Trail Horses Included in Resort Bankruptcy Auction

Operators of the Double JJ Resort and Ranch in Rothbury, Mich., are hopeful that the resort's 94 horses will find new homes when the company's assets are liquidated at bankruptcy auction on Oct. 30. Owners ceased operations on Sept. 3 after several attempts to stay afloat in the struggling economy. A small crew remains at the site to care for the horses.

Established as a dude ranch in 1937, the resort evolved into a four-season tourist destination offering a golf course, conference center, waterpark, and a weekly rodeo event. The horses, which represent a range of ages and breeds, were used for trail rides around the 1,500-acre property.

"They're used to being ridden, and they're ready to go," said resort spokesman Ron Kirby.

Even so, Jennifer Williams, PhD., co-founder of the Bluebonnet Horse Rescue in Texas, said she believes the horses' long trail experience could represent challenges for new owners.

"What they have going for them is that they're dead broke," said Williams. "On the other hand, it's hard to know how they will behave once they're away from those home trails. It might take time for new owners to retrain them."

What's more, finding buyers among Michigan horse enthusiasts already operating on a shoestring could be difficult. So the horses are getting nationwide exposure to potential buyers online in a catalog posted by auction operator the Maas Companies.

View the Double JJ horses online at  

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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