COOKEVILLE (WATE) – All the animals of the former Circle G Ranch in Sevier County going up for auction this week.
About two weeks ago the ranch shut down after the death of its owner, Matthew “Gumby Michel. Now, remnants of Circle G Ranch are sitting at Triple W Livestock Auctions in Cookeville. even the animals are looking for new homes.
“We have about 30-40 animals not counting the peacocks and things of that nature,” said Auctioneer Scotty Wilson.
After the death of the ranch’s owner, Wilson went, at the family’s request, to Sevier County in August to get the animals and bring them to Cookeville. All of the animals are to be sold at auction.
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“We got everything he had—picnic tables, tools, just everything from the farm. They’re liquidating everything he had,” Wilson said.
All of the items from the ranch like the trucks and the buildings as well as all the animals will all be auctioned off on Friday and Saturday.
“The exotic animal people is kind of a small network of people. Everybody knows everybody and everybody knew Gumby, and there’s people here that’s never been to my sale that are just here to support Gumby’s family,” Wilson said.
It is a tough thing to watch for many who have come to show support. Several people are friends of the Michels and the ranch.
“He was more loyal than a collie dog. He was right there with you all the time,” said Scott Allen. “I’m sure at some point I’m going to be sad. Right now I’m just kind of numb.”
Steven Provost added, “we’re a tight knit community so just coming to help the process, help them help him.”
The late owner’s best friend traveled from Maryland to see how he can help. Callan Hahn said, “It means a lot. He was my best friend for a very long time and he was a good man. He was a hard worker and had a lot of honor and respect by people.”
Each of these animals is expected to bring in several hundred to several thousand dollars which will potentially ease some financial burden.
“I think financially they’re a little behind and emotionally and everything else and this will just take a lot of stress of the family,” Wilson said.
The auction is open to the public and runs through Saturday. All animals and items will go to the highest bidder.
“It’s the end of an era,” Hahn said.
The auction is scheduled for September 7-10. It is open to the public. Details can be found online.