Giant red tent, other items from failed show 'Valitar' auctioned off

Equestrian show 'Valitar' went bankrupt in Nov.

DEL MAR, Calif. - A giant red tent and other items left behind after the equestrian-acrobatic show "Valitar" went bankrupt were auctioned off on Tuesday.

The winning $85,000 bid for the tent came from Orange County man Duane Ward and a partner. They plan to resell it.

"We're investors, and we're involved in the special event industry," said Wade.

The huge tent is going to take another $250,000 to take it down.     

"We're supposed to be off (fairground property) in 10 days," said Wade. "That's going to mean running a crew of 20 people 24 hours a day."

Even with the extra cost, Ward thinks he can turn a profit.

"This tent went for $1.3 million when it was bought by the show," said Wade. "We're expecting to do about half of that."

Smaller tents for horses, VIPs and performers were also sold. Auctioneers sold more than 126 items, including tent beams, metal chariots, floor mats and everything in between.

Two weeks after "Valitar" opened in November, show organizers bailed, leaving performers and horses to fend for themselves. In December, they filed for bankruptcy. An auction was scheduled to help pay down the debt.

Emily Richards bought about an acre of sand for an equestrian center in Poway.

"It's about 100 horses, and we're expanding our facility so we need lots of sand," she said.

This is not ordinary sand. Richards told 10News it has a chemical in it that helps keep in moisture, making it dust-free. That will help the equestrian center save on its water bill.

She estimates that the sand she paid $700 for at auction would have cost her $40,000 if it were new.

"Sand is not dirt cheap, unless it's at the 'Valitar' auction," said Richards.

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