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Topeka Auction

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  • Topeka Auction

    A friend & I drove to the Topeka carriage auction yesterday.

    We met up with some members of the local driving club there, so we got good sideplay/chat as we watched.

    Carriages/carts/wagons were going for some very low prices.
    The metal pony carts were going for around $200, a pony-sized wood farm wagon - in excellent condition, if not brand new - was sold for $625.
    Brand new 2-wheel horse-size show cart in burgundy $1250 and for me the piece-de-WishICouldBuy:
    2-seat spindleback 4-wheel pony cart in great shape for $750

    Are these prices typical of today's flat market?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    I really want to go to it, just to check it out. I live a few hours from there. Sucks that it was on a friday, since I work ! Maybe I'll go to the next one, only I just want to check it out - Bringing no money, no trailer, and no bidding number, lol!!!

    Curious, though... how much did ID#6 go for? Listed as a cross country buggy , it's a marathon vehicle, but it doesn't say if it is horse or pony size...

    eBook on Amazon - The Beginner's Guide to Buying a Horse
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    • Original Poster

      Sorry, I don't recall seeing #6 go through but I'm betting it went for around $2K or less.

      #1 is the one I was drooling over - it was in really good shape and turned easy when we played with it in the lineup outside.

      Oh well, maybe by Fall when the next carriage auction is scheduled my pony will actually be ready for a vehicle
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        Chew - #6 is not a marathon vehicle. It is what it says basically. A marathon vehicle will not have a back seat facing parallel to the front seat, it needs a back step. It will also not have a reach (the pole underneath that goes from the front to the back). With a reach, you will jack knife it. Marathon vehicles are now days equipped with what is called a "fifth wheel" on the front set of wheels to allow them to completely rotate freely. They also have a lower center of gravity to help them not to tip on fast turns. This one seems a bit high by looking at it. It's a good all around pleasure type vehicle for going down roads and maybe some trails, i didnt notice if it had a brake, so might not be great on hills.

        Those types of vehicles often sell for less than 2k at these types of auctions.

        That spindle back is cute, but i'm not surprised it brought that price. If the vehicle is not cut under now days, they seem to go pretty cheap. It's probably not going to give you the turning ability to compete in dressage or breed shows with, and as a mutli purpose vehicle its not practical. It's basically limited to roads and parades. That narrows your buying market down pretty drastically.

        I think the prices sound pretty average for the vehicles pictured. The auction here in GA might bring in a little higher into the 2000-2500 for a nicer wagonette or commercial vis a vis, but metal carts are typically in the 2-300 range, wood carts under 1200, all wagon/buggy types under 1500, your metal cross country buggy/surrey types under 2000.
        Your Horse's Home On The Road!


        • #5
          where are these carriages from?

          So helpful to know what prices things are bringing and why. We went to the spring Topeka carriage sale and it sounds like prices were about the same. I'd like to get a nice meadowbrook soon for my Belgian mare. I wondered - many of the carriages were new, not used. Even the pics online for this most recent sale are the same pics as in the spring sale. How would this auction house come by these carriages? The vis a vis, wagonettes, meadowbrooks, and the cross country are all so different, it would seem they are different manufacturers?
          "Treat people like you want to be treated" Harold Streu, my friend.


          • #6
            Many of the carriages at these types of sales are from private owners.

            #1 looks like a vintage carriage. There is still a market for these, but as BFZ said it is somewhat limited by the uses many want to put the carriage to today.

            #3 and #6 look to be very similar vehicles, Looks like a Roberts carriage from Canada. Some like them, but they do have a reputation for weld failure from time to time.

            Most of what is shown is new and mostly designed for non-competitive driving.


            • #7
              Probably not different manufacturers, though it's a wide range of vehicles... Roberts and Justins are probably the two biggest manufacturers available to us of your standard pleasure vehicles and commercial carriages. Though i think Justin is a smaller company and i dont think too many of their carriages show up new at auctions all over the US, the roberts do, which makes me wonder if they have distributors that haul them to sell at auction. I'm sure they make more business selling at auction than people purchasing direct from them, even if they take lower prices. But i agree with drive NJ, when i was first researching vehicles, i had a lot of people tell me some weird things about Roberts carriages. Not saying it happens to them all, but it does seem to be a common issue, and it's all different issues with them. To give them credit, there are probably more Roberts carriages in the US than any other carriage maker, so that's a lot more opportunities to hear of failures...
              Your Horse's Home On The Road!


              • #8
                The Roberts vehicles come in huge trailer loads to the carriage auctions. The Roberts folks make a vast array of styles. You might look at #3 and #6, actually the same vehicle, just different paint and trim. Some Commercial drivers have said nice things about Roberts commercial vehicles. But mostly I hear bad things from folks who buy the pictured carriages, inexpensively at the Auctions. Welds break, failure of parts under stress, cheaply built. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone after seeing some in for repairs.

                The #1 carriage does look old, have to know what you are looking at to decide if is usable. Also on a reach, which makes them need a LARGE area for turning. Spindles do make it appear airy, light.

                Guess I didn't know Justin turned out that quantity of carriages. Last I knew it was almost a one-man shop, but that was a while ago. His fiberglass designs were unique when he started, but some Amish have copied the fiberglass stuff. His offerings are not what interest us, so haven't followed his progress.

                Prices mentioned sound about the same as last fall, for the same kind of vehicles. Haven't seen much unique down there unless I was selling it! Lot of the same vehicles going thru again and again, a yellow Irish Jaunting Car comes to mind. Have seen it at the last 3 sales I attended.

                We did Metamora CDE as volunteers this weekend, still have Cones on Sunday. Have to say the weather has been pretty nice after the monsoons the last two years! No tractor to pull the stuck cars out every day!! Would have been fun to compete, but the boys were not fit enough with all the rain in April and May here. Lower temps, better humidity made it easier on the horses for Marathon this year.