My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Fourteen – Horsing Around in Hay

One morning as I walked home from my shift at the bakery, I found myself against the tide of hoards of people drifting through the town. They were all headed down an alleyway between two buildings on the sidewalk and towards the racy voice of what could only be an auctioneer. The faint neighing in the background told me it was a horse auction.

I asked one man what it was all about and he said that people from all over the country came to Hay for this event each year. Determined not to miss out on any of the action, I shoved the tiredness to the back of my mind, went back to the house where I was staying-which wasn’t far away-grabbed my camera and returning, I fell in line with the other spectators, horse buyers, whoever, who were wending their way along Hay’s streets to the horse auction.

At the end of the alley, I squeezed through a narrow doorway and found myself in a huge, wide area that had been paddocked off into many enclosures, all housing various species and sizes of horses. Some were fairly docile but a little apprehensive of my camera’s flash, rearing back a bit whenever it went off-like this cream coloured horse:

docile horse at the Hay on Wye horse auction

docile horse at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

So I turned off the flash for fear of maybe getting told off by any passing officials.

Others were big, wild beasts like this brown and black one, that towered over me. He was agitated to the ninth degree, rearing and snorting and stamping if someone so much as fluttered an eyelid while in close proximity to him. On closer examinination, one can probably make a good suggestion as to the reason for this. . .

Powerful horse at the Hay on Wye horse auction

Powerful horse at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Then there was this little one that was very pretty. He’d won awards in the past and his owner was more than happy to show him off to me. She wasn’t going to be raising horses anymore, she told me, and wanted to find a new home for this one.

Award winning show horse at the Hay on Wye horse auction

Award winning show horse at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Little but it tallawah! Award winning show horse at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Little but it tallawah! Award winning show horse at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

I wandered down to the auction area where a thick crowd was already assembled, and I squeezed into the tight knot of people to watch the horses cantering around the enclosure in the middle as they were introduced to possible new owners.

A crowded affair at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

A crowded affair at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Showing off their stuff to the crowds at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction. Each horse got a chance to enter and trot around centre stage

Showing off their stuff to the crowds at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction. Each horse got a chance to enter and trot around centre stage.

Horse at Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Horse at Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Gentle reader, if you ever need a bargain horse, the Hay-on-Wye horse auction is apparently the place to go. Just imagine, this horse was actually sold for £10.00! Yes, for a mere tenner, someone had the privilege of trotting off along the streets of Hay on this animal if they chose to that day.

Horse for a tenner at the Hay-on-Wye auction

Horse for a tenner at the Hay-on-Wye auction

I hung about for a while, wandering around the paddocks to look at some more of the horses that were there. It was all rather exciting because I’d never been to an auction before, let alone a horse auction.

Here are some of what you could have bagged yourself that day had you been there:

More horses at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

More horses at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Horses at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Horses at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Horses at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

Horses at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction

And then there was this animal that reminded me of a cow- a storybook cow:

What was this cow doing at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction?

What was this cow doing at the Hay-on-Wye horse auction?

But gentle reader, this was no cow;

No siree, it wasn't a cow!

No siree, it wasn’t a cow!

it was very much indeed a horse!

With cow spots like that, who would have guessed?

With cow spots like that, who would have guessed?

When I’d seen all I needed to, I left the crowd in the height of their bidding and headed back to the narrow doorway that would take me through the alley, to the street. The auction was another interesting diversion in the life of Hay-on-Wye, and satisfied at having witnessed it, I now had my sights on getting to bed.

I imagine there’ll be another horse auction next year, or even before; so if you’re into horses, or even if you’re not, look out for it: it could be the perfect opportunity to plan a day trip to the interesting little town of Hay-on-Wye.

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