Foal Naming Auction Raises $4,550 Through 68 Bids

ASSATEAGUE — A new foal born into the herd of wild horses on Assateague will soon have a new name after a successful auction conducted by the Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) over the weekend.

Each year, the AIA conducts auctions for naming rights for new foals born into the herd of wild horses on the Maryland side of Assateague Island National Seashore. On Sunday, an e-Bay naming rights auction for new foal N2BHS-APU born into the herd this year concluded.

A total of 68 bids were placed for the bay pinto cold known currently by the rather generic name N2BHS-APU during the course of the e-Bay auction and the winning bid came in a $4,550 when the auction closed on Sunday evening. Since the 1970s, the National Park Service developed an alpha-numeric code system to name new foals in order to track their lineage and ancestry among the herd of wild horses on Assateague and to identify the sub-herd to which they belong and the areas of the barrier island they tend to frequent.

Years ago, the AIA, the friends group of the Assateague Island National Seashore which advocates on behalf of the horses, developed opportunities for the public and fans of the famed wild horses on the barrier island to name the new additions to the herd. Most often, the naming rights are auctioned on e-Bay, but at different times raffles or other creative naming rights have been held.

The new foal whose naming rights were auctioned on e-Bay last week was born to dam Linda Rae’s Autumn Glory, and although the sire is not known, it is believed to be Joy. It’s important to note the AIA is a non-profit organization and financially supports educational, interpretive, scientific and recreation while advocating on behalf of Assateague’s wild horses. All funds raised by the organization, including the new foal naming rights auctions and raffles, go directly to the benefit of the Assateague Island National Seashore.

With summer now in full swing, as always, the AIA is reminding all who visit Assateague this summer to strictly adhere to the laws in place to protect the wild horses and heed the warnings on many signs posted at the entrance to the barrier island.

All food should be stored properly to ensure the safety of the horses and the public. Visitors are reminded to maintain a distance of at least 40 feet, or roughly the length of a school bus, from the horses, and are reminded it is illegal to approach them, touch them of feed them, despite the temptation to do so.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.