Kill Buyers and Their Partners - From Racetrack to Disreputable Rescues

Here’s the basis for this blog, a story broken yesterday by the Paulick Report:

Another layer has just been revealed in the partnerships in the world of horse slaughter.  In this particular case, Ed Price, a bloodstock manager at Penn National has been caught shipping a young thoroughbred race horse to slaughter.  It has cost him his position as vice-president of the Pennsylvania Horseman’s Association and may well lead to other ramifications, although it’s a well known fact that Penn National’s “zero-tolerance” policy has not previously been enforced with any veracity.

The horse, Prince Michael, was owned by Thomas McClay, the second-leading owner by money won at Penn National in 2012.  McClay is also a member of the board of directors of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association at Penn.  Price handles “bloodstock” or sales transactions of thoroughbreds for McClay.

Price was shrewd.  He sold the horse to Phil Shirk, who doesn’t have a slaughter contract.  But Shirk is a slimy dealer who does business routinely with Brian Moore, who does have a contract with the Richelieu horse slaughter plant in Canada.  He ships a number of loads of horses to Canada every week to die.  Moore paid $325 at the auction for the horse.  Fortunately, Candace Scheirer, who is often present at the New Holland Sales Stable seeking Thoroughbreds being sold for meat, was able to buy the horse from Moore privately after the auction for $375.

Yet again we have Brian Moore doing what is not illegal, but certainly appalling to 80% of Americans, buying horses to send them to their deaths.  He gets his best money for horses in good flesh – the plants are looking for the best “hanging weight” – and certainly a young thoroughbred fresh out of training would be in good flesh.

What is interesting is that Prince Michael surely had Bute, along with a lot of other banned substances in his system as all race horses do.  But it appears rather easy for the paperwork to be falsified that goes to Canada with the horse to be slaughtered. 

Another Chance 4 Horses markets Brian Moore’s horses through their broker owned horse program, getting a substantial cut off the top so both partners profit.  When you look at the whole picture, the owner tossed out his trash, a race horse that didn’t make the cut, to Shirk, Shirk made $324 quick bucks, and Moore made another quick $50.  AC4H markets additional horses for him and he continues to profit, enabling the whole vicious cycle to continue.

It’s no different with the other broker programs.  Whether they are marketing for Rotz, Moore, Andio, or others, they keep the cycle moving and help these slimy dealers stay in business and continue to make money off the backs of horses.  You never see these groups advocating for the legislation that will end slaughter.  When slaughter comes to an end it’s going to affect the bottom lines of the partners of the kill buyers too.

It's not rescue.  It’s business, pure and simple.  And business is about the bottom line. 

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