Q: Where can I read more about your Ranch?

A: Articles can be found in the following publications. Click on the links below to view the articles.

Today's Horse
"Sheldak Ranch: Building the Appaloosa Breed"
Feb. 2021 paages 17-23

Appaloosa Journal
2019 Hall of Fame:
Dave and Kim Utke
Winter 2020-21

Red River Horse Breeders Association
Horseman and Horsewoman of the year 2016

Farmer's Forum
"High Praise"
Dec. 2, 2016 cover story

Farmer's Forum
"Ranch one of top 5 horse farms in US"
Feb. 3, 2012 cover story

Appaloosa Journal
"Temperament, Talent
and Type"
June 2009 pages 24-27

Valley Equestrian
"Living the Dream"
March 2009 page 10

Today's Horse
"Versatile Appaloosa"
Breeders Edition
Jan 2009 page 90

Mills Farm Life
Summer page 4

Western Horseman
"Broodmare for Sale"
May 2006 page 92

Appaloosa Journal
"Common Sense Foaling"
Feb 2002 page 16

Western Horseman
"Featured Story"
Jan 2000 page 84

Appaloosa Journal
Oct 1993 page 19

Appaloosa Journal
“Annual Report”
Oct 1991 page 102

Horse & Horseman
"Nature's Way"
Sept 1987 page 24

Appaloosa Journal
"Broodmare Power"
March 1983 page 12

Appaloosa News
"Feature Story"
July 1976 page 6

Sheldak Ranch horsesQuestions about the Sheldak Ranch

Q: Do you stand your stallions to outside mares?
We do not stand our stallions to outside mares. Because our pastures are several miles in different directions from the headquarters, we only pasture breed. Besides, they have only the grazing capacity for our own mares. If we retain fillies, we must sell the same number of mares in order to make room for them.

Q: When is breeding time? When is foaling time on your ranch?
Each stallion is turned out with his band of mares around May 10 if the pastures are ready for grazing. He will run with his band for 60 days, then come home. Foaling starts mid-April and runs for about 60 days. Our mares foal out on the pastures with the stallions, unattended and several miles from home. Every morning we drive to each pasture to check the horses and fill the creep feeder for the foals.

Sheldak Ranch foals in creep feeder

Q: What type of feed do you feed the horses?
When the situation calls for it, the broodmares are fed pasture cubes, which are easy for the mares to pick out of grass or snow. Nursing foals are fed free choice a commercial creep feed in walk-through feeders. When foals are brought home in the fall, they are switched to whole oats and alfalfa hay. Once the crops are off the fields the end of October, the mares come home to clean fields to winter. Besides grazing the cornfields, the mares are on free choice alfalfa hay, as the wagons are refilled once a week

After breeding season the stallions run together on a field and have free choice large alfalfa bale during winter months. No grain is fed to the stallions. Vitaferm Concept•Aid mineral and Redmond Real Salt is available year-round for mares, stallions and foals.

Sheldak Ranch foals in pastureQ: Do you sell all of your weanlings every year?
We offer all of our weanlings every year as it is our sole means of income and has been since 1968. Occasionally there will be yearlings to offer that were not sold as weanlings.

Q: What is the farthest a Sheldak horse has traveled to a new home?
Our foals have gone to Alaska, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Germany, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Venezuela, in addition to the lower 48 United States. The internet has helped prospective buyers in foreign countries to view our annual offerings as soon as they are listed on our website.

Sheldak Ranch foalQ: Do you imprint or use desensitization techniques on your foals when they are born?
We are rarely present when the foals are born, since foaling takes place several miles from our home and usually at night. But given the people-loving disposition of our horses, it isn't long before the foals seek attention. This friendly attitude impresses our visitors, who think the foals have been handled since birth.

Q: Do you offer financing?
Because our only income is our horses, and we have to wait 12 months for a foal crop to sell each year, it is difficult for us to sell on time payments. We strongly recommend obtaining outside financing in advance to pay for the horse(s). Generally folks send half down, with balance before the horse leaves. If close to pickup time, full amount is sent so foal/horse is clear to go.

Sheldak Ranch broodmaresQ: Do you deliver horses?
We are unable to deliver horses because we have no hired help at our Ranch to fill in if we are on the road. Transportation can be found on www.travelinghorse.com and many other sites by searching for “horse transportation.”

Q: How do should I identify which foal I am interested in?
Please refer to the foals by the names of their dams for the current year, as in "Teachers Star' 2020 filly", or "Skip A Koy's 2020 colt". Many request information by stating foals' birth dates or color and markings. With more than one foal sharing the same birth date, that method makes it difficult for us to identify with certainty the foal in which you are interested.

Q: Can you send me a video of your horses?
Unfortunately, we are unable to produce videos due to our time constraints when running the ranch. We must focus our efforts on high-quality still photos, which are necessary for registrations, Appaloosa Journal display advertisements, and our website.

Sheldak Ranch broodmares in pasture

Q: What horses have you bred/owned that were your favorites?
This is a really difficult question to answer. They are all "favorites" in our hearts, in one way or another. That said, Mighty Tim just has to rank number one. He was a sweetheart and a champion, and he was with us nearly his entire life. But if you count the number of tears shed when they passed on, there was no difference between Mighty Tim, Spittin Image, Imaginate, and several others.

Q: What honors or awards have made you most proud?
Any and all awards won by our horses make us proud. Having raised Prince Shannon, and learning of his Reserve National Champion title at his first show, then seeing his offspring dominate nearly every National Top Ten list years ago, was a thrill. Then we watched him go on to become a Leading Sire of Halter and Performance Horses and named to the Hall of Fame. Yet some of the greatest pride we feel comes not from the National & World Champion titles for the horses we have raised and sold. And not even from our horses' National High Point titles, Superiors or ApHC Championships. Rather, it is from hearing how honored and respected our breeding program has become. When these comments come from the Appaloosa Club, from influential people in both our breed and other breeds-experts whom we look up to-they make all of the "blood, sweat and tears" worth it. That means more to us than any trophy that could ever be won. In 2019 we were inducted into the Appaloosa Hall Of Fame, that was the icing on the cake! Recently we were the 2022 North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Ranch inductees.

Sheldak Ranch • Dave and Kim Utke • 5743 145th Ave SE, Sheldon, ND 58068-9733 • Ph: 701-882-3344
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