- Created on Thursday, 30 August 2012
- Written by Dena Milner & Mark Thompson
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Emison and Bradford purchased Ware’s share of the company Wednesday, Ware said.
“For a number of years, I’ve been ready to do some other things,” said Ware, 55, as he returned a call Thursday from a trip to watch races associated with this weekend’s All-American Futurity. He’s an avid Quarter Horse racing fan, and the All-American Futurity is the sport’s highest-profiled event.
“Quite frankly, I woke up in Ruidoso, New Mexico [site of the big race] this morning, and for the first time in 20 years, I don’t have to worry about a deadline for an ad, or a deadline for a catalogue,” Ware said. “I’m going to enjoy that. I’m happy. I know they [Emison and Bradford] are happy. There are absolutely no underlying meanings here, other than I’m ready to do some other things. I wish them the very best.”
He will focus on personal properties in Texas and Louisiana and the development and sale of others. “I love taking a piece of land, shaping its appearance for the better and then marketing that property,” Ware said. He is also well known for his knowledge and implementation of stallion syndications.
“I am putting together a syndicate right now on one of the best 3-year-olds I have ever seen. Austin and Stacy Shepard [a Summerdale, Ala., cutting horse trainer and his wife] own this dynamite young stallion whose name is Bamacat. He is by High Brow Cat, and out of their great mare, MH San Tules Dually. “I hope folks just won’t hold his name against him!” said, Ware, a native of Louisiana, and a Louisiana State University sports fan.
Ware also organized recent stallions syndicates for Bet Hesa Cat and Rockin W, and he played a role in sales negotiations involving High Brow CD. “I’ve syndicated a lot of horses,” he said.
Ware started his auction career as a graduate of the legendary Superior Auction School in Decatur, Ill., in 1975, the same year he graduated from high school. He’s known for an uncanny ability to describe good qualities in sale horses, and to recite multiple generations of their pedigrees by memory to packed auction crowds.
While well known for his auctioneering skills, he said that he never actually put the hammer down to sell horses at the Western Bloodstock events. “I’ve never been the auctioneer at any of our own sales,” Ware said. “I’ve always been kind of the color guy, and provided the commentary. I’d comment on horses’ pedigrees and so forth.”
He grew up in stockyards owned by his father, and he served as the auctioneer for tack sales and other special events starting around the time he turned seven. His relationship with Hall of Fame Louisiana auctioneer Ike Hamilton also resembled that of father and son more than one of a master and a student.
During the 1980s, Ware's path and that of Texas horse sales enthusiast and expert Ben Emison crossed paths often. They forged a friendly relationship based on mutual respect. Reached by phone Thursday, Emison recalled that in 1997, Ware joined him in a partnership called Prime Time Sales in Fort Worth, Texas. The two joined with Bradford to form Western Bloodstock three years later.
“We all worked pretty much together,” Emison said. “Wherever somebody was needed, we were there. We all worked where we were needed.”
Ware provided the company with obvious assets at the sale rings with his announcing abilities, aided by his knowledge, and his showmanship flare, Emison said. “He’s a good conversationalist, and a darn good announcer. Jim has a great knowledge of pedigrees, and he’s very intelligent. We had a great run together. I wish him the best in what he’s doing. And he’s already wished us the best.”
Western Bloodstock's other partner, Milt Bradford, said he's known Ware 25 years, and they ended up working together, along with Emison, for about half that long. He also viewed the split as amicable.
"We all worked together. We built a great company together, and it will continue," Bradford said. "The people here in the office are the backbone of the company, and they're all still here. We'll continue doing a great job promoting horses and the National Cutting Horse Association."This week’s business deal allows Ware to spend more time with personal investments, and more time with his wife, Carolyn, at their ranches in Weatherford, Texas, and Louisiana, he said. He’ll also continue to buy, improve and sell real estate.
“My association with Western Bloodstock has been a great ride, however, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and I have decided this is the right time for me to make a personal change," Ware said. "Ben Emison and Milt Bradford have been fabulous partners, and as a team we broke every sale record imaginable in the cutting horse business. I wish them and the NCHA nothing but the best in the future.”