Thousands came to Dixon, Illinois today, to place a bid on Rita Crundwell’s belongings.
"It's kind of like a state fair with food vendors and some people come to buy and some people come to watch. It's the biggest event in the horse world for many many years,” says Gary Wessels, an auctioneer.
What may have look like a festival was actually an auction. Sunday was the first day Rita Crundwell’s belongings were up for bid at her red brick road ranch in Dixon, Illinois.She’s accused of stealing $53 million dollars from the city when she was comptroller.
"It's too bad it all happened but uh we're here to bid on some horses and hopefully we can bring back some of the money to Dixon Illinois, to all the hard working people,” says bidder Bob Swita.
More than three thousand bidders registered. People came from all over the country. The auction had food vendors and even shuttles to take people to and from the ranch.
"I've been in the horse business all my life and I've never seen anything like this no place in the United States,” says Wessels.
"I've been to a lot of auctions but they're not to this caliber, this isn't your typical auction,” says Scott Harmes, a bidder.
Money made from the auction will go towards repaying the city. But one local says it won’t be enough.
"It's sad that it had to come to this and Dixon is going to get severely short changed. A lot of people got hurt by it,” says Harmes.
Either way, everything must go, from items like riding equipment to three hundred and thirty horses.
"It's something that no one’s ever heard of, you know this many horses for one person owning them,” says Swita.
Now everything sold in the auction has to be off the property by Friday. Tomorrow is the last day for the auction. It will start at 11 and last until everything is sold. People can also go online during the live auction to bid on horses.