The stock pens at Fuji Park were filled with horses of every size and color for Saturday's auction preview.
The first hint of fall came with a crisp morning breeze as a tangle of paints, roans, blacks and sorrels jockeyed for position around the hay that had been scattered in the pens. Foals stayed close to their mothers' sides and some whinnied nervously as a small crowd gathered to study the herds and look for a prospect. Most of the animals are not broken.
"There are some nice horses here," said Carson City resident Dawn Rosenberg. "With time and patience, many of these animals will make very good pets -- and friends."
Paula Gilmore, a Washoe Valley resident who lives near where the horses were kept, said she was considering one mare for breeding stock.
"My wife and I have been watching these horses for a long time," said her husband, Jim. "We're hoping they go to good homes."
Owned by the Culverwell family, the horses were pastured on Winter's Creek Ranch and the decision to sell the animals was made after the family lost their lease on the property. A collaboration with officials at the Carson City Sheriff's Department followed.
Some of the horses were sold at 6 p.m. Saturday and the auction continues today at 10 a.m., the proceeds to benefit the Carson City Sheriff's Mounted Police Unit.
Organizer T.M. Casey said the herd includes a number of geldings and brood mares that are broken. He distributed auction catalogues from Smith Valley to Seattle and his phone has been ringing off the hook for days.
"It's a big sale for this area," he said. "And considering the quality of these animals, it's a nice opportunity for people."
A member of the Carson City Sheriff's Department Mounted Unit, Casey said 14 reserve deputies staff this unit, 11 of them volunteers. The unit provides about 2,000 hours of service annually for local events, everything from high school football games to the Silver Dollar Car Classic.
What: Fund-raiser Horse Auction, to benefit the Carson City Sheriff's Department Mounted Unit
When: 10 a.m. today
Where: Fuji Park Fairgrounds
Information: Call T.M. Casey at 849-1892 or 887-2020 ext. 1703
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