By BRIAN SMITH
True friends are few and far between in this world. Shelly Mowery and Norma Sanders would qualify as those.
The two women have known each other since 1990 when Mowery was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, located at that time in Hereford, Texas, as a cutting horse competitor, a year after Sanders was inducted into the same organization for being a rare female auctioneer at livestock auctions.
Sanders originally went to college to pursue a degree in music but went into auctioneering as a “way to make a living.”
With college becoming too expensive, a friend in Sanders’ hometown of Texico, N.M., who had an auction business and knew she had trained and traded horses while in high school suggested she become an auctioneer. After being turned down at three other auctioneering schools, Sanders, at the age of 20, was the only female of 40 auctioneers to graduate from the Missouri Auction School in 1952.
Sanders and Mowery stayed in touch over the years, Mowery admiring Sanders’ accomplishments as an auctioneer in a male-dominated world. Mowery and her husband, Rick, own and operate Mowery Cutting Horses, a top cutting horse facility south of Weatherford. When Shelly saw she might have a top-notch yearling, a sorrel stallion named Some Kinda Kat, ready for auction, she knew exactly who to contact, despite Sanders not having called an auction for 23 years.
Sanders said she was ready to come out of retirement to help an old friend, but said she was unsure if Mowery would be able to convince auction officials to allow Sanders to auction off the horse. Mowery was successful.
Some Kinda Kat was the first horse auctioned by Sanders at the National Cutting Horse Association’s Summer Spectacular Sale on Friday in Fort Worth, where 85 yearlings were expected to go up for grabs at the invitation-only event. The sale was produced by Western Bloodstock Ltd., of Weatherford.