The Thoroughbred Charities of America's 15th annual gala charity stallion season and art auction Dec. 4 at Herb and Ellen Moelis' CandyLand Farm near Middletown, Del. raised $1.86 million, it was announced Wednesday.The event drew some 550 participants, with another 200 linked by audio-simulcast at a satellite event at Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington. So far, the auction has raised $1,861,000.
"Since there are still a number of unsold seasons, we expect this will increase," said, TCA executive director Liz Harris.The two top-selling seasons auctioned were an Unbridled's Song, for $87,000, donated by Taylor Made Farm and the stallion's syndicate, purchased by Fred Hertrich for Brilliant Stable; and a season to Smarty Jones for $75,000, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Roy Chapman, and purchased by Herb Moelis for CandyLand Farm.Original art by Andre Pater and Shawn Faust highlighted the art portion of the auction. Both Pater's pencil drawing entitled "Study of a Stallion," purchased by Michael Levy, and Faust's oil painting entitled "Smarty Jones winning the Preakness," brought final bids of $6,500. The Chapmans were presented with the oil as a thank you for their continued generosity and support for TCA.The evening's honorees were the Smarty Jones team, consisting of the Chapmans, trainer John Servis, and jockey Stewart Elliott; and the Kelso team of Allaire du Pont and trainer Carl Hanford, who were awarded trophies honoring their place in racing history, 40 years apart."We're very pleased with the results of this auction which showed a 25% increase over last year," said Herb Moelis, president of the TCA. "This is spectacular, especially in view of the fact there was another stallion season auction held the evening before. "With supporters like Betty Moran, Eugene and Laura Melnyk, Richard and Audrey Haisfield, Roy and Pat Chapman, and the TOBA alliance, TCA will continue to be a winner."Harris said the auction's results, together with the TCA Saratoga Golf Tournament in August, and individual donations, has put the group's revenue for the year over the $2 million plateau.According to Harris, more than 125 organizations rely on TCA for assistance.