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Annual Buffalo Bill Top Notch Horse Sale

One thing about us here in Cody: When something works well we don’t tinker with it too much.

Take our Annual Buffalo Bill Top Notch Horse Sale. On Saturday, May 11, we will close down 12th Street at the Irma Hotel for the 15th straight year, truck in a whole bunch of dirt and set up a corral. Buyers, sellers and those interested in horses – that’s most people around here – will gather as close to 100 horses are bought and sold.

On a typically sunny day in May, there is no place I would rather be than on the hotel porch with my iced tea in hand and a cowboy hat on my head. This is truly a major social event for those of who aren’t even in the market for a quarter horse.

Things actually get going on Friday. In the hotel lounge people will have the opportunity to preview the horses for sale on a video. As buyers and sellers come and go its fun to watch their body language. It’s a bit like playing poker as most people try to keep their emotions in check and not let anyone see their “tell.” I make a game of it and try to guess which buyers are interested in which horses. Every now and then I get one right, but really not that often. That’s probably why I usually lose when I play Texas Hold ‘Em.

On Friday afternoon you should check out the Ranch Horse competition at Stampede Trailer Sales. Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday is the live preview of the horses, also at Stampede.

At noon on Saturday is the big event. If you’re anything like me, you get into the rhythm of an auction. There’s just something about a good auctioneer and his patter that make the time fly by, and when two or more people truly want a specific horse it gets exciting. Some horses go for close to $10,000, and that’s when the crowd sits up and pays close attention.

After the last horse is auctioned, it’s time for barrel racing. There are two sessions – 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturday and two more at 8 and 10 a.m. Sunday.

In my younger days I was a pretty fair barrel racer, but the memories that come back to me now are more than enough to satisfy any urge I have to make those three loops and back to where I started.

You should come check the event out. Go to for more information and to register.

Until next time, I’m lovin’ life here in Buffalo Bill’s Yellowstone Country!