Assateague Foal Naming Rights Won For $7,900 In Online Auction

Assateague Foal Naming Rights Won For $7,900 In Online Auction

ASSATEAGUE — After a flurry of late activity essentially by two bidders, the Assateague Island Alliance’s (AIA) “Name that Foal” auction for the one and only foal birthed in the Maryland section of the barrier island this year topped out at $7,900 this week.

Each year, the AIA, an advocacy group that partners with the state and federal parks on behalf of the island’s most famed residents, hold various contests to name new foals born into the herd on the Maryland side of the barrier island.

The 10-day auction opened on Dec. 5 and by late last week several bidders had driven the price up to $1,650. By Monday, however, the eBay auction essentially became a two-horse race so to speak with two unnamed bidder driving up the price by $500 and $1,000 increments as the deadline approached at 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

When the dust settled, a total of 25 bids had been placed on the naming rights to the new foal. One bidder came in at $7,800 around 10 p.m. on Monday, but the successful bidder upped the ante to $7,900 shortly before midnight. In the near future, the successful bidder will likely be named and the foal’s new name will be revealed.

The $7,900 bid for the naming rights to the new foal is believed to be record for the AIA’s annual eBay auction. Last year, for example, the successful bidder for a naming right to a foal birthed on the barrier island came in at just $1,925. In 2013, an eBay auction for naming rights to foal netted the AIA $3,070.

Born in mid-May, the bay pinto filly known now only as N6BMT-FM, was born to the sorrel mare “JoJo”, or N6BMS. In the 1970s, NPS officials began assigning an alpha-numeric code to new foals to trace their lineage and ancestry, and to better identify to which sub-herd they belonged and the areas they frequent on the island.

The new foal’s suspected sire is Llama Boy and the band lives in the back country of the Maryland section near the Over-Sand Vehicle (OSV) zone. Each year, the Assateague Island Alliance auctions the naming rights to a foal born in the Assateague Island National Seashore and the proceeds support the organization’s management efforts for the herd of wild horses on the barrier island. Through its Adopt a Horse program, the AIA has conducted numerous auctions in recent years with the funds raised dedicated to its advocacy programs for the benefit of the wild horses.