Deb Abraham Spalding
Some locals are aware of the long-standing history of Eyler’s Stables in Thurmont. Harry Eyler began selling horses and livestock at the barn on Emmitsburg Road in Thurmont in 1933. Harry and his daughter-in-law Ruth traveled far and wide buying riding horses that were shipped back to Thurmont on rail cars to be sold at the auction. The auctions continue to this day as generations of Eylers have worked to continue the business.
In September, Nikki Eyler contracted with the long-standing Wolfe Auction family to continue the coveted service. Wolfe Auctions are owned and operated by another local family by the name of Ruby. You may have noticed the now-vacant space the Wolfe Auctions has leased along Route #15 near Lewistown. During Coronavirus, the auction’s owner Caythee Ruby and her son, Joshua Ruby (president), merged the 25-year Wolfe Industrial Auction services near Lewistown into auction space they own in York Springs, Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Joshua, Thurmont born and raised, noticed an opportunity to lease the long-standing Eyler’s Stables auction service and operate the new Wolfe Agricultural Auctions there.
Joshua has always loved Eyler’s Stables. The auction barn and grounds host many memories for him and his family. His parents would go on dates on Friday nights at the stables. He fondly remembers picking out his first horse, his dad buying it for him for his 6th birthday, and riding it for the first time in the riding ring. Throughout his life, Friday nights at Eyler’s Stables were a social event for him and many other local farm folks.
Now, he’s seizing the opportunity to manage the auctions and auction barn to keep the tradition alive. Joshua said, “It’s our opportunity to continue to serve the community. This is near and dear to our hearts. It’s much more than just an auction.”
The Wolfe Agricultural Auction family includes Joshua’s mother, Caythee; Tyler Donnelly, agricultural barn and sale manager; Cathy Little, office manager; and Joshua, auctioneer.
Operations are in place for the buying and selling of quality horses, re-homing horses, horseback riding lessons, and trail riding.
As with tradition, the first Friday of every month will feature an ag auction with livestock, produce, trailers, and anything needed on the farm. The third Friday of the month features a horse sale.
Three to four times a year, the Wolfe’s will host an industrial auction at Eyler’s Stables to sell equipment and trucks. At all other times, the industrial auctions will be held in Pennsylvania.
So far, in the first month of ownership, Joshua said, “Things are going exceptionally well. We had over 65 horses at the first auction held in September. We’re looking to double that number for the New Year’s Sale.”
The Eyler’s Stables New Year’s Day Horse Auction has been a tradition for a very long time. It’s a whole community social event. This year, this auction will be held the Saturday after New Year’s Day. It’s a very large event that draws people from near and far.
Joshua explained how things work: “If you are no longer in need of a horse, bring it in, and we will re-home the horse in responsible homes to give them the best life they can get. Horses come mostly from private individuals who are going through a divorce, moving, or stepping up to a higher performance horse.
Once here, go see Cathy or Caythee at the registration trailer to get a bid number. There’s an inspection prior to the auction. We sell tack the first two hours of the sale while buyers check out the animals on the grounds. You bid in the auction barn. Purchase at a price that’s right for you, pay your bill, and go.”
To learn more and keep up with auctions and events, visit Eyler’s Stable on Facebook, Wolfeagriculturalauctions.com online, call the auction’s main number at 301-898-0340, Tyler Donnelly at 301-712-5176 to consign animals to the sale, or call Joshua at 301-748-2924.
Events include a Halloween Party on October 30 that features a Trot-and-Treat, complete with social distancing. Local businesses get a stall and set-up to hand out candy. There’s a horse in every other stall. Pumpkin carving is $5.00, and there’s a costume contest for both kids and horses.
November will include the regular auction; a mini pony sale; a horse auction; an Open House on Friday, November 20; and Wolfe Industrial Auctions on November 21. Joshua said, “The Open House on Friday night is to show everyone exactly what we’re capable of here at Wolfe Auctions.”
“We really appreciate the local business that we’ve already received,” Joshua explained, “We want to be part of this community, participate in this community as much as possible, and do good for all.”
After New Year’s, call Tyler to sign up for full care boarding at Eyler’s Stables.
Please note, it should be mentioned that Joshua’s dad, the late Randy (Charles Randolph Ruby), worked at Wolfe Auctions, a Wolfe Family business owned by Gayle and Kathy Wolfe that started in 1976. Randy purchased Wolfe Auctions from Kathy Wolfe in 1983 when her husband Gayle died.
Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding
Auctioneer Joshua Ruby is shown in the auction barn with Tyler Donnelly, agricultural barn and sale manager; Georgia, a registered miniature horse; and Flipper, a Boer goat.