Buyers say auction start bids too high

An animal auction held at the Agriculture Department in Lower Valley on Wednesday had interested buyers complaining of high starting bids.

With the bidding starting at $400 by auctioneer Rex Crighton some buyers and animals lovers went away empty-handed complaining that prices were too high.

Four animals were on the block – a strawberry roan stallion and a bay stallion, both three to four years old; a mare over 12 years; and a heifer.

One animal lover, who owns a pony riding company, said that when the department held auctions in previous years, the bidding normally started at between $60 and $100.

‘We tried to offer $200 as the starting price but they did not want that. It is better for government to put them down, and then they won’t have to feed them. Why do they not want to give the animals out at a fair price when they were strays from the beginning?’ she asked.

Diego Kelly also felt prices were too high.

‘You all do not want to get these animals off your hands. If you did you would offer them at a lower price.’

Diego, along with friend Jeremy Thompson, who still attends high school, said they were looking to buy a horse for their friend Shamiah Grant.

‘We love horses. Every evening a group of us get together to go riding. Our friend did not have a horse so we though it would be a nice surprise for him,’ said Jeremy.

After much debate with the auctioneer, the two friends were able to buy the horse for a little over $200. ‘We would have bought two if they were selling them at the right price.’

Another buyer who bought a stallion said it took away from the flavour and excitement of bidding on the animals by offering a set price too high. ‘Starting at $100 would have been a much more reasonable price,’ he said.

Auctioneer Rex Crighton said: ‘I have held auctions before and the bidding is usually started much higher than what we have here today.’

The three horses sold for more than $200 each, with the heifer fetching $500.

The animals on sale were picked up wandering the streets. They were auctioned after no one laid claim to them or if owners did not pay fees over a period of time.