The Friday Show Presented By Cal Racing Cares: Equine Hostages?

by | 02.09.2018 | 9:11am
Former racehorse Mula Run and four other horses were purchased by a "kill" buyer and then bought back once discovered

As we reported earlier this week, a case in Texas exemplifies the growing business of “kill” buyers purchasing horses at public auction for inflated prices and then advertising them on social media in order to extract “bail” from equine rescue advocates who want to prevent horses from going to slaughter in Canada or Mexico.

In this week's edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss this difficult subject and what to do about it, plus the larger issue of the horse population and equine euthanasia/slaughter.

Watch The Friday Show below and share your thoughts.

  • David Worley

    Thanks for taking on a tough subject this week Scott and Ray. Part of solving the problem is public awareness.

  • Tom Trosin

    One correction; horse slaughter isn’t “illegal” in the U.S. there just aren’t any processing plants currently open

    • Dadnatron

      The Government controls slaughter by way of controlling USDA inspectors. Horse slaughter is legal, but during previous administrations, it has not been ‘available’ because .gov refused to provide a LEGALLY REQUIRED USDA inspector to the plant. Therefore, by defacto, making it ‘illegal’ to slaughter a horse. In the last few years, there have been at least 2 processing plants which were ready to process horses. But the government refused to fund an inspector, after they found they couldn’t legally stop it in another fashion.

      Personally, I don’t want slaughter, however, I live in the real world, not in the equine panacea that so many believe exists. I believe that it is far more humane to have US slaughter for this very real problem, than to pretend that every horse has a pasture… and a vet… and an owner… etc.

      • Minneola

        So, is your rationale one where we slaughter unwanted animals? Does that extend to all of the dogs, cats, exotic birds as well?

        • Dadnatron

          My rationale is that real world politics and the freedom inherent in the US in the owning and selling of livestock is… REAL. Warm fuzzy feelings, regardless of how good intended they are, will not change anything.

          This isn’t NIKE… saying “Just do it” is simply being ignorant.

          • BBFan

            I am sure someone said that about slavery, too

      • Boknows

        It is very simple just put a stop to these foal crops until things are under control and that also goes for other breeds of horses in this country! Hard to have the cake and eat it too!! Can’t have one without the other.. Population to large you just stop or slow down the foal crop and make the trainers, owners and breeders reasonable..

        • Dadnatron

          Your version of ‘reasonable’ is not the next person’s. This is the US, and regardless of how you view them, horses are considered livestock for legal purposes, and hence, they are property which can be dealt with in any legal way their owner chooses, including slaughter. Slaughter will always be an option, whether legal or not. Racing can come down on sellers, but it won’t change the other 80% of horses going to slaughter. Just like rescues only dent not halt the need for kill shelters for dogs and cats.

        • Tom Trosin

          Goes to show what Bo doesn’t know. the AQHA when faced with multiple embryos transfers from single mares, said in effect; hells to the no, we won’t register them. They ended up getting sued by a group of breeder who won the right to breed as many babies out of one mare in a foaling year. So bring foal crops under controls isn’t that easy.

          • Minneola

            But, this may be resolved if racing is either overseen by federal legislation or if it dies out on its own ineptitude to become part of today’s society. With little or no demand for horses, these breeders will go out of business.

      • Tom Trosin

        Making something difficult to do and making it illegal are two different things

    • Minneola

      Whoever inspects those processing plants may not be doing that great of a
      job at it. In the past year, one very prominent and upscale dog food
      manufacturer had a canned beef product that severely sickened several
      dogs as well as killed one of them. The cause? There was horse meat
      found in that beef product and, in that horse meat, they found the
      chemical that euthanizes animals. With so much of our food purchased by
      food brokers and resold to manufacturers of animal and human food, it
      should make us wonder how horse meat was 1) intermingled with beef —
      and, of course, 2) that “extra” ingredient that survived to that final
      product.

      • Dadnatron

        That’s the problem. They weren’t inspected because the horse slaughter plants weren’t in the US.

        • Minneola

          So, how did the horse meat get intermingled with beef? From the information that I have seen, so far, it was at the processing plant that both were slaughtered. The only thing that I can conclude is that meat from other countries were bought for products sold here in the U.S. If that is the case, it seems as if the FDA is not implementing policies that should prohibit meat products from other countries. We may see where the final products are made but is there information on the food labels that tell us where the “ingredients” came from?

      • katwalk

        You can be sure that sodium pentobarbital contamination did not come from a slaughterhouse, that’s not how it’s done there.

        • Minneola

          You’ll have to argue that with the authorities that are checking into this but, at this time, reliable reports (by those authorities) are stating that horse meat (with the euthanizing drug) was co-mingled at the same processing plants that produced beef products. Slaughtering facilities may be separate from processing ones but, at the end, that canned beef product did have extremely adverse problems for some dogs. Could human food face the same situation? Something to think about.

          • katwalk

            I was actually responding to dadnatron, below (@dadnatron) but posted in wrong spot – but as explicitly said, “slaughterhouse”. That’s not to say the meat could not have been “co-delivered”, but that’s another story. . .

    • yvonne coffey

      Without the USDA funding to inspect plants,there will be No horse slaughter plants,thats why congress doesnt fund it bc they dont want it,and it is illegal to cross into canada,mexico for the purpose of slaughter.What needs to happen is quit breeding so much,everytime i turn around theres another horse sale,and too many are going to stud too soon I think, they all think they have the next derby winner,and some breeders forget about horses already at stud in favor of the newest trend.And horses tht are sent down the slaughter pipeline are so broken,emotionally& physically from being treated so bad,only to be killed in a horrible way,That is no way to treat a horse that has given its all,made money for the owners,made alot of them rich,put up with being drugged up,and the mares who hv baby after baby year after year,only to be shipped to the nearest auction when they r used up& we know where they end up from there,All i hear is its expensive to keep them ,But it wasnt too expensive when they bought the horse or filly for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands when they young,though,BML is just as bad,they just to cull the wild horses to make room for cattle grazing,I mean how much meat does one have to eat!My opinion is its all greed,its never enough money,they want more. I commend the rescuers who do their very best to save these majestic animals from terrible fate. (Minus the unscrupulous pretend rescuers that just collect donations& do nothing for the horses) we’ve all heard of those types,Sorry so long a comment

      • katwalk

        It is NOT illegal to ship horses to slaughter in Mexico and Canada. There are just no slaughter houses open for business in the US. There is discussion of opening them on Indian reservation lands, but I don’t think that has actually happened yet.

  • SusanKayne

    Ray and Scott … I am speechless … would love to come on and have a REAL conversation regarding Equine Slaughter … [email protected]

    • CEOmike

      You don’t want a REAL conversation you want to promote your views and exclude the facts you don’t like. Like: 40% of all TB bred NEVER race, if there is no kill of horses racing will have so few horses that can race the races will be reduced to match races.

      • SusanKayne

        First thing you would need to do to have any credibility behind your erroneous statements is use your actual name. Aside from that you are 100% incorrect concerning my views.

        • CEOmike

          Be careful about using your real name, Disqus is used on lots of other sites where people are not as civilized. (although I am not too sure of BBfan) I had someone track me down and threaten me once, so I have two sign in names – CEOmike is actually traceable with some work. The other I use on places like NBC and CBS are not.

          Maybe I misjudged I assumed you are for banning all slaughter with no real alternative but look after all horses forever, which is economically impossible if racing is to survive. Plus I though you thought Americans are superior to everyone because they do not eat horse meat

          Did I misjudge you, if I did I’m sorry, please set me straight.

          • SusanKayne

            How can you possibly justify your assumptions without knowing my position.

          • CEOmike

            Well as I guess because you did not set me straight I pretty well nailed it and you are against all slaughter because horses are “cute” with no alternative or plan to deal with the number of horses bred but never raced or simply unretrainable.

          • Kathryn R Wilt

            I do not know Susan personally, yet I have taken the time to watch her videos. Mike,she is extremely knowledgeable as well as professional in these presentations. One almost thinks of a TED presenter. Take the time to watch her ‘Unbridled’ presentations on Facebook.

          • Stacy Ferris

            Possibly you could look her up on face book and wactch some of her views with her video talks on trying to make change in the industry

          • BBFan

            See? You admit it – two different names …

        • Judoon

          There are lots of great reasons for not using one’s real name online. And to yap that someone has no credibility if they use an alias is simply ridiculous. BTW, no one here knows if Susan Kayne is actually your name. Not that it matters in the least.

          • BBFan

            I sure know her name is real. Any other silly conjectures you want to throw out there?

      • Billy

        Ha get the money away from the 2 3 and 4 yr olds…..have a legit spot to run 7 8 and 9 yr olds….at the current point if you dont have a stakes caliber horse at this age your optiins are too limited…..this is why racing is so get in make your money move the horse on usually and frequently slaughter especially in years past…..this is the issue the main problem this is why horses are being used up and run into the ground….thw whole system is not for the horse to suceed and have a long lasting career its be a stakes horse or a claimer not much in between…..and i wont evwn begin to speak of the claiming game problems….drugs are another they keep horses racing when they shouldnt even be on the grounds of a racetrack…..

      • BBFan

        You dont know anything, especially what SusanKayne wants … stop with the ridiculousness if putting words into others mouths

    • Stacy Ferris

      I too am speechless , really Ray truly surprisedv perhaps SUSAN you can take Ray and Scott to Mexico forget Canada that is to easy watch them Stab one of our Usa soil horses in the withers repeatedly till the spinal cord is severed (while conscious ) then put a rope around there neck ( while conscious) host them up while conscious in a panic then slice there throats and let them bled out . Real humane. They did not asked to be brought into this world . I am in the industry’s how about some responsibility from the breeders th Bloodstock agents the industry so a horse in a Kill pen big deal Kill buyers are not going away . Remember there are Amish , polo ponies another dirty secret , stop paying he kill buyers they will always be here until the damn industry stands up gets some integrity and starts protecting them instead about worrying about filling races when they through them off the track .

    • Marilyn Shively

      Susan –i watched your video–everyone who loves horses, wants the real story, should watch your video– i am not in the industry-i am a horse racing fan — i love the thoroughbred–and I often wonder what happens to all those horses on the Derby trail we never hear from again, or all those adorable foals that for one reason or another don’t meet expectations– the slaughter of horses is reprehensible

      • SusanKayne

        Thank you Marilyn. I appreciate you taking the time to watch and And comment. Horses need all of our voices to create a kinder future for all that they do for us and all that they give to us.

  • OopsyDaisy3

    Thank you Mr. Paulick and Mr. Scott Jagow for this article and the one before it. It is not the most pleasant of subjects but is needed as a reminder that the slaughter of horses is a reality and an every day occurrence. When i look at Mula Run, i don’t see meat on a hoof. I see a faithful horse that did everything expected of it, only to end up posing to be bought for slaughter. Sickens me to the core. I have been one of those awfuls that the kill buyers like to taunt and bad mouth. My words for them would not be printable.
    To me they are the scourge of the earth. They prey upon helpless creatures that were not put on earth to be eaten. Period. And the same goes for the pukes that live off of the wild Mustangs and work for the BLM. Since 1965 i have been vocal, written the BLM and tracked down perfectly healthy horses that were of no use to those who profited from their nightmares except what they could pocket from taking them to Mexico or Canada. My concern started eons ago when i read the plight of Braveheart the stallion and his mare and foal mortified by a low flying helicopter hired by The BLM and run into a trap years ago that has never left my memory.
    Linda in Texas

    • CEOmike

      Actually almost every other place in the world does eat horse, and some places they are like a cow that gives milk, to be eaten if needed or gets too old. The US is rich enough not to have to consider where its food is going to come from.

      • disqus_Wp1tYwcjgm

        not true — from medieval times, man switched from equine meat to bovine source be/c cow meat has a lot more calories, rather plain & simple. Additionally, equines were far more useful for a myriad of uses for man to survive and their companionship/intelligence also led some cultures to stop their slaughter. Slaughter/consumption have returned to parts of the world, but it hasn’t been a continual process.

        • CEOmike

          You have to learn how to research better with Google. If you go into some grocery stores in Canada (yes Canada) Mexico, France, Italy, UK, Greece, Germany etc etc you can find horse meat for sale. Now England and Germany generally do not have it but in some ethnic communities it can be found.

          • Minneola

            While there may be other countries that eat horse meat, it has been sliding into one where their societies are also becoming more intolerant of it. I have shopped in some grocery stores (in Italy, for instance) and I did not see horse meat in their meat sections. It might have been available in specialty stores but not the big grocery chains. Additionally, many westernized Euro countries may have resorted to eating horse meat more in times of distress (post-WWI and WWII) because other meat products were not available but, now, they get get a wide variety of foods for several reasons such as advancements in transportation and a healthier economic markets. But, at the heart of this discussion is one in which you seem to assume that the U.S. does not have a right to live by their own values but only those of other countries. Vegetarianism is also becoming a worldwide trend for several reasons and this discussion may become moot, altogether, in the near future.

          • Jean McC

            You forgot the screaming outcry a few years ago when horsemeat turned up in beef burgers in the UK to the dismay of consumers. It did not go down well at all. They don’t want to eat horsemeat.

    • Lehane

      Bravo!

    • Boknows

      Thank You!!

    • Romanella

      I think that you said that perfectly
      This situation hopefully will.someday find a humane solution.
      It is heartbreaking and so difficult ro bring to light

  • Noelle

    Hostages get taken because they’ve chosen to go to dangerous places, knowing the risk. It makes sense for the government to refuse to be blackmailed by human hostage-takers.

    The horses can’t choose, and allowing any number to be slaughtered to stop the horse hostage-taking blackmailers seems just wrong.

    Publicly shaming the owners while also kicking them out of the sport permanently makes more sense to me. A horse you owned ends up in the slaughter pipeline? No matter how many hands the horse has passed through, you are responsible because you sold the horse into a chain that ended up with that horse at a kill auction. The problem starts with the owners – it should end with them being forced to do right by their horses, not with the horses needlessly slaughtered.

    • CEOmike

      In your logic, it should be carried through to the first cause, the breeders turning out as many horses as possible for profit. 40% of all TB horses bred NEVER race.

      • Noelle

        Agree, of course – breeders are owners too. Both they and the owners who buy from them profit from their participation horseracing.

  • L.K. Kauffman

    Slaughter in Mexivo is hideous. People wake up! Stop pretending there is anything remotely quick or humane about it. It is truly horrible. Many of the horses in those pens are perfectly ok too. I am tired of the lousy excuses and wilful ignorance —if you dump old broodmares at a cheap auction like Sugarcreek, they are going to slaughter. The Asmussens got caught doing this. Shameful. It just doesn’t cost that much to keep an old horse on pasture. Anybody who sends a horse to slaughter is earning themselves some seriously bad karna.

    • CEOmike

      Actually keeping some old racehorses can be very expensive, that is why the after care rescue places only take a fraction of the horses offered to them.

      • BBFan

        Actually, if you make money off of them, you should have to pay into caring for them the rest of their lives

        • Boknows

          Amen!!!!

        • CEOmike

          But that is the point, 40% of thoughbreds never race and there are probably an equal number who never make over $5,000 (and that is why purse structure has to change)

          • BBFan

            False … you dont know what you are talking about

          • Minneola

            But, he’s a CEO! His username reflects that. Should we believe that? Of course not. We’ve seen other posters allude to being experts when, in reality, they are anything but that.

          • BBFan

            Maybe this is one we already know, just using a different name… goodness me!

          • Billy_Barue

            Although this is way off the subject of slaughter, why is that statement false?

          • BBFan

            Purse structure has nothing to do with this issue and “ probably” is a word to describe conjecture

    • Romanella

      I love Gun Runner but I am so sorry that the Asmussens had him and their other great horses
      I will never forget Nehro and the look on his face in that horrible video

  • Bella

    If good does nothing, Evil wins.

  • Boknows

    Cut the Dame Foal crops down, if you can’t place them!!!! Nothing but Greed.. The breeders and Owners can’t take care of them Quit adding to it!! That is Not to hard to figure except your lively hood depends on this sport!!! Greed plain and simple..

    • whirlaway

      Cut down on the size of stallion’s books even the top stallions. Too many farms running financially off these stallions. That was not the concept of racing in prior times. For those critical of field size and not enough horses there is quite possibly too many race tracks racing more days a week than needed. There are a few tracks in America I wonder why they are in business. I have been a fan/horse player for years and even with all the exotic wagers that were not around in the past do most horsplayers bet every day, I would think not. Has anyone ever thought too much product all the time. There is only so much racing even devoted fans/players can support.

      • Boknows

        Amen!!!

      • CEOmike

        Actually it is not too many tracks or race days – Australia, for example, has the same handle as the US. A country of 30 million compared to 300 million bets the same. The problem is lack of regulation here. All the other spots learned a long time ago, a commission who can fine and penalize anyone, gate revenue sharing, salary caps, support of unions.

        • whirlaway

          What is your feeling on the competetion in other sports in Australia versus the amount of sports venues in the U. S. The last figures I read said in Australia racing was 3rd in popularity behind Australian rules football and National rugby league so obviously holds it own. They refer to their meets as carnivals at various tracks. The Melbourne Spring Carnival is 50 days others shorter at various times of the year that sound festive.
          It does not appear that tracks in Australia are racing in such close proximity at the same time such as Aqueduct, Laurel, Parx, Penn National with also some standardbred racing at night at times. Racing always going on somewhere. December 2015 there was an article in PR that a National Commision would help Fragmented Racing in Australia do not believe that has changed. We have been hearing about a commission for quite sometime but seems not coming to any real
          progress, good luck on that.

          • CEOmike

            I do believe they do not have a National Commissioner but they do have a a national racing authority that somewhat controls things. I am not sure exactly how they do work, but it definately seems more co;ordinated than the dog eat dog here. My continue call for a National Commission is not over negative events like this but for a positive attack on the market. Other major US sports realized long ago, a National Commissioner increases revenue and fan base, and part of that is getting rid of the crooks, cheats and charlatans.

          • whirlaway

            We probably could debate this for years but I am not feeling confident much will happen, definitely this sport needs some serious changes and every year there are horseman that have gatherings and offer their ideas but in the end just ideas.
            I have always believed in every day life with humans I don’t listen to what people say I watch what they do and that usually says it all. I don’t think racing really wants a change. It now is a big business with farms turning out high numbers of horses and what I call corporate trainers with horses in different areas of the country. Private trainers no longer exist, about the only one I can think of is Shug
            McGaughey for the Phipps with only a few outside horses. I have said a number of times in the big barns of some trainers today Whirlaway never would have reached the heights he did as few would devote the time to his antics that Ben Jones did. I understand the costs of horses and running these big farms but people need to be honest at what level they can afford and act accordingly which is a tough challenge
            for human emotions.

        • Kathryn R Wilt

          Australia is having the same problem with the slaughter issue driving the racing narrative. The racetrack organizations did the same thing as our Jockey Club with a new fan outreach program. It didn’t work and the numbers on the Melbourne Cup inverted in 2016 to the bulk of racegoers being over the age of 50. The two studies (conducted by iSentia and Nuvi) directly connected the dots to the slaughter issue. Very real issue and something that has to be tackled now and not later by everyone associated in racing.

      • Erin Casseday

        Well put!

        • whirlaway

          Thank you it really is unfortunate there is such a small percent of breed to race owners. They do exist but not as many as there once was. The sales are very large in numbers and more farms standing stallions bred to large books of mares and prepping horses for sales. The great sires of the past produced far less foals but still sired a large percent of stakes winners. It really was more breeding to improve the breed.
          For example Round Table a top race horse after 66 starts went to stud and sired 404 foals, 83 stakes winners (20.5%) he led the American general sire list in 1972 and was among the top 10 sires 7 other years, he was among the top 10 broodmare sires 5 times, amazing he was 3rd on the English/Irish general sire list in 1964 and 4th in 1975 also appeared on the broodmare top 10 sire list there. Bold Ruler also had a high percent of stakes winners without being bred to a hugh amount of mares. Imagine if these horses along with Secretariat were at stud today. Also these horses all stood at stud at Claiborne that even today trys to keep stallions to a more reasonable number when you check their stallions. More foals does not always relate to more good horses.

          • Erin Casseday

            In some respects, the breeding industry is aiken to factory farming, but for slightly different reasons. Just think, AP will have more foals in two years than some of the best stallions of ago had in their lifetime. Is this practice of flooding the market with certain sires really the best policy?

            And totally agree with you about the number of tracks and races.

          • whirlaway

            Not far off on your factory farming. Due to the money driven sales now in existence which seem like every other month I am reading about another sale so everyone involved can get their piece of the pie. Unfortunately it sometimes seems breeding to better the breed is not the first goal but getting an appealing high dollar horse is the objective. That is fine i know the cost of horses but I doubt many owners of stallions go sleepless at night wondering where all these horses will end up. That is why now a 10% stakes producing stallion is acceptable compared to much better rates of stakes producers in the past like Round Table or Bold Ruler and they are
            just from my memory I am sure with research there are others. So by breeding a stallion to so many mares the result is not better horses or more stakes winners just
            more horses flooding the market

    • CEOmike

      That would help but then an increase in purses for claiming and lower allowance races would be needed as well. The basic problem is it is very hard to make a living unless you have one of the 5% of horse that are stakes horses. And this is why we need rules to break up the “industrial” trainers like Baffet, Pletcher et al They get rich by sucking the blood (literally) out of the small guys.

      • BBFan

        I have ALREADY explained to you why funding claiming races will NOT help the horses –
        STOP REPEATING YOUR ILL- CONCEIVED RHETORIC

        • CEOmike

          Do you have hearing problems and that is why you are shouting.

          • BBFan

            Do you hear voices coming out of your computer? No one screamed.

          • G.A. Miller

            ALL CAPS IS A SHOUT!!!!!

          • BBFan

            ONLY IN YOUR HEAD
            ( I see by your posts on other sites that you are a slaughter advocate; one who is paid to comment, I suspect )

  • CEOmike

    Canadian horse meat slaughter houses are regulated and inspected for as humane treatment that is possible under the circumstances. Mexico has few regulations and no inspections.

    US kill auctions and transport have NO regulation. It is the auctions and the transport that need fixing. It could be done fast and well if people stopped arguing about a poorly thought out shutting down of all slaughter.

    As Ray said, if the horses are stopped from going to slaughter there will be a problem of neglected horses dying in pastures because 40% of horse bred NEVER race and there are more horses bred per year than what there are jobs or places as pets. Not accounting for all those retiring every year.

    Even the after care do NOT take the majority of horses offered to them because most horses are plain UN-trainable or other otherwise unsuited for long term care.

    • GunRunner

      Mexico is the problem. As you say, there is no regulation. Horses are routinely slaughtered by repeating stabbing in the back and neck to sever the spine and paralyze the horse, and ithen it is hoisted up by the back legs to bleed out, still conscious. How about a compromise? Ban export of U.S. horses to Mexico until they stop acting like barbarians.

      • CEOmike

        And why more than twice as many go to Mexico, because humane treatment, safety and inspection costs money. Good start ban export to Mexico.

  • Michael Castellano

    Thought provoking Friday Show. Since there is no profitability in a retired race horse that is not being bred, the horse immediately becomes an expense in most cases. Under a strictly capitalist system, any thought of caring for retired or unraceable horses is viewed as an expense to be avoided. Just as a chemical company, for example, creates pollution which in turn creates an unwanted expense to be avoided, which is why there are thousands of toxic dump sites across the country, and why they usually need to be forced to clean up anything. Back to the horses, the breeding industry has no interest is spending enough money to solve this problem, sentencing thousand of horses each year to a cruel death. We are left with few choices, as I doubt if there ever will be a way to finance care for these thousands of animals other then in a token way. We are, after all, a society which tolerates having millions of people living in poverty under deplorable conditions. And has three million languishing in prisons, more than Russia and China combined.

    • Erin Casseday

      Liked everything you stated right up to those “languishing in prison”. Might I suggest that if one does not want to “languish” in prison, then maybe one should not do something illegal to get the chance to go to prison in the first place. 😉

      • disqus_Wp1tYwcjgm

        agree, they are not “languishing” in prison … meals, education, recreation.

        • Michael Castellano

          Have you ever been in a prison?

          • disqus_Wp1tYwcjgm

            yup, both paid worker and volunteer

          • Michael Castellano

            I’ve been there as a prisoner. They are terrible places where you live each day in terror. Costs $100,000 of your tax dollars per year for each prisoner on average and does nothing to modify the conditions that cause street crime. The numbers of people in prison has tripled in the last 20 years.

  • copperhead

    I absolutely agree that paying bail is in the end making things worse. I reminds me of when people will buy a kitten or puppy from a puppy-mill breeder to save it from a cruddy pet shop. You may save one puppy, but you just enabled the puppy mill breeder to turn a profit and you won’t be there to save the next litters.

    The current income model for racing makes animals with 20 year lifespans obsolete and fungible after 3 years. Even if euthanasia is done humanely, it isn’t acceptable to me that the US breeds such a large number of horses every year knowing that there won’t be space for the next crop unless we kill off the majority of the crop from 3 years ago. At least for racing TBs, I wish there was a requirement that a stallion’s foals could not be registered unless he raced until 5. This would encourage breeding horses that remained sound in the long term and longer race careers would allow individual horses to build up bigger fan bases. Fan bases centered on a horse’s long term racing career could be used to build income streams for racing based on the same entertainment and merchandising aspects as other professional sports with celebrity athletes. For other breeds like AQHA and Arabians, I wish there were registration requirements that a stallion had to have had a successful career in a driving or riding discipline not just halter classes and had to test negative for being a carrier for known genetic disorders.

    • CEOmike

      It is all about the money. The “industrial” owners and trainers (Baffet, Pletcher, Zayat etc) take the cream and leave the curds for others. The purses for stakes need to be rolled back and purses for those claimers and allowance races increased. There needs to be purse caps for tracks to spread the wealth. Right now the rich are eating the poor – this is just the start of the crisis. There needs to be a Nation Commissioner.

    • Minneola

      Well, regarding the sale by “cruddy” pet shops of puppies from puppy-mills…. In California, there has been a law that was recently enacted. Pet shops may only sell those dogs from rescues, not from puppy mills. Will that solve the problem, entirely? No. But, it may put a dent in the puppy bill business. It’s a matter of just cutting the financial head off this snake. I do agree with you that the U.S. breeds far too many horses each year. And, I suspect, that most of these horses are bred for racing. The problem is that pretty much everyone in the racing industry circles their wagons whenever there is anything that might jeopardize their business plan because of the ripple effect. In the end, it may come back to the laws of economic demand. If there is no demand for racing, there will be less horses bred for that purpose. What might cause racing to end? It will happen in not too far off in the future (2-3 years is the guess) when other pro sports (the big ones with vastly more money and fans) are allowed to have the same opportunities for legalized betting (including at their stadiums, arenas, etc.) that racing has enjoyed as a monopoly for these many decades. A lot of betting money will flow from racing to the NBA (which is leading this charge) as well as the NFL, MLB, and etc., which are waiting in the wings to see what happens with the efforts by the NBA. That money lost from racing will hurt this sport very badly and it will be just a matter of time…..

    • Anonymous

      The number of TBs in the slaughter pens is relatively small compared to other breeds. Many people do not realize that some of the unscrupulous ranchers let horses & donkeys loose on federal land (ripping off taxpayers) and let them breed indiscriminately, then round them up for slaughter like cattle. If you look at the kill pens in Texas, there are lots of young ok horses. There are, sadly, also some ex-racehorses. The Tx slaughter pen run by McBarron sends as many as 5,000 horses/mules/donkeys per month to a grim death in Mexican slaughterhouse. I wonder how much of this meat returns as “beef.”

  • Dadnatron

    As a breeder and owner as well as OTTB owner, I would be in favor of putting a price/entry onto each horse who goes into a gate. $5 per horse per race could be levied to go to aftercare. In 2016 there were 322,878 starts, which would bring in $1.6M for aftercare. While this wouldn’t fix everything, I believe it puts the cost where it should lie. Directly on the race owners. The levy would be directly removed from the $ allocation for each starter prior to distribution. The only issue would be insuring it goes to aftercare in a useful way. I don’t have an answer to that part as of this writing.

    • BBFan

      Go further – a percentage of EVERY transaction regarding the horses is put in a fund; claims, sales, purses, entries, bets …

    • CEOmike

      And here is the reason after care is never going to work unless the whole financial structure is put under the control of a Commissioners Office. $1.6 M would fund maybe 10% of horses. After care turns down the MAJORITY of horses, because they are un-trainable, or too expensive to look after their problems.

      • Erin Casseday

        Please supply the info where you got these facts.

        • CEOmike

          A recent article on a rescue here on the Report had an example.

          • Erin Casseday

            Funny. I read pretty much every article here on the Report, especially about rescue and I don’t remember an article that states that the majority are not trainable. Kind of an oxymoron of a statement because to find out if a horse is not trainable, one first would have to work with the horse for at least 3 to 6 months. So unless they are actually working with the horse how do they know?

            Now, I can believe that after care programs have to turn horses because of the the lack of funds.

          • BBFan

            The real stupidity here is that “CEO” Mike supports funding more claiming races which would just result in more horses run until they are unfit, because of how hard racing is on them over time, for a second career. I believe he was weakly attempting to describe those kinds of horses. I have told him repeatedly that his theory would only make the situation worse. He OBVIOUSLY has no hands on experience with several OTTBs. Best to ignore his observations as they are uneducated.

        • BBFan

          He makes them up

    • Bryan Langlois

      Who is then in charge of that fund and how is it dispersed?? Is it dispersed in grants to various organizations? Is it divided evenly per horse? It is a great idea, and should be done, but also needs to have someone or some organization that is responsible for its procurement and distribution. Otherwise corruption would run rampant in with that type of money around.

  • BBFan

    Gee, Ray and Scott, way to divert the anger to the wrong people who work diligently to save the thrown- away horses. You ought to be ashamed. These killbuyers would get their hands on very few OTTBs if the trainers and owners and breeders feeding the horses to them were severly penalized everytime one showed up for ransom.

  • savinghorses2

    This is Not new. It’s not a cottage Industry.
    This has happened for decades. Fb just allowed them to OPENLY do this. In fact the horses are held hostage and they are manipulating clients into emotional purchases. The fact is, horse slaughter has always deceived the public. The fact is, you have to purchase the horses Directly Before the killer gets them, buy it over their price at the auction. Don’t allow the killer to continue to purchase. The horses are no longer to be sold on FB by killer buyers. FB bans sales of animals for 2018, the kill buyers still are selling on FB. The issue is to stop believing horse slaughter lies.

  • admiral

    A lot of outrage but sadly not much will change until policy changes. We have to realize that a portion of the world eats horsemeat. One way to undercut the kill buyers is if we do legalize horse slaughter and process horse meat for export only all under USDA supervision.

    • Bonita Dombrowski

      So a portion of the world eats horse meat. A portion of the world eats dog too. The majority of citizens in this country do not want slaughter. So the breeding and sale of equines in the USA should be regulated. States have begun to regulate and inspect dog breeders. Should the dogs in this country be slaughtered and processed for export to Asia because they are eaten in Asia?
      The humane way to help animals is to stop their breeding, period.
      Should this country start breeding horses and donkeys like cattle and pigs? In CAFOS and on feed lots? People fail to realize that there is an environmental cost to meat consumption of any kind as well.

      • CEOmike

        Actually, the US is probably the only place in the world that does not eat horse meat. In fact I bet if you ask the jockeys born in other countries if they have ever eaten horse meat they will say yes. In Mexico and even Canada there are some grocery stores that have horse meat in their steaks sections.

        Most Americans have no idea where their food comes from past a plastic wrapped container in a supermarket.

        While I applaud you are a vegetarian as a diet choice be aware that if everyone ate vegetarian there would be a huge cost to the environment because of the intensive and extensive use of the limited land capable of growing suitable vegetable and grain crops. Cattle mainly are kept on marginal lands.

        • BD

          “If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, reported at the July 24-26 meeting of the Canadian Society of Animal Science in Montreal. Or, if those grains were exported, it would boost the U.S. trade balance by $80 billion a year, (Pimentel) I am not a vegetarian.

          • BBFan

            That was pointed out by National Geographic in the 80s

  • Bonita Dombrowski

    Start at the beginning before the end of a horses life. Lets look at the breeding of equines that can be regulated. Horses are being bred like dogs and then end up as throw aways.
    So lets start with the breeders. How many foals are born each year and how many end up as a throw away horse?

  • sarah putnam-crocker

    No the industry hasn’t done nearly enough about this situation. You failed to mention the regulatory authorities, trainers & owners who keep the slaughter pipeline full. Overbreeding, lax regulations & a piss poor record of enforcement are huge part of the problem too.

  • Kelso5timeHOTY

    Stud farms with stallions covering 100, 150, 200 mares each a season need to be done with. Unfortunately the days of top stallions with limited books (Northern Dancer 40 mares a season) are long gone. Northern Dancer at stud, sired 635 registered foals, 467 won races, 123 won stakes races. That’s 25-30 foals per year on average for 22 years until his retirement. You wonder why his yearlings fetched millions in the ring back in those days. Now it’s flood the market with Tapit’s etc with 150+ hitting the ground every year. He’s at 1315 registered foals in only 11 years. With his book obviously increasing over the last 5 years. To me this has contributed greatly to the abandonment of horses who are deemed as surplus by some useless, greedy owners.

  • Kathryn R Wilt

    I am appreciative of the subject of your Friday Show this week. It has been an angry three weeks in social media.I do hope that racing executives and workers in all areas are paying attention and hopefully, someone powerful had the sense to cull the amount of negative mentions connecting the racing industry to slaughter,starvation, drugs and abuse. Maybe the numbers will speak to the volume that needs to be heard. This is a problem that is not going away and is dictating the racing narrative. The KBs are controlling the rescue networks, that is for sure. Ray, I agree that much has been done that is positive yet we small donors are worn out, not to mention broke.

  • Bryan Langlois

    One other thing to consider is that the entire demographic of race horse owners has changed as well. Gone (with a very few exceptions) are the family owned stables that really bred and raced as a hobby. They knew they were likely going to lose money on it or at the very least break even. They did it for the sport, and kept their horses their entire careers. Today you have more partnership groups and businessmen who likely can be more in the game to try and turn a quick profit by hitting one big horse, and if they need to go through 100 horses to get that one, then that is the price of doing business as far as they are concerned. Really…if you can make more money by winning a grade 1 at 2 and maybe try for the TC, then retire and make millions in a stallion deal or syndicate arrangement, why race at all?? I am not saying this is every owner or every ownership group, but we would be naive to think that in todays world the younger business minded owner wants a quick return on investment, not just a hobby they know they are going to lose money on. The question I have is if all these owners were forced to put up a percentage of the money they invested in the game to ensuring that every horse they even had a part ownership in for any length of time got proper aftercare…how many of them would either agree to stay in the game or just say it is not worth it? Then you see where the true interests of the owners lie.

  • Judy Gaddis

    PLEASE share this with anyone you know that might not subscribe to The Paulick Report……

  • OopsyDaisy3

    There is a “White Paper written by The American Horse Council – Legal Status of Horses As
    Livestock” and what all would happen if their status changed from Livestock. How it would affect the economy, etc. It was interesting. Linda in Texas

  • jackie

    Everything that I have read here is missing the point…the regulation should be on the number of horses produced and accountability of the people who produce them…NOT on trying to figure what to do with the horses when they are discarded by these people.

  • Iv done some checking as near as i can tell “on the hoof” slaughter prices for eqines is 32 cents a pound, so by wanting bail they are more than trippleing what they would normaly get. I am told they are known to up the prices when “strangers” are there but thats not the real price paid at the end of the day

  • Kathleen B

    While you have certainly address the ‘middle’ of the slaughter pipeline. I do agree that social media has changed the business plan of kill buyers, I am left wondering why you have not addressed the real perpetrators behind the ‘beginning’ of the slaughter pipeline, especially for the thoroughbred horses, the owners/trainers/racing & horse association that seems to not believe that they are where all of this starts. Why it that? Why no mention of racing and it’s formidable role in this? There are many advocates working feverishly to find homes for horses discarded by racing. What is it going to take to have a mention about their role in this? Another interview? Or is racing not complicit in your view? I’d appreciate a response to that…..would love to hear your insight about that ‘Hostage’ topic…..

  • Marilyn Shively

    Ya all should see Susan Kayne’s response via video to this article–She basically says that the blame for the slaughter pipeline is being deflected from the thoroughbred industry to the kill buyer. She says every high level trainer sends horses to slaughter– must be naive because that surprised me–anyway you should watch her video– this is a woman who pulls no punches and puts her money, love and time, where her mouth is

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