An inside look at Dixon's former comptroller's horse farm - – Rockford’s News Leader

An inside look at Dixon's former comptroller's horse farm

Main entrance to barn. Main entrance to barn.
Crundwell's trophy room inside a barn. Crundwell's trophy room inside a barn.

The woman accused of stealing millions of dollars from the City of Dixon will see some of her prized possessions sold off. Her horses hit the auction block in September.  The U.S. Marshals Service let local media into the farm for the first time while announcing the dates of the auctions.


The horse auctions will be broken into two separate weekends in September.  One for the live auction in Dixon and another weekend will be the online auction.  The Marshals hope to have all the horses sold because the care of them is very expensive.


"It is certainly no small dollar, we're averaging about $200-thousand a month," says Jason Wojdylo, U.S. Marshals Service.


That's to feed and care for Rita Crundwell's 400 horses. They are spread across more than a dozen states but a majority are at her farm in Dixon.  A judge ordered the horses sold.  


There has been concern that this year's drought, which has increased the cost of feed, along with the large number of horses could drive down the prices of the top animals.  But with all the publicity surrounding the case Professional Auction Services, Inc., Mike Jennings says people from Australia and Europe have called about some of the world champion stallions.  Jennings says some could go for as much as $300,000.


"The horses are going to go to homes in a manner that a show horse or a good quality brood mare will be taken care of," says Jennings.


"Our job is to advocate for victims of crime be it this victim of this alleged crime or any other crime. That's our job. And we always have a conscious effort to try to generate the greatest return for any asset that we seize," says Wojdylo


The online auctions will happen September 11 and 12 on the site The live auction in Dixon is Sunday, September 23 and Monday, September 24. The Marshals will allow people to view the horses the three days prior to the live auction.  Check the Professional Auction Services for more information about auction and viewing times.


Following the auction the Marshals will take out the cost of caring for the animals but the rest will be held in an escrow account potentially for the City of Dixon if Crundwell is convicted.

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