Six horses pulled from a sale barn holding pen in June were identified this week as having previously been used in the Oklahoma State University riding program. Often, horses who go unsold at the sales barn in question are shipped to other sales barns or auctions, and those that are deemed un-sell-able are typically sold for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.
It is still unclear how the horses ended up at the sale barn.
Annie Specht, owner of Silveer Lining Performance Horses, a boarding and training stable in Oklahoma, works with a local off-track Thoroughbred retraining program to identify and purchase Thoroughbreds from the auction as riding prospects. She explained that while she does not usually purchase horses from the holding pen, the horses in question looked sound and well-broke. She rode all six and said that between her friends and herself, all were purchased and are in safe homes.
It wasn't until last week that their story became clearer. While at a show, a person commented on her new horse looking similar to one from the Oklahoma State program.
“Someone said, ‘hey, that horse looks like so-and-so, who was at Oklahoma State,' and then people started tagging their friends and we realized it was the same horse,” said Specht. “He's a great jumper. He's got his changes. He needs some regular maintenance to keep him going, but frankly I don't think he's beatable in the show ring right now.”
A young woman who rode on the Oklahoma State team told Specht that the horse in question had been retired from the program with a suspensory injury six years prior. Specht believes the injury must have fully healed in the six years since it occurred.
Many horses used in college equestrian programs are donated by owners. Most programs, according to Horse Nation, include a first right of refusal reserved for the donor if and when the horse retires from the program.
Read the full story at Horse Nation.
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