MOST schools sell raffle tickets or hold cake stalls to raise money, but the students at Sandy Hollow Public School pinned their hopes on a thoroughbred colt.
Unlike the other horses that were auctioned at the Inglis Scone Yearling Sale yesterday, lot 96 – an unnamed yearling colt – already had plenty riding on his back.
He carried the hopes of 48 students from Sandy Hollow who received the proceeds of his $4000 sale to go towards their end-of-year camp.
The buyer, a trainer from Canberra, has promised to keep the school up to date with the colt’s progress after the children formed a bond with him during a visit to Widden Stud in May.
The unique fund-raising effort is the brainchild of three Upper Hunter families, who each have children at the school.
Sandy Hollow Public School principal Christina Darlington said it had been several years since the students had enjoyed a major excursion.
‘‘This magnificent colt’s connection to the school reflects the enormous community spirit that thrives here in the Hunter Valley,’’ she said.
Yesterday’s yearling sales were the culmination of the annual Scone horse festival.
Inglis Bloodstock director Jonathan D’Arcy said the top horse sold for $90,000 and the average sale was about $13,000.
‘‘It was a solid sale day, not as strong as we’ve seen four or five years ago,’’ he said.
‘‘However, the industry’s been a bit tight at the moment and sales have been tough going so an 84 per cent sale rate is a satisfactory result.’’