Kelsey Lefever Case: How to Prevent the Alleged Practices?

by | 01.17.2012 | 1:37pm

Yesterday we broke the news of Kelsey Lefever, a 24-year-old woman who has allegedly been misrepresenting her intentions of finding a new home for retired racehorses in Pennsylvania and taking them to kill-buyers instead. She was quoted in the Affidavit of Probable Cause by a friend saying, “I killed every one of those f—ing horses, over 120 of them, if they only knew. I only have five left and the ones that you have. Every one of them is dead. I don't even know their names and there wasn't a goddamn thing they could do about it because they gave me those horses.”

If true, not exactly the girl you want to bring home to meet your parents.

Earlier today, we reported Great Scott Farm fired Lefever from a position as a riding instructor and by all accounts was caught unaware of the charges against her until our report. There will certainly be more to come on this story, but we applaud the quick and decisive action taken by the owners of Great Scott Farm.
But all of this does raise the obvious question, what can we do to keep this sort of thing from happening in the future? We asked our audience yesterday both on Facebook and Twitter if they had any suggestions on how to prevent this type of alleged incident from happening.

While not all of these are viable ways to solve the problem, it is good to get the conversation going. The web allows for an open exchange of ideas and while oftentimes that can be a destructive force, we believe this is a situation where a public dialogue can serve a very constructive purpose as we forge ahead. Please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comment section below and spread this forum to as many of your friends and colleagues as possible.

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@M_McKenzie:  A notarized bill of sale stating that the Horse will never be sold at auction.

@ShuveeIL:  Microchip every foal. Then every owner of that horse thru its racing life MUST sign off before it ends up in kill pen

@Kingsgatequine:  Owners should have a fund for when they retire! And spend it on having them retrained. I have just rehomed 1

@ChinaRose21:  though PETA is a pain at times – their 360 Program is brilliant IMHO. Check it out!

@GaudetRacing:  this is why it is the trainers responsibility to leave a paper trail! Everyone that takes a horse from us signs a few papers.  it might not stop every horse from being killed but at least it's easier to track the wrong doers and protect urself

@AlGoggin:  Passing tougher state laws might be the only way. Hold people accountable.

@racehorsereport:  There is no sure way, but a rubber stamped note with contact info on foal papers is a good way to help prevent a bad situation.

@Anderson_Racing:  create a fund, an ownership fee, when horses are being retired, association buys the horses using the fund and finds them a home

@RhettFincher:  Maybe they could set up a fund for the new home. Direct deposit $200 /month to offset feed costs instead of total abandonment

Gayle Hodgkins Clark – If the NTRA certifies tracks, can they or someone certify organizations?
Phyllis Shalor – Maybe racetracks should have a layup barn— freeing up valuable trainer stalls, that would buy an extra month or so for racehorses needing to be placed. Perhaps funded, in part, by statebred monies.
Jessica Tugwell – First and foremost – racing needs a single, unified governing/legislative body. Can't do as much about any of the sport's problems when you have to convince 30-odd jurisdictions to adopt and then enforce a policy
Kelly Smith – How about in addition to microchipping a “national no kill brand” that is freeze branded on the horses hind quarter. This brand would be the official no kill brand placed on horses and entered into a data base.
Kelly Utter – Unfortunately there's no real guarantees. Written bills of sales with clear statements about where the horse can be sold don't actually do anything, though they can protect the trainers/owners if the horse is found at auction, and may scare off a shady buyer. Other than that – background checks on the buyer, or working through a nonprofit that screens adopters/buyers carefully.
Josh Stevens – This has been discussed ad nauseum, and still we haven't even broken the ice. There have been plenty of credible ideas including one where farriers, vet clinics, tack shops, trainers, owners, breeders, sale companies, bloodstock agents, etc all have to pay some kind of fee per horse. Just think if you took $1 per horse shod, $1 per horse floated, and a 0.5% of sales proceeds/commissions along with a $5 starting fee each race, and charge $500-$1000 for a horse to go to a retirement facility after their career. Simple solutions readily available, just no one willing to play ball. This could fund programs for the Horse Park OTTB program, Secretariat center, etc.
Sue Hooper – I see the only sure way as legislatively banning U.S. slaughter and transport across the borders for slaughter. Then Josh's ideas for funding rescues and retirements will be needed to address the resulting overflow of animals needing placement.
Susan Runswithsissors – Research/background check through other former owners..and like Josh advises, get together with local (or the area where the horse is to go) equine related RESPECTED personal to establish a list of KNOWN “slaughter haulers” and create a web site with the current list.
Jan Hortyk – I am a very small horse owner in AZ. The solution … keep them for yourself or sell them to someone that is involved with horses that you know loves the animal too. They can do other competitive horse “things”, trail riding, etc. As a large breeder or owner, it would be tough, but I feel it is important.
Robert Mack – A complex problem that involves both the industry that derives revenues from them as well as the governments that have regulatory capability. all of the posts that precede mine are part of the solution but it requires real enforcement by all of the people and governments involved. however it starts with the industry and when that takes root and begins to show results, state and then fed governments will play…and from what I read last year, horse is still on the menu in Canada.
Tom Rothstein – The goal for every owner should be to find a retirement facility that is non profit and work with them slowly. We have retired 4 racetrack t-breds to the ILEHC and it has gone great, when they go there, we donate 2,000$ which takes care of them for 6 months

  • Barbara Luna

    Bill of sale may detract someone from taking them to auction because that person is no longer anonymous. Stamping the foal papers will do little as most foal papers aren’t even seen by the “next” person in line, and are not legally any protection. Every race track should do what Parx does: owners donate $10/start, the PTHA funds us, along with the racetrack management. Jockeys donate $10/win, $5 per second. PA Breeders Association also gives us money every year. We work closely with approved (by us) non-profit OTTB rehab/adoption groups so that they can continue their good work, and we are full time right here at the track so have a great rapport with veterinarians, shippers, etc. We do take care of our own…and in almost four years, have offered retirement for over 680 horses from our track.

  • Ninjanoodles

    Simply put, this will never be prevented. So long as there are bottom feeders like Ms. Lefever there will be people willing to look the other way, play dumb on cue that are just as culpable as she was.

    As fast as you can make new standards the scum of the earth are already figuring out new ways to work around them. It’s not a problem you can legislate away.

    People suck.

  • Ace

    Considering that Canada and Mexico still allow slaughter and/or consumption, how about banning all wagering to/from those countries’ pools?  Money talks-everyone else stand back.

  • Pat Jasin

    All of these suggestions are great. Racing does need a unified governing body, strict bill of sale requirements , microchips, requiring trainers, jockeys, vets, etc to pay a small % towards retirement, low cost gelding clinics to limit the number of horses of all breeds not just TBs, working with reputable horse rescues, passing stronger national legislation to make shipping for slaughter a real crime with real jail time, it goes on and on. BUT as someone commented, there will still be scum like Lefever out there. She did check out favorably at Great Scott Farm. She appeared like a caring, honest, animal lover, so they gave her the horses to care for. If Lefever knew that she could go to jail for a long time, it would make her, maybe, think twice. We need strong legislation. We need an organization and politicians that will take all of these ideas and make it work.

  • anonymous

    As an owner at PARX, I can tell you that Barbara does a fabulous job executing our rescue program. Although, I do believe that there will always be too many horses that need to use the program. One of the things we need to add in the industry is owner education. I know several owners who will run horses until they are no longer viable candidates for use in alternate careers. They don’t do it maliciously. They simply don’t know any better. If owners resisted veterinary measures that jeopardize the horse’s long term health, and sent them to new careers a little earlier, many horses would find viable homes, and quickly.

  • Hollie

    My vet has TB’s and Standardbreds donated through her practice spray painted with “NOT FOR AUCTION OR SALE” written on both sides of the horse.  It’s unsightly and ugly but none of her 500 or so re-homes have gone to auction (at least while the spray paint is still readable).  It is unsightly for the new owner but everyone understands it must be done for the good of the animal.  Also, my vet has volunteers, of which I am one, who visits each re-homed animal weekly for one year and documents it’s condition, training and living conditions to the vet who, in turn gives reports to the trainer or trainer’s assistant.  It takes minimal time and just the good-will of all involved; but so far it’s a successful venture.

  • PortTownGirl

    Could something be added to the lip tattoo, such as the letters NK?

  • Could something be added to the lip tattoo, such as the letters NK?

  • Ruffian

    Are all (over) 680 horses accounted for?

  • Turf2dirt

    I think race horses should not be let off the grounds without an approved home to go to.. I think the racing commission or the jockey club should set something up like a retired race horse penny auction at the end of each race meeting and have adopters come in and register just like any other horse owner.. And have a penny auction for the available horses. Then there care suplimented by a retirement fund. Some will need more care than others .. Those with injuries etc.. I’m sure something to get more of the public involved.

  • Sharon Soileau

    I think the best, long term solution should begin with the breed associations. I believe that there should be some sort of limit put on the breeding of mares. Large breeding farms breed their mares EVERY year, producing thousands of foals. If the number of foals were limited, then eventually there would not be so many horses in need of homes. Stamping papers does no good, a bill of sale can be disposed of and there is little, if any room under the lip for additional letters/numbers.

    The solution needs to be addressed where the problem begins–on the breeding farms. Sure, no one wants to see a horse they raised be slaughtered yet they want to mass produce foal crops each year.

    I am a breeder, owner & trainer. I know the ins & outs of the trade. Some farms are no different than puppy mills.

  • Alexbr Brown

    and Parx recently banned an owner who breached its anti slaughter policy.

  • I was told there are laws against this —off track Horses being sold to Slaughter but the tracks don’t ENFORCE IT!! I am not sure what the laws are but, they could start by making tracks enforce them and setting HEFTY FINES if they don’t!!

  • a caring owner

    I personally think that NO drugs at all should be allowed for racing and that would eliminate running sore horses into the ground until they are no longer sound for any kind of career. Sad thing is that will never happen because the veterinary business, like any other business, is big money. And most of those vets just want to make money injecting those poor innocent horses so they feel no pain and can still race….they actually care nothing about the horses real welfare.

  • R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    Identifying all horses leaving a racetrack and a physical address of where they are going to in conjunction with the name, address and driver’s license number/plate number of the person taking that horse off of the grounds. The new development of the Iris scan  appears to be promising and if used by owners of horses and implemented at all racetracks, thoroughbreds could be scanned when leaving the backside and a database created where they are going to. If people could check a universal database of the location of a thoroughbred, don’t you think it would be easier to keep track of them in addition to being provided alerts that the horse has been taken off of the grounds and where that horse went to?   For owners and prior connections that are following a horse and want to retire it when the horse is done running are many times not even called by the current owner or trainer and the horse is given to someone or is sent to auction and falls through the cracks. This type of irresponsibility must stop. How long does it take to call someone and tell them that you are done racing a horse and are they still interested in taking the horse back? There should also be a list in every racing secretaries offices across the country with the names of the horses and the  prior connections contact information that all trainers are required to check and if they have a horse on that list should be required to contact that former connection before the horse can leave the grounds for good. This requirement could easily be put in place at all racetracks.  There must be better documenting of racehorses to ensure their safety and welfare. Many tattoos are hard to read but if horses were scanned either by the iris or a microchip when coming in and out of racetracks it would take seconds.  With the technology available today, there is no excuse to continue to let horses fall in harm’s way because they literally end up paying  with their lives.

    Unfortunately, until the thoroughbred racing industry really steps up and does what is right for the horses, meaning substantial perpetual funding and retirement and rehabiliation programs which address all of the horses in need and not just the soundest ones then this kind of thing will continue to happen. Unfortunately there are more people like Kelsey Lefever out there. The R.A.C.E. Race Fund business plan has always been about the industry providing the funding that is needed to address racehorse retirement for all thoroughbreds not just the sound ones and that horses should go directly from the track to  safe, reputable and participating facilities so horses do not end up with people like this. The industry does not want to address or take care of horses that need long term care or funding. They want quick turnover programs. The racing industry should also bear some responsibility of what happened here

  • Maxhorselover

    Does anybody care that,thanks to our President, the Kelsey Lefevers of this country will be able to get horses slaughtered down the road?

  • Allie Booth

    Thank you for exposing this POS & all the cracks in the so called
    system Ray. Where is the NTRA in all of this? They have a budget for a
    safety alliance initiative for horses and people working on tracks- does
    that not make the genius members of their incestuous boy’s club senior
    management team responsible?

    1. The health and safety of our human and equine athletes and the integrity of our sport are our highest priorities;

    Actions speak louder than words.

  • nomoralcompass

    Really, Obama is so capable, and has his tentacles in everything?! He personally supports the slaughter of horses and is a fan of Kelsey Lefever because… your republican fairy godmother said so??? If you will recall, the whole slaughter issue came to the forefront through the efforts of a republican representative from that Democratic hotbed, Wyoming and her demand to reopen the US slaughter houses (by restoring funding for the FDA inspectors).  The rallying cry, made right here on these pages, was that the sudden appearance of thousands of neglected horses on every farm, village and city demanded that something be done to prevent their public starvation and horrible death. Her solution, quickly trotted out,  was to “humanely slaughter” horses as a means to “help” end their continual suffering.  Their “highly” sought after meat can fetch a few bucks a pound, and provide a few financial crumbs to those poor poor people no longer able to care for their horses. 

    The reality is that this rep continues to lie about her real motivation, which is to facilitate the opening of a slaughter house in Wyoming and to make the cowboy state the “go to” place for horse slaughter. Nothing better than to have an out of the way place like Wyoming, to turn these trusting and beautiful creatures into kibbles and bits for the euros. She’ll be all smiles when the killers relocate to her district, where they can kill horses behind closed doors and slog their tasty flesh to the foodies. Don’t be surprised if this so called horse lover, happily inaugurates the pneumatic bolt and drops the first horse at the new plant to the kill floor. Right about the time she draws her big campaign contribution from the killers.  So please, while he is a smart guy, Obama has about as much political ability as did Jimmy Carter. He’s not a mover and shaker or even mildly effective when it comes to Congress and legislation.  He has never learned to take names and kick his enemies asses. The continual blaming of the President for everything, is reminiscent of the Democrats blaming Bush for the fact that Katrina came ashore over New Orleans. Not his incompetent FEMA director, or the response, or the fact that Shrub was just plain stupid. But just the fact that the hurricane occurred. Want to blame someone? Blame the congresswoman from Wyoming. Just follow  the money. She is about to wallow in the blood money, every stinking farthing.

  • CANTER Mid Atlantic

    Keeping your horses sound on the racetrack is the best protection you can give them.  A sound horse, in mind and body, is a wanted horse in a second career.  Joint injections, bad training, bad shoeing, year-round racing, lax drug rules all contribute to the problem. We run the CANTER retraining program and have a LONG list of buyers looking specifically for sound thoroughbreds, and we can find them homes pretty much all day long.  But they MUST leave the track with clean legs or very close to it, and they must not have had joints injected to mask injuries.  If you take care of your horses on the racetrack and listen to their bodies, and pay attention to their minds, and retire them to a reputable non-profit who will make every effort to ensure their safety for life, you cannot go wrong.  At a minimum, on the east coast, it costs roughly 3,000$ to care properly for an OTTB.  Consider a fund to save at least this much–either from winnings (if you are lucky!) or add it onto your monthly expenses if you aren’t so lucky–to donate with the horse.  
    If you have injured horses, FIX THEM.  Get the chips removed, remove the Chondromas, rehab the bow–or include enough money to allow a group to do this for you.  Don’t dump broken horses on people who are trying desperately to help horses with tiny budgets that they neither bred, owned, or injured.  Your horses are YOUR responsibility.  Yes, it’s a business, we understand that.  But the injuries that are caused to horses in your care are YOUR responsibility.  Dumping them after you’ve squeezed your last dimes from their hides is irresponsible at the least. 
    If you cannot find a home for your horse, particularly if it has a lot of injuries, man up and humanely euthanize it.  
    Sound horses are a WANTED commodity.  CANTER, over the past 14 years, has assisted trainers in selling over 15,000 horses from participating racetracks–a free service to both buyers and sellers.  Our website is visited by hundreds of thousands of buyers a year.  And while we cannot control where every horse lands, if you have a viable commodity and sell it for more than 700$, you’ve greatly increased it’s chances of attracting a buyer who is legitimate.  
    Just some thoughts on this rainy Wednesday.

  • Zbzboo

    Ending horse slaughter and shipping to slaughter would work like a charm. All horses have owners. All owners need to make responsible decisions. Ending slaughter will level the playing field. Get rid of the dump and the rats will move on…

  • This is about the fact that all parties concerned are viewing this from an “INDUSTRY” standpoint. The bottom line is the almighty dollar. I am not shocked that the racing industry has climbed in bed with the horse slaughter industry it was actually a match made in heaven. The racing industry needs fresh meat constantly and all the thousands that don’t make the grade have to go somewhere….so where better than to feed the need for fresh meat in the horse meat industry? These people don’t care about the horses, they care about the money the horses bring forth for both parties. This is a business that lacks compassion. There are lots of Kelsey Lefevers in the US…she happened to get caught up in some legalities. In a perfect world yes all the foals would be traceable & protected BUT we don’t have the means nor the space available to do so. This is about producing winners and in the end money. A horse that is no longer preforming and making money starts becoming a liability…costing money. Thats a death sentence. Economicly speaking no farm could afford to maintain the thousands of offspring that should be retired and still maintain the few that are producing profit. There are only so many rescues and so many homes. TOO MANY HORSES are needed to fuel the race industries need for fresh blood. I am sickened by this woman but she is a mere poster child for the problem at hand. A horse can live in excess of 30 years…after his six year stretch for racing IF he is lucky…who is responsible for the next 24 years of his life? Massive reform is in order across the board. Ultimately who is responsible for this tragedy – we all are. This whole thing has gone on far too long without checks and balances in place to show honor to the one thing that we need for all of these people to make money- the horse. This situation sickens me, my heart goes out to all those that fight against these two monsters everyday and ALL the thousands of horses that have so faithfully given their all for the monsters that cast them aside as trash in the end. Reform the human heart is what we must do to end this horror show for horses. The Promarin foals, the excess quarter horses, the OTTB, all of them give the best they can to us, and what do they get – slaughtered in pain without a drop of compassion.

  • Cindy Rullman

    There are many good suggestions here, but they are still only addressing the symptoms and not the real problem.  We need tougher laws protecting horses.  If you’d like to see how your own legislators have recently voted on horse protection bills, you can find them here on the Humane Scorecard.  It’s quite an eye-opener:

  • C.C.

    Instead of just funding retirement programs, fund humane euthanasia programs. If you can’t handle selling your horse, don’t breed them or don’t have them. However people do run into situations where one day they can afford them and the next day they can’t. It happens, -deaths, large repair bills, job loss, it happens. Why not be able to go to a vet or association that will help to respectively “put down” your horse?

    ZERO dollars will be spent on rehab/retirement after the horse has been put down and it’s body moved. There will be one less pitiful horse on Craigs List, or “living in a big field on a farm..”

  • William Webb

    Kill the demand for North American horse meat by broadcasting  loudly, clearly and broadly that many horses, particularly race horses, have quite likely been treated with a wide range of  drugs including steroids which might render North American horse meat unfit for human consumption.

    William Webb

  • Racherasaro

    Erin if an owner says that they are taking their horse to a farm for a lay up how do you expect the track to keep up with the horse?This is a hard thing to do as the owner owns the horse not the track.This shady biz has been going on for years..last week Parx was attacked and they have in my opinion one of the best after care programs at any track..but they did the right thing and maybe their model should be looked at for every track.The owner could have gone to Barbara and offered the horse up for adoption..the choice was there but the owner decided New Holland was a better option.This is a good start but trying to stop slaughter is no easy task.We all must work together and come up with more ideas.I personally would like to see every horse micro chipped and have monies set aside from their racing days set aside but then there are horses that never earn a is a complex issue..until we somehow remove the $$ from slaughtering horses people will do it..

  • Noelle

    My Democrat senators and congressman score very well.  However, their co-sponsorship of anti-slaughter/anti-transportation legislation has proven utterly meaningless.  Like so much political posturing, it allows them to look good while doing absolutely nothing worthwhile.  I’ve written to them all about pro-horse legislation repeatedly, and received formulaic replies saying how much they care, etc., etc.  Meaningless.

    If they wanted to do something about it, they would do something about it.  When the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress they could have done it.  They had the votes. But they did nothing.  That inaction tells me exactly how much their co-sponsorship of pro-horse legislation is worth.  Exactly nothing.

    Change is forced on politicians by the people.  There simply aren’t enough people – yet – who care about horse slaughter/transportation for slaughter.  The cause needs mainstream PUBLICITY.  Americans don’t eat horses and a majority would be horrified if they were forced to really look at transportation and slaughter video.

  • Steventyre

    The problem is that everyone wants to save the race horses but, there is no money to do so. Until there is a guaranteed funding program for the retirement of race horses this will continue to happen. Remember it costs at least $4000 a year to pay the support of a retired horse and that is if he stays well. Currently I know of no owners willing to shell this kind of money out as they are barely makng it.

  • MooseMom

    Never, ever give your horses away!  If you must, free-lease the horse with the stipulation that the person return the horse to you when no longer wanted,  and renew the lease every year.  “Free to a good home” is just asking for trouble.  If you sell a horse, ask a price that is above killer prices, so there would be no profit in re-selling the horse .  Get a notarised bill of sale, and the name and address of the person you sell to…. and check it out.

  • Eventhorse

    I would like there to be some kind of an internet clearinghouse that racehorse owners can go to, and check for reputable, honest, experienced new owners. I wrote an article at Horse Junkies United about myself, and my friends, who ALL own off-track Thoroughbreds (for many years) and the characteristics we share. I feel for race horse owners. It is very difficult to find “good homes” these days. There needs to be an easier way to get horses transitioned from the track to a non-race career, or retirement, without going through the scary people. I would like to see re-homers licensed just like grooms and trainers to go onto the track and pick up horses. Then there could be a code of conduct, state licensing requirements, etc. that could be enforced.

  • NY Owner

    Stamping the foal papers helps trainers to place horses back with original owners or breeders.  It’s probably a small percentage of horses helped this way but every little bit helps.  As a breeder and owner, I take responsibility for placing my own retirees in good homes.  I would much rather take horses I bred back for rehoming at the end of their careers than count on a trainer who is too busy and does not have the facilities or the contacts for the job and I love knowing where they go and what they are doing in their new job.

  • Matthew Martini

    Thank you for this document. It is helpful. I corresponded with one of my Senators (Merkley D-OR) about horse slaughter a few months ago. (I am against it.) I have attached his response, just to show one perspective.

    I’m afraid that many in the Congress and Senate are uninformed on the topic. I’m sure that many of our representatives do not recognize that people need to be responsible for their animals, or that humane euthanasia is far more proper for the animal, if the animal is injured and cannot be rehabilitated and retrained, than to sell him/her to “kill buyers.” 

    Something in the industry equivalent to the Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Fund as recommended by PETA would be helpful too. It wouldn’t have to be the exact plan, but anything at this point is better than nothing. 

    It is an uphill battle, but let us elevate ourselves morally to do what is best for these great souls.

  • 1biblelover1

    We don’t need new taxes and more government.  And we curtainly don’t need bans on slaughter.  Funds are already going toward retirement.  How about better self government and background checks on those who the horses are released to, and owner’s taking better stewardship and responsibility for their horses.

  • Black Ruby

    A good start would be to require microchipping for every horse that appears in a public event and then require that the slaughterhouse must check for chips and contact the owner of record on the chip.  Of course, after 10-20 years, people change phone numbers & addresses.  Then what do they do?   Send them to a licensed retirement facility?  Who pays for that?  Perhaps the slaughterhouse, which would cause them to raise the prices of horse meat.  Not such a bad idea.  Make it illegal to transport “meat” horses across the border?  Then they just drop them off at the border somewhere. 

    What  about a surcharge at every event where persons pay to see horses perform?  A buck increase in admission.  If people are coming to see a horse perform, then they need to be part of that horse’s future.  If you’re entertained, then you’re part of the picture.  Additionally, there should be money taken out of the purse of every horse performing.  You come to watch, you pay for it’s future.  You get money from your horse performing, you pay for it’s future. 

    Then there needs to be an organization that oversees these retirement facilities.  Obviously, this is where national legislation needs to occur.  It won’t happen unless there is a national oversight.  Did I say dirty words:  national oversight?????  If won’t happen unless there are national laws and penalties that count. 

    If you are not willing to be part of the laws to protect our horses, then you shouldn’t own them.

  • Joe

    Because no one wants to pull the trigger and kill an often young and/or viable horse they enjoyed owning and profited from in some way strictly to save money. They rather not know the fate of that horse or have the killing done by someone else, somewhere else even if it means that they put that horse at risk of being rough handled by killers then butchered in barbaric ways.

  • Noelle

    Great observation.  I’ve been wondering how much investigating any of these owners did before turning their horses over to LeFever.  They have a horse they don’t want anymore – along comes a (reportedly) personable young woman who says she’ll solve their problem.   Easy enough to give her the horse and wash their hands of it.

  • CANTER Mid Atlantic

    DING DING DING DING!  Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner.  This is a very big problem.  
    “I’m not putting this horse down! He was good to me!” (But i’ll let this stranger sell him at auction, or let you do it, or let him starve in a field!).  
    Horsemanship should include safety until death.  I cannot tell you how many people want to give us horses who “will be fine in a few weeks”, when in fact they are absolutely not fine and should be euthanized.  So we get to take horses away from what they know to a place they’ve never been, stuff them full of carrots and do what the people who destroyed their bodies could not–put them down with kindness.

  • CANTER Mid Atlantic

    Additionally, putting down a horse means that you or your training caused an issue that requires you to kill the animals you make your money on.  Sending the horses away into the great unknown means people can go on believing that their horses are living in the great big mythical grassy field that all horses go to live in when they retire. Holding up a mirror to your face means the person you think you are won’t always show up to look back at you.

  • Joe

    No organization, must less one with the authority to mandate reforms exists purely and solely to protect the welfare, safety and life of race horses on and off track. None. Race horses need an authority to mandate welfare, safety, morality, quality and sanity. Racing needs that authority to protect it from itself too.

    What would benefit the health, welfare and safety of horses and bring fair competition would boost quality and the reputation, popularity and business of racing. However, the industry is too busy “getting what they’ve got” out of horses each day, all year long including during miserable weather at miserable tracks, they forget to worry about the preventable destruction and suffering of its horses despite horses being the foundation of the racing industry and how protecting and honoring its horses would help dig itself out of its hole.

  • Cagftl99

    Maybe more thought about breeding fewer horses to begin with.  Do we really need 30000 plus Thoroughbreds every year??? How many Quarters? Arabians? Any other breed? Much like the puppy mills, cat breeders I know its a business, but just what do you do with EVERY one of those animals? Home many homes are there for all of these animals?

  • Jenstisted

    I’m with Josh where farriers, vet clinics, tack shops, trainers, owners, breeders, sale companies, bloodstock agents, etc all have to pay some kind of fee per horse. Just think if you took $1 per horse shod, $1 per horse floated, and a 0.5% of sales proceeds/commissions along with a $5 starting fee each race, and charge $500-$1000 for a horse to go to a retirement facility after their career. Simple solutions readily available, just no one willing to play ball. This could fund programs for the Horse Park OTTB program, Secretariat center, etc.I tried to start a program where jockeys had to pay $5 per afternoon mount. Because they put the least into the horse and prosper the most.. A jockey gets $100 per mount. Win, loose, draw or even if the horse just makes it to the paddock… On top of that they are iven an added bonus depending on what the horse make that race.. t Parx they pay $5 only i the horse wins for them. Which is riiculous seeing that when a horse wins they make the jockey anywhere from $900 to $10,000 and up for being on the horses back for a total of about 15. minutes..
    They need to also make the penalty “Much” stronger…

  • I think these horses should bear a NK freezebrand on their hip. The tattoos are never read and microchips are dug out when the horses are being exsanguinated. Of course, people don’t want a mark on their pretty horse! I think the breed needs to be conserved.

  • I think the horses should bear a ‘NK’ freezemark on the hip. Tattoos are never read, and microchips are dug out during exsanguination. It is my somewhat outrageous belief that the Thoroughbreds in the United States need to be conserved. That would take forward thinking owners of Mares such as Zenyatta and Rachael Alexandra to allow these mares be bred to an Arabian. Two Arabians and a Barb were the foundation of the breed. If we do not get some Arabian blood back into the gene pool then the breed will continue to fail. Why have we not had a Triple Crown Winner since 1978? Drugs. 

    The Jockey Club is the organization that holds the stud book, however, Thoroughbreds are only 97% ‘pure’ so it would take several generations to have a healthy Thoroughbred that is not inbred. There are only two existing bloodlines so all of them are related. ‘Line Breeding’ always ends in disaster for any animal. So whom should be the first to step up to the plate and think about what is best for the breed? I ask all the owners and trainers of the most successful (if you can even say that) horses to allow their mares to be bred to an Arabian for breed conservancy. I have a very small rescue and over the past 17 years I have rescued more off track Thoroughbreds than any other breed. Now I don’t even bother to see them, I know what I am getting and I just take the horse and put it back together, retrain it in Dressage and free lease it to people qualified to handle these horses. I retain ownership so the horses will always have a home. I find it disturbing that Thoroughbred and Quarterhorse racing has not be stopped dead in its tracks due to RICO violations. Drugs hinder gambling as we all witnessed with Big Brown’s failure to even place in the Belmont. People lost a lot of money betting on Big Brown and he was simply the fastest horse on drugs! That horse was so confused and defeated to come in last. It was horrible to witness. Thumbs down for the Jockey Club. Ellen-Cathryn Nash Manes and Tails Organization

  • BuckyinKentucky

    Sweet girl….yeah right.

    This is exactly why some animals eat their young…she is vile.

  • meshhat

    Horse racing should be banned.

  • millergal

    How about making the horse owners keep the horses for their entire natural life. A responsibility for a life for its life is a lesson our society needs to learn.  With our pets, children, and elderly.  No pawning it off when it can’t make money for you anymore or is a “senior citizen” and needs you more than ever.

  • equine

    Quick&easy way to discourage KBs-Use your cell phone camera!  Be upfront about your concern for your horse’s future by taking a picture of the person, a snapshot of their drivers license, vehicle and license plate.  Have a good contract prepared along with a questionnaire they must sign indicating the location of the new home and references required.  Let them know the horse will be available for pickup in a few days or a week, pending confirmation of the references and verification of the info on the questionnaire.
    Make sure both your contract and bill state that the horse is not to be sold at an auction or sold for slaughter and that violation of the terms will result in prosecution.

  • Michenka

    During the orignial blog I spoke of a woman that was traveling to breeding farms and tracks in WV and LA also misrepresenting herself as rehoming and retraining when they really go to the New Holland auctions within days. I said her first name was Renee but I did not know her last name.  I later saw postings of people who thought someone was attempting to make them look bad so I went and found out the woman’s name. Her name is Renee Benshoff. She will lie to your face about where your horse is going. It does not matter how well taken care of the horse is because it will be sick and unfed in no time. The owner of a tack shop up here gave her horse to this woman for a pasture horse and found her horse in NJ! Thank God she was able to take control of the situation. Right now Renee operates in WV, PA, MD, and LA. Don’t give her your horse if you want it to live.

  • Kelsey L might still be selling horses in NH

  • Elle

    I agree with the person who referenced the NK Freezebrand. On the hind quarter it would not be missed. Microchips are dug out when they are being bled out. It takes an obvious mark to protect all horses to prevent them from going to kill.

  • Concerned

    Not sure of the legitamacy of these ads, but there are two ads on dreamhorse listing free tbs with seller listed as Kelsey herself. Reported to dream horse, what else can we do? Isnt she banned from owning a horse currently?

  • concerned
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