Former Dixon Comptroller's Horses Go on the Auction Block

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

DIXON (WIFR) -- More than two thousand people from across the nation are showing up to Dixon to bid on the town’s former comptroller's belongings. If Rita Crundwell is found guilty of stealing $53 million from the community, residents say this is their chance to get some of that money back.

Sandra Morgan traveled from Canada to buy one of hundreds of prize winning horses that used to belong to former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell. Morgan's bid on the stallion Will I Be Good, or Willy, was the highest of the day at $775,000.

“We never thought it would happen, we thought it'd go crazier than it did but we were happy to get it,” says Morgan. “he's been one of my favorites for the last 4 or 5 years."

Over 300 hundred animals and pieces of equipment are being auctioned off at Crundwell's Dixon ranch. The US Marshals Service says this is the largest horse auction in US history.

“We will be bidding looking at the tractors,” says Wisconsinite Bruce Puckham. “I'm still scratching my head at the sheer number of horses you would have," Puckham adds.

“We came out here to look at horses and maybe buy a young one crazy how many horses are out here,” says Caitlin Ryan.

The US Marshals Service has been for caring for the animals since April. They will get paid back the $1.5 million it’s taken to maintain the herd. The rest of the revenue will sit in an account until the case against Crundwell is finished.

“All of the money we've spent since April managing this herd will come off the top of all the proceeds. The remainder will go into an account for possible restitution for the victim of the alleged crime,” says Chief Inspector Jason Wojdylo with the US Marshals Service.

Bidding for the horses started at four hundred dollars, however several horses sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Kristen Purkey spent around $9,000 on her new horse Sly. She made the trip all the way from Florida for this sale

"I am excited, I love horses and I like this one. He's a good boy," says Purkey.

As she and the other winners leave with their new horses, some Dixon residents leave hopeful they're one step closer to getting paid back.

The auction continues on Monday. Gates open at 7am and the auction starts at 11am.

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