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Valrico land auction includes 11 miniature horses

After almost 80 years, the last 26 acres of the Manly property on Lithia-Pinecrest Road in Valrico has been sold, prompting an absolute auction Dec. 7 featuring the sale of barns, farm equipment, home appliances, trailers, firearms, guitars, household appliances and more.

That “more” includes the sale of 11 miniature horses, raised by Evelyn Smith, 85, “who started raising such horses about 35 years ago,” said auctioneer John Harris of Harris Auctions LLC.

“Her husband bought her one and she got kind of hooked on them and then she started breeding them and now she’s going to sell them,” he said. “Eight mares, two stallions and one colt.”

That would be Shortbread, Candice Too, Carla, Stormy, Bo Jangles, Foxy Princess, Foxy Lady, Sabrina, Fancy, Beauty “and the male baby to be named Remington,” Harris said. He added that all but the colt are registered with both the American Miniature Horse Association and the American Miniature Horse Registry.

“They have dual registry and they are very endearing,” Harris said. “People treat them like pets as opposed to livestock. People get attached to them like dogs. They’ve all been checked medically. We have all their papers and bloodlines.”

To see the items for auction click here.

According to Harris, Smith’s father bought his Valrico property in 1936, which included land that now houses Foundation Christian Academy on Lithia-Pinecrest Road, north of Lithia Springs Elementary School and the Lithia Ridge and River Hills communities. The remaining 26 acres sit across from the academy, on the west side of Lithia-Pinecrest Road.

“My dad started out with 20 acres, that was there where that house is behind the school,” Smith said, pointing in the direction of Foundation Christian Academy. “He got that paid for and then he’d find out who owned the property next to him and see if they wanted to sell.”

In that manner her father, over the years, accumulated some 225 acres of land, property he would have to “clear by hand because they didn’t have tractors and all the equipment they have today,” Smith said.

Harris said a developer approached Smith, a widow, about the sale of the remaining property for a housing development and the time was right to sell.

“You get to the point where you have to pay somebody to help you do what you have to do and then it gets hard to find somebody to do it,” Smith said. “You get tired doing everything you have to do, then you can’t do what you want to do.”

In the end, she added, “The secret to letting go is you can’t hang on to it.”

So now, “After almost 80 years, the Smith family has sold the last of the Manly property,” Harris said. “Twenty-six acres are slated for development and therefore all the farm equipment, barns, trailers, implements, furniture, firearms and 11 miniature horses will be sold absolute.”

“Absolute” means there is no reserve price below which an item will not be sold; it will be sold to the highest bidder.

The auction is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, with a preview the day before, Friday, Dec. 6, from noon to 6 p.m.

Up for bid are three barns “that you can take down and reassemble,” Harris said. “There’s also a miniature horse trailer, deck mower, farm supplies, water tanks, hay racks and conveyors and a lot of furniture and collectibles and really cool firearms.”

As Harris put it: “We’re liquidating a family’s belongings collected over many years and there’s some really cool and unique items.”

The auction is at 4002 Lithia-Pinecrest Road. Contact Harris at (813) 784-3926 or via email at [email protected]

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