Garfield County to auction off horses | AspenTimes.com

Garfield County to auction off horses

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colo. ” Need a deal on a new car? Go to a seized car auction.

Want a horse? Try to buy one at an upcoming horse auction at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle on Jan. 19.

It is the county’s first horse auction in recent memory. Most of the horses are American quarter horses, according to a notice advertising the auction.

All the horses come from one New Castle case with multiple counts of cruelty to animals charges, said Tanny McGinnis, community relations deputy for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s deputies initially took five of the horses in January of last year because the animals were in critical need of help, she said.

The sheriff’s office gave the owner, Richard Cordova, 71 at the time, a summons and offered to help him care for the animals. Six months earlier the sheriff’s office had offered to assist him and keep the animals healthy, but the owner declined the offer, McGinnis said.

After taking the five horses in January, the sheriff’s office monitored the status of the other horses and stepped in again, taking the other 25 horses in April, McGinnis said.

Two of the 30 later died, McGinnis said. After the case was disposed of, the animals became the property of the county, which put the horses into a private boarding facility at the county’s expense. Information on the exact disposition of the case wasn’t immediately available late Friday afternoon.

McGinnis said since the horses were impounded they have, collectively, gained thousands of pounds and are “totally different horses.”

The auction is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. A preview of the horses will go from 8 a.m. until the auction starts. All the horses will be sold “where is, as is,” according to the notice. Cash or “good check” will be accepted for payment. The oldest horse is a 14-year-old stud, while most of the others are between 8 and 12 years old.

The horses are “sound and in great shape,” according to the auction notice. Registration papers will not be provided with the horses. Pictures of the horses are available at http://www.silvernickelauction.com.

Ralph Fritzlan, 54, who is running the auction, said it is a bit strange to auction off seized horses.

“These horses are kind of an unusual deal, being seized and selling them. We don’t have paperwork on them,” Fritzlan said. “They are just going to go to new homes and hopefully better homes.”

Fritzlan said he had a picture in his mind how the seized horses would look, but now that he has seen them up close, he said they look like they are in “super shape.”

“I don’t think I have seen horses in better shape,” Fritzlan said.

pyates@postindependent.com


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.