bull entrants, between 70 and 75 geldings and 20 stock dogs will go through sifting, trials and auctions today through Saturday, Jan. 30.

"We're looking at a strong sale," bull sale manager Amanda Bradshaw said recently. “One thing we’ve noticed in the sales they have had, including a lot of these horse sales and private bull sales, is the prices have been phenomenal. I’m hoping for a good outcome for our consigners.

“This is a good outlet for them,” she said. “We are one of the few that is going to move forward.”

Those with a pass will enter through a fairgrounds gate. All the sifting, trials and livestock auctions will be held as normal, albeit with precautions, and there will even be an outdoor trade show billed as an “agriculture-essential swap meet,” Bradshaw has said. But social get-togethers such as a buyer-consigner dinner and bull-riding exhibition were jettisoned.

Masks will be required, and extra restroom and hand-washing facilities will be added, she said. The bulls, dogs and horses will be kept “in cohorts” in different areas, and consigners in each area will have access to their own bathrooms, she said.

In another change, buyers will be charged a $20 entrance fee. In most years, admission is free but some attractions, including the gelding sale, are ticketed. But no additional tickets will be required this time. For those who don’t make the trip, all the auctions – including Western Video Market’s 13th annual online feeder and replacement heifer sale – will be streamed online and offer a chance to bid by phone.

All three outdoor dog workouts will also be streamed online.

Schedule of events

Here is the full schedule of activities for the 80th annual sale.

Tuesday, Jan. 26:

  • 9 a.m. -- Sifting and grrading of all range ready calving-ease and range ready bulls

Wednesday, Jan. 27:

  • 9 a.m. -- Sifting and grading of all halter calving-ease and halter bulls, Don Smith Pavilion

  • Noon -- Trade show opens; closes at 7 p.m.

  • 1 p.m. -- Working stock dogs, presented by Merck; all dogs work outside

Thursday, Jan. 28:

  • 9 a.m. -- Geldings shown at halter, in age order, youngest to oldest; and dry, trail and cattle works, Pauline Davis Pavilion

  • 9 a.m. -- Trade show opens; closes at 7 p.m.

  • 11 a.m. -- WVM Internet Feeder/Female Sale, presented by Boehringer Ingelheim, Don Smith Pavilion

  • 3 p.m. -- Geldings, calf branding, presented by Skinner Livestock Transportation, Pauline Davis Pavilion

  • 5 to 6:15 p.m. -- Clinic, presented by Cinch Jeans, Pauline Davis Pavilion

  • 6:15 p.m. -- Geldings, Conformation Horse selected, Pauline Davis Pavilion; working stock dogs presented by Merck, Pauline Davis Pavilion

Friday, Jan. 29:

  • 8 a.m. -- Geldings -- cutting, snaffle bit/hackamore, stock horse and team roping contests, selection of the Craig Owens Ideal Ranch Horse, Pauline Davis Pavilion

  • 9 a.m. -- Trade show opens, closes at 9 p.m.

  • 1 p.m. -- Working of stock dogs presented by Merck, final round, outside

  • 3:30 p.m. -- Sale of stock dogs presented by Merck, Don Smith Pavilion

  • 5:30 p.m. -- Doors open for gelding sale; Vic Woolery's Famous Tri-Tip BBQ before and during the gelding sale, $10/person, Pauline Davis Pavilion

  • 6 p.m. -- Youth Activities Fund Raffle, Pauline Davis Pavilion

  • 7 p.m. -- Sale of quarter horse and paint geldings, presented by Rolling Hills Casino, Pauline Davis Pavilion; $20 buyer pass available at the gate, online or call the office

Saturday, Jan. 30:

  • 9 a.m. -- Trade show opens; closes at 7 p.m.

  • 9:30 a.m. -- Sale of all bulls, Don Smith Pavilion

In-person events return

The Red Bluff sale will be the first of two major West Coast livestock events to be held in person. The Klamath Bull and Horse Sale is scheduled to proceed Feb. 3-6 at the fairgrounds in Klamath Falls, Ore., sans the horses and stock dogs.

The in-person bull sales come as scores of agriculture-related seminars, conferences and shows have been cancelled or moved online as the West Coast has endured some of the strictest lockdown measures in the country. These events included this week’s Unified Wine and Grape Conference and the World Ag Expo in February.

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