Just in time for parents who want to fulfill their child’s Christmas wish for a pony, the nation’s longest-running pony auction is scheduled for this weekend in the northwest Iowa town of Lohrville.
Betty Winkelman says her family’s 65th annual auction on Sunday will feature ten ponies this year in a variety of price ranges. Winkelman says the price depends on age and experience but bidding on the young ones starts around $100 while the better-trained, older animals go for more.
She says these ponies are the products of the family’s third generation of horse breeders in Calhoun County. The Winkelmans started raising horses there in the 1880s, about 40 years after Iowa became a state. Winkelman says her husband’s grandfather started raising draft horses on the farm and bred them for the neighbors. The auctions started with her husband’s father in the 1930s and the only years they didn’t have sales was during World War Two.
Winkelman says they’ve sold ponies over the years to buyers in states as far away as Hawaii and the ponies are used in a host of ways. Winkelman says the ponies are small to mid-sized to almost-horse-sized. She says they’re bred to be calm and easy to handle and they’re used for a variety of riding, driving, as childrens’ ponies and as workhorses on small farms.
The auction starts at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
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