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From Trophy Horses To Horse Trophies, Crundwell Auctions Nearing An End

Susan Stephens

Want to buy a trophy? Bridget Edgar hopes so. She’s the winner of the U.S. Marshals Service auction of hundreds of Rita Crundwell’s trophies, plaques, and statues. 

Crundwell is the former comptroller of Dixon who stole nearly $54 million from her hometown. Much of it was used to support her award-winning horse-breeding operations. She is now serving a nearly two-decade prison sentence. Her horses, homes and other possessions have been auctioned off by the federal government to help pay the cost of her prosecution and repay the city of Dixon.

One of those auctions that ended this week was a storage unit full of awards formerly displayed in Crundwell’s trophy room in her now-sold Dixon home. Bridget Edgar from Minnesota was the high bidder at $5,560. In an email interview with WNIJ, Edgar says it was a sealed auction, so she just picked a number she thought would put her near the top.

What do you do with 767 trophies?

Bridget Edgar (aqhatrophies@gmail.com) loves horses, and showing them has been a life-long hobby. But she has her own trophies. She plans to sell Crundwell’s awards, splitting up the huge lot offered in the U.S. Marshals Service auction. Edgar recognizes Crundwell as “an icon in the horse world” and, though she had never met her, “I have heard other horse people speak highly of her, and many were shocked at how her horse hobby was being funded.”

Edgar might just keep a souvenir or two for herself, though.

“I might keep one of the AQHA World trophies and maybe a silver cup. I would probably keep it in a spare bedroom, which is kind of funny because all my own personally won trophies are in my tack room.”

Other auctions

Another auction that just ended featured household items and Crundwell’s championship belt buckles. It raised nearly $72,000 from about 300 bidders. A set of moose antlers carved to look like eagles sold for $2,005. A personalized pink “Cadillac” bicycle was a steal at $93. And a framed portrait of Crundwell and one of her horses went to one bidder for just $35.

Not every item found a home, though: 211 lots received no bids, so it’s back to the auction block early next year for them. A date hasn’t been set yet, but minimum bid prices are expected to be lowered for the next round.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
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