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Famous ‘Snippy’ skeleton to be auctioned on eBay
Alamosa horse became first animal mutilation case
ALAMOSA — The most famous horse that ever lived in the San Luis Valley will soon be available to the highest bidder. The Appaloosa mare that came to be known as “Snippy” will be put up for auction on eBay, starting Dec. 1. According to Frank Duran, a marketing specialist with Dell’s Insurance, of Alamosa, the skeleton of Snippy the horse will be auctioned on eBay from Dec. 1 through Dec. 11. The auction will include a reserve bid amount of $50,000.
The skeleton is complete, including the skull, which bears autopsy marks, and is mounted for display.
The director of Adams State College’s Luther Bean Museum, Kay Olance, confirmed that the skeleton was exhibited at the Bean museum at one time. Olance has only been director of the Bean museum for two years and had no first hand knowledge of the horse’s history at the museum. Olance had no information on the dates it was at the museum but she believes it was there in the late seventies. She also had no information on why it was transferred to the ownership of Carl Helfin. Helfin is now deceased and it is his estate that is offering the skeleton for sale.
In fact, most details about Snippy are hard to pin down.
The animal leapt onto the nation’s front pages on Sept. 7, 1967 when it was found dead and mysteriously mutilated on the Harry King ranch some 20 miles north of Alamosa. How and why it died is an unanswered question still debated today. Snippy has since become one of the most famous horses of all time and is pre-eminent in any discussion of unusual animal deaths.
Even the horse’s name and sex are disputed. Original reports listed the horse as a male named Snippy. Duran believes that an autopsy performed in the late sixties by a Dr. Leary showed the animal to be female. A common story says that Snippy was the name of either the dead animal’s mother or father and that her name was “Lady.”
Through a series of personal connections, Duran is using his marketing skills to promote the sale of Snippy’s skeleton.
According to a press release issued by Duran, Snippy had “practically disappeared off the face of the earth” when its skeleton was recently discovered in an old storage shed.
The bones stand five feet, nine inches tall, measure seven feet, 10 inches long and are mounted on a rolling stand.
Duran’s press release states that never before seen pictures, as well as a complete history and a chance to enter a free drawing for a life-sized poster of Snippy can be found at www.snippy.com.
The skeleton is currently housed at Dell’s Insurance, 510 Bell Ave., in Alamosa. Duran said the public could view the bones at the insurance agency. The public can contact Frank Duran at Frank@HighReturnMarketing.com, or by phone at 588-2678.

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