Update: Breyer auction, donor challenge to save Beebe Ranch
Breyer Animal Creations’ eBay auction to help save the Beebe Ranch, home to the legendary pony in Marguerite Henry’s 1947 book “Misty of Chincoteague,” ended April 22, 2023 with a winning bid of $12,875. A total of 47 bids were placed on the test run Misty and Stormy models in metallic gold pinto, which were described in the auction listing as the “ultimate grail” for a Breyer or Misty enthusiast.
According to staff members at Reeves International Inc., parent company of the Breyer brand of collectible model horses, proceeds from the sale of this set will be donated to the Museum of Chincoteague Island. The Virginia museum is in charge of fundraising efforts to save the Beebe Ranch from possible redevelopment. Author Henry purchased Misty from the Beebe family as a weanling, and it was to the family’s ranch that the famous pony eventually returned, with her descendants living there ever since. If fundraising is successful, the museum plans to maintain and preserve the Beebe Ranch for generations to come.
Ranch under contract, challenge underway
According to the Museum of Chincoteague Island’s April 24 Facebook post, $375,000 of the required $625,000 has been raised to date, and the museum now has the Beebe Ranch under contract with a closing date of June 30.
Meanwhile, a challenge is underway to “raise every penny needed before the closing date,” according to the post. “When we reached $317,000, [local philanthropist] David Landsberger offered a matching grant–if we raised $100,000 more, he will match it!” the museum staffers write. According to the museum website, “That means your $5 donation turns into $10, your $100 donation doubles to $200. Donations coming in now will all qualify for this challenge.”
Donations can be made through the museum website, the “Save the Beebe Ranch” GoFundMe page, or by mailing a check to the Museum (noting that the donation is for the Beebe Ranch).
Part of the Breyer story
It seemed only fitting to many Misty fans that Breyer should get involved in the multi-pronged efforts to save the Beebe ranch. As the company’s blog related, “Misty of Chincoteague has long been part of the Breyer story–since her first Breyer model was released in 1972 she has never left the regular line, making her the longest-running Breyer model in history.
“Breyer was also a longtime supporter of the original Misty of Chincoteague Foundation, and was among the primary funders of the bronze statue of Misty that now resides on Chincoteague Island. Author Marguerite Henry herself took great pride in Breyer’s models of her equine icons, happy that they helped keep them ‘alive’ for generations of children to come.”
Over the years, Breyer continued to create models of many of Misty’s foals and relatives, including Stormy, the subject of Henry’s 1963 sequel, “Stormy, Misty’s Foal.”
Learn more about the Museum of Chincoteague Island’s ongoing efforts to acquire the ranch on the museum’s official website.
Landing page image from Breyer website and auction