Circle C Angus Raises the Roof - New records set at the All Canadian Sport Horse Association Select Sale
March 2011 – an email arrives from Wendy Lyon, Chairperson of the Calgary Stampede Miniature Donkey Committee.The message stated: "I had a call from the Blacksmith Committee and they are looking for chocolate donkeys. Do you have any molds for chocolate donkeys or know of someone who does?" This sounded like a work project to me! Anyway I started a search for molds but no one would admit that they had molds for chocolate donkeys.
Another month went by and Wendy e-mailed me again. "The Blacksmith Committee really wants a chocolate donkey. Do you think we can find a mold for them?" Of all the people that I contacted, no one knew anything about making chocolate donkeys. Finally in June Wendy called and asked me to contact the Blacksmith Chairperson directly. When I contacted the Blacksmith, the conversation was a bit confusing at first, however it turned out that he had a client who wanted a real chocolate colored donkey to help raise funds "for a good cause".
Well that explained a lot and I was very thankful not to have to make 700 chocolate donkeys in July! Somewhere the message had really got mixed up!
The Blacksmith asked me to contact Linda Ackerman, host for the first All Canadian Sport Horse Association Select Sale, September 10th, 2012. She wanted a chocolate donkey to be sold as Lot #1 in the sale. The goal was to raise enough money for the Calgary Cerebral Palsy Association Adaptive Bike Program to buy one or two specialized bicycles costing $5500.00 each. The donkey had to be a chocolate color because a potential bidder wanted a chocolate colored donkey.
It happened that we had one yearling gelding who was dark chocolate brown. I sent photos and Linda thought that Circle C Angus would be perfect for the fundraiser. Krista started working with Angus to make sure that he would lead, load and walk through various trail obstacles.
Another exciting element was added to the sale. Henri deGroot, a famous Canadian painter, offered to paint a portrait of Angus, which would be given to his new owner, just in case they didn't have a place where Angus could live. In that event, Linda was offering to board Angus forever for the buyer.
A week before the sale we delivered Angus to Creekside Stables, south of Calgary, so that he could get used to the big horses and small children who lived at the farm. As fate would have it, Angus turned out to be the "star" in the barn. Everyone wanted to meet him and hug him. Angus loved all of the attention and brayed for people when they left his pasture. The Spruce Meadows Masters , largest show jumping event in the world, was on that week so a huge International crowd became fans of Angus, the Miniature Donkey.
On the morning of the sale Krista and I went to Creekside Stable to bath and clip Angus. After all, he was in distinguished company and we wanted him to look as shiney as the sale horses. At 4:00 PM they had a rehearsal for Angus and the horses to walk through their program.Angus behaved like a pro!
Cocktails were served from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Promptly at 7;00 pm the sale started. After the introductions were finished, a young girl led Lot # 1, Circle C Angus, into the spotlight with music blasting in the background. He was a trooper and went wherever he was asked to go without hesitation. He did the donkey world justice!
The bidding for Angus started at $3,000.00 and quickly went up to $17,500.00. Finally, two people were left bidding against each other. When the bidding finished, Circle C Angus had sold for a record, $19,500.00 to Shawne O'Neill from Santa Cruz, California. Shawne had show jumpers at the Spruce Meadows Master's and one of her showjumpers, stabled next to Angus, had fallen in love with the little donkey. The entire sale was a huge success and plans are being made to have another Canadian Sport Horse Select Sale in 2013.
Circle C Angus is now living the dream in sunny California. Five specialized bikes have been ordered by the Calgary Cerebral Palsy Association to give freedom to five young children.
Thank you Angus for being a wonderful ambassador for the donkey world.