The following is an account of a 4 year old filly we bred and sold who ended up in hell’s jail 4 ½ months after she left the track and was given to a “good home”. This filly raced at PA race tracks. I contacted the trainer who I have known for a number of years asking for the contact information of the person he gave her to. We have yet to be given that information.
The pictures below were taken the day we picked her up. Fair warning some may find them very disturbing. They are forever burned into my memory.
The filly had scrapes and scares all over her. She had a very large and painful abscess in the entire sole of her front foot. Our primary general vet New Bolton field services was called in to check her out. They check her blood and gave vitamins and performed various other preventive care. Documented her condition in writing. And continued to montior her condition and re-hap for the next month. They were very kind for discounting their fees.
Our Farrier worked with her extensively at no charge. She has made a complete recovery and is now in our re-school program.
This is how it started on July 20th we received this email,
Hello! I am writing this in hopes that you will be able to help. A beautiful thoroughbred mare you bred named Double The Love is sitting in a kill pen at New Holland Auction. She is running out of time. http://www.ac4h.com/BrokerOwned4.htm (She is about halfway down the page.) She is very sore footed or lame and likely will ship to slaughter if someone doesn't intervene. I just rescued a thoroughbred mare a few days ago from there who I am paying to quarantine, or I would save her myself. I am hoping that since you were her breeder, you would be able to help in some way. I will help get her a home, but she needs to be saved first. Thank you for any help you can provide. Take care!
My response July 20
Please call me on my cell phone ****** ASAP and tell me what we need to do and how to go about bringing her home.
Thank you so much for saving her!!! Please feel free to contact me if you need anything. Also, feel free to email and let me know how she is doing. Best of luck to you both! Take care!
My email on July 25
I picked the filly up today. She looks worse then the pictures showed. I am going to find out who had her this is criminal abuse as far as I am concerned. As I told you she retired from the track in March and it does not look like she has been fed or looked after since.
Thank you so much for contacting us.
Email response July 25
You are very welcome! Thank you so much for saving her!!! I really am so relieved and happy you got her. I contacted several other breeders or trainers for other thoroughbreds and no one else cared enough to help their horse out. Most didn't even respond. I am so sorry she is in bad shape. Poor girl. I agree that it is criminal if she hasn't been cared for. There is no excuse for that! Please keep in touch and let me know if you need anything. Take care!
My email response July 25
Give me the names and contract information. I’ll make them feel guilty as they should feel. I’ll keep your name out of it.
Also, here is an interesting read on the whole situation. Sounds like there is someone connected with Penn selling the TBs. It is kind of long, but worth the read: http://www.ultimatedressage.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=210966&start=0 Like I said before, there is a lot of controversy about AC4H and I don't know what the truth is. It is the horses I am concerned about.
It would be great if the person getting the horses from Penn was found out. I know someone who worked there. I will ask her if she has heard anything. I hope you can find out who did this to your sweet filly. I am sure she would have gone to slaughter, so I am just so incredibly happy that you saved her. There are still several thoroughbreds there, including a nice one by the same sire as my stallion. She is my next mission! It is so awful to see these beautiful animals tossed aside like this.
I hope this info helps and I hope you can get some answers. Email or call anytime. Take care!
My email response July 28
Thanks S******, makes for some very interesting reading. I will let you know what I find out. Where did you see this filly and when? How did you know she was on the web site?
Email received July 28
She was posted on the broker page for about a week at www.ac4h.com Most of the horses are only listed for a week and then are no longer available. They are then shipped to slaughter or possibly to other auctions. Brian Moore apparently also owns Lebanon Valley Auction, so I am sure he buys and sells many horses through there. I am in upstate NY, so don't know anyone from the rescue personally and also haven't seen any horse in person. I just go by what is posted on the web site. Definitely keep me posted. I would love to see whoever is responsible held accountable! Hope the filly is doing well. I am sure she is very happy to be out of that place and back at home. :-) Take care
I contacted the co-founder of the “horse rescue” with the following questions;
My email to AC4H sent July 25
We picked up the filly Double the Love and she looks worse then the pictures. I want the name and contract information of the person you got her from and who was paid what. This is criminal abuse/neglect. She was retired from the track in March and does not look like she has been feed since.
Look forward to hearing from you ASAP.
Christy’s response received July 26
Larry, Where we saw her she had food, water and shelter. All horses are fed and taken care of there. The question is how did she get into that condition because it wasn’t there and was before she arrived there. I would start with who you sold her to and keep tracing until you find the person who did this to her. Did you use a contract when you sold her by any chance?
My response July 27
Christy, thanks. But that still does not answer my question of who had her last and how did they come to acquire her and when. The filly was sold by us at a 2 year old in training sale. She was bought as it turned out by a trainer who I have known for a long time. He said he gave her to a “good” home when she left his barn 5 months ago. A horse does not get in that kind of condition in 5 months if it started out in a “good’ home. This is not my first trip to the rodeo. I have made my living with horses my whole life as my parents before me and theirs before them. I am not unrealistic and think that every horse will end up in greener pastures. I don’t condone those who make their living being the end user and making a buck taking some to slaughter. But I do expect the end user or those in between to provide human care and so does the law. The condition of this filly in just 5 months is shocking and wrong and no one can justify their actions. The people or person that allowed this to happen should not be allowed to have any contact with horses. Yes I have been in touch with the trainer and I know the owner also. I will get their story and track down the chain of events. Any help you can give me would be most appreciated
Christy’s response July 27
She was purchased at auction in this condition (not New Holland) that is all the information that I have. When I saw her I asked if I could list her and was told yes. The person that had her was feeding her and taking care of her they don’t make money on thin run down horses. I don’t know who did this to her but would love to find out.
So you know that she was with a trainer 5 months ago who “gave her to a good home”? Who is that good home? They obviously weren’t good. If they were a good home the horse wouldn’t be in this condition nor would I have found her on a lot needing help.
I would love to fry the person that did this Larry but it isn’t the person that owns the lot – it is whoever the trainer gave her to. Please find out who it is and if the trainer had any kind of written agreement with this “good home”.
My response July 28
I am trying to follow the trail from both ends. Yes, I have been in touch with the trainer and I am waiting to hear back as to who took her from him. The person you got her from bought her at auction. What auction and what date? I have been dealing with auctions my whole so I know there has to be a paper trail. No body can sell a horses at auction without showing or signing documents that say they have title to the horse. This is the law. You gave me a bill of sale and for you to do that you must have a bill of sale from the person you got her from. Also the law. When I give horses away there is a bill of sale and agreement. By law the sale price usually $1. So I need the name of the person you got her from and the auction and date. If they are being on the up and up with you then there is no reason not to give this information. I am requesting the same from the trainer. And he knows he can not blow me off. I hold quite a bit of weight in the business if you know what I mean.
Christy’s response July 28
Larry – the auctions do not require proof of ownership at all- no title, no bill of sale – nothing. The auctions also do not cooperate with people to tell them who consigned the horse or who purchased the horse – they do that to protect their own profit which is horses selling at their auction.
We have been helping horses for 15 years – we are experts in this arena and gather as much information as we can or are able to. I am very glad that you are following the paper trail- that is going to be the answer Larry. The brokers, kill buyers and auctions have very little information and offer no assistance in research unless you have a warrant. In this case there isn’t any reasonable cause to be able to obtain a warrant she wasn’t stolen – she was given away. The only way your answers are going to be found is by following the paper trail – the trainer gave her to someone and hopefully he had a written agreement with that party that will be able to hold them liable for what happened to this horse. Brokers and kill buyers just purchase animals that other people betray. It isn’t in their best interest to not care for a horse- food, water, etc – they make their money off of horses that are fat not thin. They don’t starve horses Larry, they feed them.
I can’t tell you how many times people have not kept their word and we have reunited people with caring people in their past. This is a very common situation that we deal with on a daily basis. I really hope and pray that you do uncover who did this- I can only tell you what I know – the broker that had her didn’t do it. I have seen their place and their animals – have pictures of the grass pastures, hay in the rings and full water tubs – they feed their animals.
End of email communication from her she did not answer any more. As you can read I could not get a direct answer to any of my questions so I called her. I was not confrontational even though my research of this organization made me quite suspicious but she continued to avoid answering my questions and would not tell me who she got the filly from. Her excuses were far from reasonable or believable. They charged us in total $500 to get her. Obviously from looking at the photos the person who had this filly had no intentions of transporting her to a slaughter house in Canada or Mexico. But rather play to us and other “bleeding hearts” via the internet. A pitiful looking horse has a far better chance of being adopted for money then a fat and happy looking one. My research seems to show that there are many “rescue, adoption” people out there utilizing this method. I would like to believe that many are worthy but I have a feeling many are not. And if you do the math they can make a very good living at this.
I have not passed judgment on this organization. But my communications with its co-founder and the numerous derogatory information that can be found has made me highly suspicious. It cost around $3.50 a day to feed 6 lbs of quality feed and 15 lbs of decent hay a day to look after a 1000 lbs horse. So, $500 will feed a horse for almost 5 months.
The “pick up” facility is a ramshackle “barn” that at the time was being expanded, I guess business is good, located on grounds of basically a junk yard. No turn out or even grass to graze a horse. So, the question is; are these sort of organizations really doing “good” in the end or are they just “enablers” for those who did this to this filly in only 4 months? Conversely are we doing the same by paying “blood” money?