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20:45 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Russia

Kremlin Shetland Pony to Go Under Hammer

Russia
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In an odd sort of clearance sale, the Kremlin announced on Monday that it is putting up a draft horse and a pony up for auction from its stables.

In an odd sort of clearance sale, the Kremlin announced on Monday that it is putting up a draft horse and a pony up for auction from its stables.

The starting price for the Shetland pony, named Surprise and aged 10, is a mere 5,500 rubles ($175), the administration said on its website.

Bids for the Vladimir Heavy Draft horse, Luchisty (Radiant), despite its venerable age of 18, will start at 34,000 rubles ($1,100), the report said.

“The health [of the animals] does not permit them to work,” the administration added.

The auction will take place in the Kremlin-owned Bor guesthouse outside Moscow on November 30. No lots beside the two animals are on offer.

President Vladimir Putin was given a pony named Vadik by then-Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiyev in 2005, but the animal, which is also kept in the Kremlin’s stables, is not a Shetland pony.

Among the more famous inhabitants of the various Kremlin-run stables around Moscow was “Anapka the parasailing donkey,” which was made an unwilling celebrity by its owner in the southern Krasnodar region after sending the braying animal into the air to advertise his parasailing service in 2010. The stunt turned out to be perfectly legal, but the donkey was purchased by animal rights activists and placed in the Kremlin stables where it peacefully expired last year.