Clydesdale breeder DeVere Clay was known far and wide for the horses he raised before he and his wife died, along with two granddaughters, from fumes while sleeping in a horse trailer in October.


Now his prized horses are going to new homes scattered from the East to Canada and all the way to California.

All 38 animals from the DeVere and Barbara Clay Clydesdale herd at Tomah, Wisc., were sold at a weekend auction that mixed sadness for the Clays’ fate with appreciation for the way the community of horse owners responded to help the family.

“When we got there in the morning there was a small army of people, helping bed the horses, helping feed the horses,” said Brian Craig from Bangor, who worked with auctioneer John Marg of Black River Falls on the sale. “Just everybody coming together to help this family out.”

The Clays died while in Madison for the World Clydesdale Show.

DeVere and Barbara Clay and granddaughters Erin Briney, 10, and Hope Briney, 13, were found in the living quarters of their horse trailer, heated with an old propane heater, just as the show was about to start Oct. 12. They died from carbon monoxide poisoning. (For more on this see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10592.)

For Saturday’s sale, the manes and tails of the horses were decked out with ribbons in the Clays’ signature green and white farm colors. About 300 prospective buyers were on hand.