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From nothing to record setting — what a difference four years makes

September 2, 2018 GMT

PILGER — In 2012, the Von Seggern farm was wiped out by the tornadoes that came through Northeast Nebraska.

When faced with the choice to rebuild or move to town, Eric Von Seggern was overwhelmed.

“My family convinced me to rebuild, so that’s what we did,” Von Seggern said. “Everybody reached out and helped us.”

The tornado took out two of the family’s horses, however, and three horses ended up in the basement.

“I didn’t put them in the basement, the tornado did,” Von Seggern said. “When we opened up the door, our horses were standing there.”

The family took their horses and bred them and sold the offspring in Minnesota.


“The horses saved my butt,” Von Seggern said.

After the tornadoes came through, the first thing that the family rebuilt was the barn. They built a kitchen and a bathroom inside the barn.

The neighbors made sure that the family had what they needed.

Looking ahead to this year, the family took three horses up to Minnesota to sell. The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association (MTA) Yearling sale took place Aug. 19.

The first horse the family sold went for $53,000. The previous high seller was $55,000, so their first horse was not far off of that. The family’s next horse sold for $30,000.

The third horse was a sale record, selling for $100,000.

The average price at the MTA sale was $12,633. The Von Seggern family was well above the average price on all three of their yearlings sold.

Eric Von Seggern is married to Mary, and they have three children: Morgan, Cooper and Sarah.

Partnering with the Von Seggerns are Marlene Colvin, as well as Kurt and Melanie Kindschuh.