Home Back Issues Nov/Dec 2012 Mustang money

Mustang money

| Print |  Email
Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012
Article Index
Mustang money
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4

 

1112 MustangMoney 03
Above: Kigers are prized for their good looks, including dark ears and face masks, bicolored manes and tails. But they are especially cherished for their unusual ability to form close bonds with humans.
Below: Tara Martinak of BLM (left) with head horse wrangler Wendy Rickman. BLM first began managing Kigers and “adopting” them in the early 1980s.
// Photos by Joseph Eastburn
1112 MustangMoney 04

Rick Littleton, a former pilot who flew frequently for the Bureau of Land Management, helped popularize the Kigers when rangers keen on his knowledge of mustangs introduced him to the horse. Littleton says he quickly knew he would start a breed. But even when BLM held a roundup, giving four of the horses to Littleton, he regarded them as a novelty, not a moneymaker.

Now Littleton runs the 120-acre Kiger Mustang Ranch in Bend and is among the two largest Kiger breeders in Oregon, and one of only a few in the United States to maintain a herd of mares and stallions in a regular breeding program. He remains at the top of the market as the breed recovers from its recent three to four year slump. Like most Kiger breeders, he runs another business that’s helped him weather the downturn. This season, Littleton says, he’s seeing hopeful signs.

“The true, good-quality Kiger horse has a place and will keep on going,” says Littleton. “People are coming to us. They’re coming buying the real Kiger horses because the economy has weeded out a lot of people,” including counterfeiters.

Betty Linnell, who has 27 Kigers on her 300-acre Double L Kiger ranch in White City, and who joins Littleton as one of the two largest breeders in Oregon, also sees signs of a turning market. She typically breeds about 10 horses a year. But in the past two years, she’s bred only a few, cutting back while the general horse market slowed, and concentrating on a family ranch and guide business.

Though the last few years have been rough — the most inquiries came from the dozens of breeders trying to sell out — Linnell sold what few horses she had this season and already has a deposit on a foal for next. With more and more buyers coming from Europe, Linnell says demand for the Kiger may again spike.

“These horses are all over the United States, and now they have entered into Europe,” she says.

That’s a good sign. European buyers are a new kind of customer, paying $10,000 just to ship a Kiger overseas, more than the cost of the horse itself in the United States. That price tops out at about $7,500, though much higher prices have been paid.

 



 

More Articles

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS