The Sugar Bars Legacy Sale, held in Sheridan, Wy, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary this fall on September 18th, 2022. The board has some exciting things in store to commemorate the event. The sale was started in 2002 by Art and Rita McDonald along with their daughter, Karla McDonald of Bar M Quarter Horses. Art visioned for a horse sale where buyers could come to one place and pick from among the highest quality of weanlings each year. Ranchers could come and find their next horse that would carry them through the Bighorns in the same pen as a rodeo contestant’s future arena performer. Producers could find their next stud prospect among the surefooted future trail horses. There was one way Art knew he could assure there was this versatility and quality among each of the weanlings offered through the sale—requiring Sugar Bars bloodlines on the pedigree.
Sugar Bars was a son of Three Bars out of Frontera Sugar by Rey foaled in El Paso, Texas in 1951 and lived until 1972. The sorrel stallion did not necessarily have an impressive record in the race world but did reach a AAA speed. He suffered a few injuries along the way and transferred hands a few times before his sire, Three Bars, started receiving recognition as a producer. Bud Warren bought Sugar Bars to cross on his Leo mares, and a true match was made.
More known for his gets’ accomplishments than his own, Sugar Bars outproduced himself in his offspring, and his offspring’s offspring. It seemed what made him great, came out even greater with each generation. Whatever mare he was bred to, he always brought out the best in her, too. Over twelve AAAT, forty-five AAA, and forty-six AA racers were produced during his time under Bud Warren’s ownership. Sugar Bars became the living leading maternal grandsire of ROM get from 1945-1969. The impressive stallion was sold one last time in 1968 and had a full booking of mares for the last three years of his life before his death at age 21.
A fan of the Sugar Bars bloodline, Art knew that requiring consignments to be within 6 generations of the outstanding horse would help meet his vision for the sale. He also hoped to preserve the Sugar Bars bloodline through the generations, so that the great producer would not be lost to more trendy bloodlines over the years. Thus, the Sugar Bars Legacy Sale was born to honor and preserve the AQHA Hall of Famer’s legacy.
Growing larger and more popular each year, Bar M Quarter Horses selected some local AQHA producers to join them in their efforts of producing the sale in 2007. The Sugar Bars Legacy Sale Association was formed adding Nixon Quarter Horses, VLW Ranch, Wetz Stirrup Ranch, and Woodworth Quarter horses. Deer Run Ranch was added to the crew a couple of years ago. Select riding horses, which do not have to be of Sugar Bars descent, are chosen each year to join the sale to bring in even more interest.
The sale also added a halter futurity for yearlings that had been sold the previous year on the sale to return to. These include Conformation classes and a Youth Trail in Hand class. The efforts incentivized the purchase of high-quality weanlings and gave returning consigners a chance to show future buyers how their foals would grow over the next year. A Two/Three-Year-Old Versatility Futurity was added for any horse that was purchased as a weanling or yearling in the past to showcase the performance and trainability of the select consigners’ breeding programs. There are youth and open divisions with classes in Conformation, Ranch Riding, and Trail. The high point earner in the open wins a sponsored saddle and cash payback.
For the 20th Anniversary of the sale, the Sugar Bars Legacy Association is going to pull out all the stops and make it truly memorable for all who grace the Sheridan County Fairgrounds in September. In addition to the Yearling and Two/Three-Year-Old futurities on Saturday September 17th, the association is doing a Maturity for any horse purchased through the Sugar Bars Legacy Sale since the beginning in 2002. The Maturity will consist of the same classes as the Versatility Futurity: Conformation, Ranch Riding, and Ranch Trail. The Sugar Bars Legacy Sale Association is excited to see some of the weanlings and yearlings that have been sold through the sale return to be shown five, ten, or even twenty years after their walk through the pavilion. Art is excited to reminisce on how his vision for the Sugar Bars Legacy Sale over 20 years ago, has come to life and left a lasting impact on the local horse industry.
If you want more information about the sale www.sugarbarslegacy.com, Facebook or for consigning contact……LeRoy Sugar Bars Legacy Sale President at 605.347.8120.