It's All About the Horse, Right?

Fantastic blog by Ray Paulick today, about another rule breaker racing at Penn National.  Please click on the link and read the article as well as the comments below the article.

Drugs were administered illegally, and as a result two horses from that racing barn were not allowed to race:

(From Ray’s article)

When questioned by the Paulick Report about why Strong Resolve and Side Party Ralph were listed in the Equibase charts as scratched by the stewards, the stewards deferred comment to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. They also wouldn’t comment on whether a hearing will be scheduled or a complaint filed against Trish Rogers. Multiple messages left by telephone and email with the racing commission have gone unanswered.

Twenty-four hours later, everything appeared to be business as usual. Kelly’s Endeavor romped by seven lengths at Penn National for Mike and Trish Rogers, and the following night they had another winner, Ninety Five South, who won his race by 4 1⁄4 lengths.

Rogers vehemently defends his wife’s actions:

“He had bled tremendously before,” said Rogers. “This BS that horses don’t bleed is insane. They actually bleed so much, they’re drowning. What she did was wrong, but all she was doing was trying to help the horse.”

Rogers said his wife “has never had a blemish on her record in 30 years. She’s worked very hard, and to have something like this happen is a bad call. She didn’t deserve that.”

And we just have to share these comments.  They really say it all:

Darlene Allison Anders Sanner
horse bleeds that badly it should not be racing

                that's what i was thinking. so much for thinking of the horse first.

That was my thought, exactly. The body is telling us something. Perhaps we need to stop the drugs and listen.

Cathy R
I have bad asthma and get chronic sinus and lung infections....Can I stay home from work?

That depends on you. However if your bleeding internally and I was your boss, I would suggest you going to Hershey Medical Center ASAP. Am sure the Doctors there wouldnt permit you to try out for the 440 meter time trails in 2 hours.

Yes, if your work involves running a mile or so around a track. Trust me--you'll probably code without medication, which could be illegal for this "work". Thus, it's probably better to find some other work. You can make that choice for yourself, the horse cannot. I'd bet he should be retired, and perhaps someone with decency and compassion will find the right decent and compassionate home for him. My prayers are with him.

The comments are painfully accurate.  This horse should not be racing.  Our racing industry is broken, but those words have been screamed by many and the fix is not appearing on the horizon.

Just a few days ago, we released shipping documents for Brian Moore, who lives a few scant miles from Penn National.  The documents revealed that 11% of the horses Moore ships are thoroughbreds.  And while we can only speculate where he collects all those thoroughbreds from, Penn Gaming has a zero tolerance policy for race horses to be shipped to slaughter.

Yet it goes on and on.  Remember Prince Michael a few weeks ago?

The “agent” for the owner of Prince Michael was allowed to resign.  The owner appears to have avoided any punishment.  On Saturday, August 17th, Thomas McKay’s filly Wild Imagination finished second in a $15,000 claiming race.  A quick Google search shows he’s racing horses regularly.

In some cases thoroughbreds end up in the broker owned programs.  They are often unidentified to protect the people who dumped them in the hands of the horse meat brokers.  These groups are just as guilty of facilitating the broken system and allowing the trainers/owners to break the rules, all of whom continue on a lucrative course at the expense of the horses.

Where is the accountability?  What value is the zero tolerance policy?  How many of Penn National's race horses are ending up on the truck to Canada?


The Shipping Details of Brian Moore, Horse Kill Buyer

Here is the long promised analysis of the shipping paperwork of Brian Moore, kill buyer and horse dealer from Jonestown, Pennsylvania.  While the most recent information was requested, it is difficult to be sure of some of the shipping dates as Moore seems to submit paperwork that isn’t dated, by and large, and apparently the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is unbothered by that detail.

(you’ll need to download it and it’s a large file)

The sobering note is, that these 790 pages of paperwork document the slaughterhouse deaths of 7,140 equines.

Rest in peace.

Of those 7,100 plus horses, only 18 were documented as ponies.

38 were gray horses.  That translates into 1% of the horses Moore ships.

153 were documented as drafts, which is 2% of his shipping numbers.

The number of Thoroughbreds he’s shipping is significant.  He listed 800.  That amounts to 11% of what he ships.

Most folks know Moore and other local kill buyers have their direct to kill pens – the horses that come off that backside and never get run through auctions.  And Moore’s farm is in very close proximity to Penn National.  Of course not all of those TBs came directly off the track, but considering Penn Gaming’s zero tolerance policy, makes you wonder how many did, doesn’t it?

A few other things of note.  We’ve all heard dozens of times that once the horses are tagged and on the manifest, they cannot be pulled off.  In this particular case there are numerous cases where a horse is listed, then a line is put through the listing and it says “not on the load.”  Take a look at pages 476, 505, 546, 629, 638, 709, 713 – and there are others.

On page 534 they slipped in a page from Leroy Baker.  Note he shipped a mustang, and four horses listed on his load didn’t get shipped.

Now it’s possible these horses were rejected at the border, but it certainly belies the assertion that they are absolutely gone once tagged, or written up – you know the mantra.  We can’t be sure why those horses were removed from the load.

So repeat after me --- Brian Moore doesn’t ship ponies to slaughter, especially minis, week after week after week as the broker owned programs are telling you.  And he rarely ships gray horses – one in one hundred.  Very few drafts are shipped by him – two out of a hundred.

What he does like is the big, healthy, beefy quarter horses.  And lots of horses listed in the “other” category, which is likely a lot of Standardbreds and Paints, breeds of good flesh and less bone.  The horses you never see on the broker owned pages.  Consigned to their deaths without a chance because they are healthy and will yield lots of good meat.

Lots of thoughts swirl through your head after looking over the documentation.   But horse dealers are horse dealers, right?  Some folks call them unwanted horses, but for these dealers they are very much wanted, and will make good use of them, dead or alive.


Rewarding Bad Behavior By Horse Owners, Vets and Auction Houses


"Just Plain Failed To Report The Crime"

The words at the link above couldn't be any better stated with respect to cruelty that goes on weekly at New Holland Sales Stable, as well as many other horse/livestock auctions in Pennsylvania.  The words completely explain and validate the message this group wants to impart to the horse rescue and donor community.

(At the bottom of the page we have included a link on how to report a veterinarian in Pennsylvania.  More will be forthcoming on other organizations to contact in the next few days.)

In particular, these words very accurately describe what took place at New Holland last Monday that we discussed in this blog:


We'll include some salient points from the page, but please go to the link and read it all.  Thank you, Equine Protection Network.  

(Note: all the words in italics below are from the link at the top of this page and are the words of The Equine Protection Network housed in PA)

PA and many other states have laws against selling sick, lame, or debilitated horses and laws that limit the transport of these horses except for limited purposes. All of the horses on this page and at the links, were sold in violation of PA law as demonstrated by the guilty verdicts in New Holland Court. All of the horses sold at New Holland were during a time that Dr. Holt was employed by New Holland Sales Stables. In all of the cases there were horse welfare organizations that either failed to cooperate with law enforcement, interfered with law enforcement, or just plain failed to report the crime.

An employee of a business that benefits from the sale of an item, in this case a horse, is not the person to determine if it is a violation to sell the horse. Any vet employed by an auction/livestock market has a conflict of interest with law enforcement.

A vet does not determine whether or not the cruelty law has been violated. The court does that.

A vet does not determine whether or not the elements of a crime of cruelty have been met, an officer trained in law enforcement does that.

A vet is the medical expert that determines the medical condition of the horse. 

Horse welfare organizations fail to realize that the law applies to them also. If a dealer or "killer buyer" cannot transport the horse to New Jersey, then neither can they transport the horse to New Jersey. The nearest appropriate place for medical treatment from New Holland is New Bolton Center, less than 45 minutes away. The law does NOT apply to people purchasing horses, only those selling or transporting. The intent of the Legislature is clear. No owner should profit from the sale of an injured, sick, lame, or debilitated horse, nor should such a horse suffer from needless transport. 

Horse welfare organizations have engaged in heated arguments at the sale and on the Internet and in the media because an organization might purchase a horse and then put it down, all the time missing the point. The point is that owners are the ones who need to be held accountable for their actions and must be taken to task for the failure to provide necessary vet care as required under PA law, and offering for sale and/or transporting the sick, injured, horse. 

The goal of enforcement is compliance, not taking owner's horses so they welfare organization can claim they "saved" it. The organizations rush home and put the picture and description of the poor horse on the Internet seeking funds to rehabilitate the horse. What should be happening is law enforcement takes the horse into custody, collects the evidence to prove the elements of the offense, and depending on the circumstances of each case, filing charges against the owner. If the owner is found guilty, then the affiant asks the court for forfeiture of the horse, if still alive, and restitution for expenses incurred in caring for and disposing of the horse if necessary.

That is how an owner's bad behavior is punished.

Anytime an owner is given money for the violating the law, society is rewarding the bad behavior.

The EPN is curious as to how horse welfare organizations plan on improving or changing the problem of neglect or abuse, if they refuse to cooperate with law enforcement in holding the owners accountable?


How to Report a Veterinarian in Pennsylvania:

Go to the link above and you’ll see “File a Complaint”


A Face Filled With Agony Amongst The Deaf, Dumb and Blind

On Monday, August 12th, at New Holland Sales Stable a travesty of justice took place for an intensely suffering horse.  Many, many people were witness to, but no one was held accountable for the pain this poor soul endured.  This picture was posted Monday morning. 
It’s obvious to any horsewoman’s eye that his horse is in a great deal of pain.

New Holland Sales Stable on Monday morning is utter chaos.  Horses are packed in like sardines; people are milling around.  The workers are compassionless and brutal as the move the horses around to accommodate the sale.  The meat men and dealers are in attendance checking out the horses and their mental wheels are spinning as they calculate the dollars to be made.  

For a horse to lay down in this chaotic situation, is clear evidence that the horse in in absolute agony.

At nearly 7:00 that evening, after prolonged and intense suffering, the horse is finally radiographed and it is determined that he has foundered badly in all four feet.  This poor draft horse, with rotated coffin bones in all four hooves, nearly through the soles, was transported several times in this condition and left to suffer all those many hours.

 "His coffin bones in all 4 feet had rotated and were only about 1/8 of an inch away from breaking through his soles." 

The xrays posted by the "rescue organization" showed the rotation was beyond significant. The pain must have been excruciating.

Rest in Peace, dear boy.  Your agony is over.

Our fury remains unabated.

Now there are hard questions to be asked.  There is a vet on site at New Holland.  Where was Dr. Holt?  Why did he not come to the aid of this horse?  Why didn’t someone insist he come to the aid of this horse?  It's been reported that someone gave this horse a pain shot.  An experienced vet should expertly and easily have seen that this horse needed a whole lot more help than a pain shot.    Why wasn’t local Animal Control Officer Keith Mohler called immediately?  Why did so many people let the person accountable for this travesty walk away?  In fact, the person who brought this horse to New Holland not only walked away, but was rewarded for his crime with $400 cash.

New Holland Sales Stable is a known hotbed of cruelty violations week after week.  Check out the pens out back.  You’ll see pain and suffering on a weekly basis that goes unreported and unpunished.  Every week you read about the people who witnessed the atrocities (some of whom claim to be rescuers), yet no one, NO ONE, bothers to act.

And it's not just the horses.  It's the cows, the pigs, the calves.  The suffering is boundless.

Dr. James Holt, the veterinarian on staff at New Holland for years, who upon becoming a vet solemnly swore to use his scientific knowledge and skills for the prevention and relief of animal suffering, abdicated his responsibilities in this situation.  This horse suffered in agony for a long time.  Those coffin bones didn’t sink in a day.  But his suffering could have and should have been alleviated within minutes of being brought into that house of horrors that Lancaster County calls a sales stable.  And the person who dragged him in there should have been charged!

It’s unclear who really consigned this horse.  At one point it’s stated that it was a kill buyer, at another point, it was stated it was an Amish man.  Regardless, PA laws were broken and everyone witness involved turned a blind eye to the violations.

(1) A person commits an offense if he wantonly or cruelly ill-treats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal’s body heat and keep it dry.

 (d) Selling or using disabled horse.–A person commits a summary offense if he offers for sale or sells any horse, which by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked or used without violating the laws against cruelty to animals, or leads, rides, drives or transports any such horse for any purpose, except that of conveying the horse to the nearest available appropriate facility for its humane keeping or destruction or for medical or surgical treatment.

The vicious cycle of cruelty goes on at New Holland Sales Stables weekly and even daily.  The Vet on site is absent in the face of suffering.  The local ACO is never seen on the grounds checking for violations to the laws he’s been tasked to uphold.  The auction audience appears more interested in photo shoots, networking and fundraising opportunities than swiftly and immediately alleviating a horse’s absolute agony.

Shame on ALL of you who were there and did nothing to effect JUSTICE.  You've rewarded the wrongdoers and indicated that this behavior is tolerable and even lucrative.  It will happen again and again and again. Shame, Shame, Shame.