Bear calls Elko, Nevada and the Great Basin home.
She divides her time among selling her long ranch ropes, roping
as a pastime, and representing
Superior Livestock Auction Company. When Allie is
not at someone’s ranch videoing taping and visiting about cattle
and horses, she likes to team rope, participate in team branding
contests, and do day ranch work. She can also shoe
her own horse if the need arises. On top of all this,
Allie holds a
estate broker's license. Allie is also active in several
horse and cattle associations. Allie Bear has the unique
ability to successfully do two or three mental and physical
tasks at one time.
was born and reared on a buckaroo outfit in Pumpernickel Valley
15 miles south of Golconda, Nevada, east of Winnemucca, Nevada.
Her parents ran a cow-calf operation. The nearest phone was
15 miles away. She now has two cell phones, two house
phone lines and the Internet. She grew up without power
or a light plant; lights were carbide piped into the house;
water was gravity flow from the spring. She attended elementary
school in a one-room school at Golconda with 1st through 4th
grade in the same room and finished her upper classes at Lowery
High School in Winnemucca, Nevada. After high school Allie
attended University of California, Davis and then graduated
from the University of Nevada in Reno. She always enjoyed
roping and riding and was 2nd in Breakaway Roping, at the National
High School Rodeo in Topeka, Kansas in 1968.
has participated in all phases of the livestock business.
Allie has had cows and horses all her life. She understands
the livestock business from the bottom up. She has run
her own cow/calf and yearling programs on her ranches at Winnemucca
and Elko, NV. Presently her home is on acreage outside
Elko where she keeps her horses, some roping steers and a pen
of buffalo. She uses the buffalo to work her horses because
they last longer than cattle. She says they seem to get
along ok with the cattle, but she keeps them separate.
Her horses got used to them fast.
Bits and Spurs
Allie Bear was an owner of J.M. Capriolas Western store and
the Garcia bit and Spur Company in Elko, Nevada from 1978-1985.
The J.M. Capriola Company has been in the Bear family since
1958 when they bought it from Joe Capriola. Since leaving
Capriolas she still maintains her connections with the same
craftsmen from near Puebla and Amozoc in Mexico that have made
the Garcia-Elko Nevada stamped bits and spurs since 1973.
J.M. Capriola Company bought the Garcia bit and spur business
from Les Garcia in 1978. Today Allie designs custom event
silver trophy bits and spurs and her own line of bits and spurs
for the horse person. Her satisfied customers range from
working cowboys to high-fashion riders dazzling the horse show
scene. She creates the designs and then sends them to
be produced by the Mexican silversmiths.
Long Ranch Ropes
ranch woman herself, Allie knows and appreciates good equipment.
Beginning in 1990 she decided to help make available to the
cattle rancher and the buckaroo good long ranch ropes because
they were so hard to find. These ropes are especially
popular in the Great Basin country where “slick horn” roping
is done, roping without rubber on the saddle horn. Her
ropes are available in various lengths and honda styles.
Today she sells her own line of ranch ropes, bits and spurs
from her company Allie’s Long Ranch Ropes and has her own web
A Superior Livestock Representative
owner and manager of a western store and saddle shop for 13
years, Allie had occasion to meet a lot of ranchers. She has
put that knowledge to good use in the last seven years as a
Superior Livestock Auction representative. Her territory is
primarily Nevada and California, as well as parts of Idaho,
Utah and Wyoming.
is constantly on the road representing Superior Livestock Video
Auctions through out the Great Basin and the west. Allie
is one of two women among over 350 male Superior Livestock representatives.
In 1995, Jim Davis a Superior Livestock Auction Company Representative
from Boise, Idaho asked Allie to start helping him sell cattle
from the ranches in the Elko area. Now she ranks in the
top 10 percent of representatives in numbers of cattle shipped.
July 2002 video auction held in Winnemucca, Nevada, Superior
offered 190,000 head of cattle for sale in four days.
The Winnemucca sale was the largest sale in the western United
States in 2001. Allie brought over 17,000 head of cattle
to the 2001 sale. Superior Livestock also presents some
major horse producers' sales in which Allie is involved.
says that generally video marketing techniques offer buyer and
seller a practical alternative to the sale barn auction and
country cattle and horse buyers, particularly in isolated areas
such as the Great Basin in the Western United States.
Superior Representative, Allie contacts cattle producers across
her territory. Once the producer agrees to consign the
cattle, she views and films the cattle in their natural surroundings.
A consignment contract which describes the breed type, base
weight, number of head, frame size and condition, feeding program,
weighing conditions and health program is completed and signed
by the livestock producer. The video is edited by the
company staff and shown on the day of the sale. Buyers
and sellers are either at the auction site or viewing the auction
via a nationwide satellite TV broadcast. The auctioneer conducts
the auction during which load lots of cattle are sold to buyers
bidding either at the auction site or via telephone. Video auctions
are particularly successful because they show the animals moving.
You can tell a lot more about an animal if it is in motion.
Video really expands the market area. Allie has sold Nevada
cattle as far east as Minnesota. Without modern media,
buyers and sellers that far apart would never meet. Auctions
are held every three weeks in the summer and every two weeks
in the fall and spring. There is also a weekly Internet
the auction, the Superior representative contacts the successful
bidder to arrange a delivery date. All cattle are sold F.O.B.
the consignor's farm or ranch. On the day of delivery,
a Superior representative is present to oversee the sorting
and loading of the cattle onto the buyer's truck. At delivery,
the seller is issued a check drawn on Superior’s bonded custodial
account. The cattle are weighed and shipped directly from
the ranch to the buyer's feedlot, farm, or ranch. This greatly
reduces stress and potential health problems to the cattle.
When Jim Davis asked Allie to join the Superior team, he felt
she would be a natural for the job. How right his choice
was is very apparent if you have ever watched her operate around
livestock people. She speaks the horse and cattle owner’s
language and knows the ways of livestock marketing. One
of the most valuable assets an auction representative can bring
to a transaction is their ability to match livestock lots with
the right buyer. Allie has that knack. She is constantly
on the telephone making potential buyers aware of upcoming sale
lots that fit their particular needs. Allie has an edge
in what is often a man’s world. One buyer said they liked
dealing with Allie better because she had a better eye and described
detail better than a man salesman usually does. If a woman
is good at what she does nobody seems to care that she is a
woman. Allie has the respect of livestock people throughout
the west and rightfully so.
by Mike Laughlin
Photos by Lee Raine
A version of this article appeared
in the April, 2003 issue of Western Horseman Magazine.