Penn National Anti-Slaughter Policy Put to Test

by | 04.08.2013 | 12:12pm
Prince Michael and Candace Scheirer

Officials with Hollywood Casino at Penn National are investigating whether a leading owner and his bloodstock manager may have violated the Grantville, Pa., track's anti-slaughter policy after a horse that had been stabled at Penn National wound up in a livestock sale and destined for slaughter. The horse has been spared, but the incident has already led to the resignation of a vice president of the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association.

Prince Michael, an unraced 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred son of Lewis Michael out of Elusive Joy, by Elusive Quality, was sold for $325 last week at New Holland, a livestock auction frequented by buyers who send horses to Canadian slaughter plants. Prince Michael was bred and owned by Thomas McClay, the second-leading owner by money won at Penn National in 2012. McClay is also a member of the board of directors of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association at Penn National.

Days earlier, Prince Michael was allegedly sold to horse broker Phil Shirk for $1 by Ed Price, who handles bloodstock affairs for McClay. Shirk is believed by many in the horse welfare community to be a regular supplier to kill buyers (a Google search of Phil Shirk horse provides several examples).

Candace Scheirer, who attends the New Holland sale looking for Thoroughbreds being sold for slaughter, saw the then-unidentified Prince Michael prior to being sold and unsuccessfully attempted to purchase him privately. He was bought by Brian Moore, a contract buyer for a Canadian plant, according to Deborah Jones, a California woman involved in rescuing horses from slaughter.

Scheirer was able to buy Prince Michael privately for $375 after he was auctioned off to Moore, Jones said, and Sheirer now has the horse in her possession. The horse was identified as Prince Michael, and his foal certificates are believed to be on file at Penn National.

Price, who could not be reached for comment, stated to Jones that he was unaware that Shirk supplied horses to kill buyers in the past.

McClay also could not be reached for comment.

Dan Silver, director of racing operations for Penn National, said he is awaiting a copy of the bill of sale from Price to Shirk. “This situation was brought to our attention a few days ago and we are in the process of trying to gather information about it,” Silver said.

Penn National's anti-slaughter policy states: “Any horsemen stabled at a Penn National Gaming Inc.-owned or -operated horse racing facility who knowingly, or without conducting proper due diligence, sells a horse for slaughter, directly or indirectly, will have his or her stalls revoked and may, in addition, be barred from all of our racing properties.”

This case may come down to how “due diligence” is defined.

Price, who was vice president of the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association and very active in legislative affairs and fund-raising for the organization, promptly resigned his position with the PHBA on Friday night after his role was uncovered by Jones. Within 24 hours, his name was removed from the PHBA website and his image cropped out of a photograph of officers.

Brian Sanfratello, president of the PHBA, said Price told him he “wasn't aware the horse was going to the kill pen” when he sold him to Shirk for $1. “He then explained to me that he did not want to put the breeders in a bad light and submitted his resignation, which we accepted as an organization.

“We work very closely with Turning for Home at Parx and New Vocations at Penn National to make sure that any unwanted horses that have been on the track are placed,” Sanfratello said. “We contribute monetarily to both organizations and we support the racetracks' (anti-slaughter) policy.”

  • Old Timer

    Good for Candace! Glad she now has a TB horsey to play with. Now just down the proverbial road are a LOT of other horses who need good homes too. Please go save all of them as well.

    For Ms. Jones, I would suggest, she do some work in CA first, before doing such an outreach extension. Last time I was aware CA has just as many, if not MORE, horses needing her immediate saving attention.

    • It sounds like Old Timer is uncomfortable that the bad apples in PA are being exposed, as well they should be. Perhaps Old Timer is one of them; we don’t know, but he or she is simply attempting, by mocking the rescuers, to divert attention from the people who are truly responsible for sending Penn National racehorses to brutal slaughter, just to make a buck. Thank you, Ray, for shining the light on the shadows, and thanks to Candace Scheirer and Deborah Jones for stepping in and stepping up to save Prince Michael, and so many others we never hear about.

      • blackcatlover

        Is Old Timer involved in this PA situation? If not, please don’t be afraid to post under your real name because I think you ARE involved.

    • PositiveAsAlways

      To Old Timer;

      Not quite sure why the bitterness regarding a young horse’s life being spared and attention being drawn to a policy that possibly needs some additional enforcement. Can one person save all the horses in need? Of course not, but every effort counts. Being positive helps as well.
      In regards to Ms. Jones…I know her very well. She is an asset to Thoroughbreds throughout this entire nation, coast to coast. She is not prejudice as to which state a horse resides in, and I am extremely grateful she is as well versed with PA racing regulations and was able to assist in this horse’s less that savory situation. Kudos to Ms. Jones for all she does. It would seem as though you are either a) making bitter comments just to add a negative tone to this story and those involved, or b) totally clueless as to the work those involved do. I always find it sad and disgraceful when bitter people who are uninvolved must attempt to bring everyone down with negativity. Says a lot about one’s character.
      Thank you to all who were involved in saving this young horse’s life, as well as countless others…. Let’s not let a bitter OldTimer get anyone down. :) Keep up the good work…from coast to coast! The TBs depend on it.

    • nu-fan

      Give us some hard evidence about your statements about these horses in California! And, make certain that the evidence is verifiable. Otherwise, you are just blowing a lot of polluted air.

      • Call Mike’s Auction… they see thoroughbreds there being bought by kill buyers weekly. There is a great deal of corruption in rescues in California too… they will rescue some but not the others unless the money is there.. SAD :(

        • Not taking horses who are not sound is not “corruption”. Rescues have limited resources and cannot save all the horses who go to slaughter. And to have room to take in new horses, others must be rehomed. it is extremely difficult to find a home for an unsound horse, it is hard enough to find homes for all the sound horses. Please do not criticize rescues unless YOU are also rescuing horses. it is not FREE to feed horses or give them proper care.

          • I am talking about the rescues that get a great deal of money each year from people in the industry like rich owners and breeders and will take their horses in a heart beat but turn away horses that are owned by some low life trainer/owner that no one cares about .. it is all greed and corrupt. With that said, yes there are many good rescues out there that help our many many athletes in need but many times they are not the ones raking in the big money from those in the industry.

          • I agree. Old Friends is right up there IMO.

          • nu-fan

            Isn’t it unfortunate that the burden of saving these horses keep falling on the relatively few who can do so? This really needs to be supported in a much, much bigger way by the entire horseracing industry. Can’t keep leaving this up to those with limited financial resources to do all of the work.

          • I agree with you 100% but the problem is that the rescues that get the most money from the people in the industry are the ones that say NO to the horses in the most need.. when I say horses in the most need, I am taking about horses that are really not adoptable or those that have few options. Sadly they are the ones that quite often ship and NO ONE knows or cares

          • Mary, you need to understand something. Kill buyers have contracts with slaughter plants. If the contract calls for 5,000 horses (or by weight) the kill buyers will fulfill the contract. They do not care which horses they ship – healthy and fat or broken down and barely alive. For obvious reasons they prefer fit horses since the profit margin is higher. If the rescues only took in the horses that need to be euthanized you would complain that they are letting healthy, adoptable horses go to the kill box. Can’t have it both ways. For every horse ‘saved’ from the kill pen another takes its place. The only way this insanity is going to stop is by a federal ban.

          • The tracks need to have a euthanasia fund, whereby if a horse is injured and a vet has certified the horse will never heal from the injury, then the horse should be humanely euthanized. This would free up rescues from taking in a horse and having to expend the funds to euthanize.

          • hoofandpick

            Tracks need to ban race day meds and STOP racing injured horses. 37 race horses die per week in the US and this number does not include those that die during morning work-outs.
            If US race tracks really wanted to stop slaughter from the back side and improve the welfare of race horses, they would do the following:
            1. All horses coming into the track and leaving are counted and identified.
            2. All horses leaving the tracks are followed-up to the next destination by a responsible and accountable person(s) at the original track.
            3. Kill buyers/middlemen are identified by every track and posted on a chalk board at the entrance of the shedrow. List is updated weekly as these guys/ladies multiply like cockroaches.
            4. Track vets are held responsible and accountable for performing DETAILED and COMPREHENSIVE preracing examinations of horses.
            5. BAN all race day medications.
            6. Hold owners/trainers and every other member of those caring for race horses responsible and accountable for ANY horse that gets sent to slaughter.
            7. GET RID OF THE SCUMBAGS IN RACING. All race tracks know who these people are so please don’t play dumb.
            To all of those people who think you can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people all of the time….THINK AGAIN. We are not fooled!
            Finally, many horse rescues do their best to care for these magnificent animals. There are many in financial trouble and are trying their best to make ends meet especially since a bale of hay is $16-21 in California and other areas that have been hard hit by serial droughts. There are always bad apples. You have to evaluate each rescue carefully and invest in those that are seriously interested in caring for the horses and spend their money on making sure the horses eat before they do!

          • Amen, Jo-Claire! Every track needs to have a euthanasia program. I have discussed that option with Joe Deluca, a steward at Beulah Park, and he agreed with me.

          • I agree completely.

          • Maureen, I AM rescuing horses so I suppose i have a right to express my opinion. In fact, I have a TB in my barn right now that I picked up at Sugarcreek last Wednesday. The horse is a gray TB gelding whom we are trying to identify. It is extremely difficult to adopt out horses that have issues or that aren’t sound. Slaughter is NOT an option. Euthanasia is humane and peaceful and a far better alternative.

          • Disqus has screwed up my account. I agree slaughter is not an option, and horses who are not adoptable deserve euthanasia.

        • nu-fan

          Thank you, Mary, for the info. Just out of curiosity, do you know if anyone or any group has had any luck in notifying the elected officials in California to let them know that Mike’s Auction is involved in violating the anti-slaughter act that the state passed? Also, I do know that there are some rescue groups that may be better than others. I don’t put them all in one basket. But most will not rescue every horse. They can’t. Some will rescue what they can as well as those that they can adopt out. But, I can tell you that even one of my local television news shows ran a segment just last week about a thoroughbred that had raced at Golden Gate Fields and was at an auction where there were kill buyers. Two ladies saved him. And, that is one thing needed: more of those who will check these auction yards frequently for those horses that have been identified as having raced at one of the tracks. It is against the law in California to slaughter horses as well as the activities leading toward slaughtering but it is also against the policies of the major racetracks. They, too, have policies very similar to those at Penn National. By the way, the other thing that is needed is more mainstream media coverage like the one that I saw about horse slaughtering. The public needs to participate in voicing their objections. And, during this time as we are on the road to the Triple Crown races, more mainstream media outlets would probably be more inclined to cover such stories.

          • David Misner takes horses and many thoroughbreds out of California weekly that end in Mexico. There are several groups in CA and rescues that try to save some yes.

          • hoofandpick

            Please contact your Congressman and both senators in DC and urge them to get the SAFE Act (HR1094 and S541) OUT OF COMMITTEE and to the floor for a vote.

          • nu-fan

            My senators probably know me on a first name basis by now; but, they are nice enough to reply. Probably have a great staff. Have also contacted my congressman as well as many other officials. I have contacted them all so often. Am I the only one doing so? I’d like to know how many of those in the horseracing industry have made much of any effort to get such legislation up and going? They’re the ones with clout and money. Perhaps, if they voiced their concern, someone will pay attention and take this seriously. I often wonder if elected officials just view us as bleeding heart liberals and animal rights activists–and, no more than that.

          • Roisin

            The media has been noticably silent. More and more the media are not doing their job. Laws on the books are useless if they are not enforced. But of course, having these “good laws” makes the legislatures look good while not enforcing the laws benifits those who would have to change their modus operandi if the laws were enforced. Big money can be successful at dumbing down our systems that are fast losingt their integrity.

          • nu-fan

            One interesting development that came out of the blue was a local television news segment about a horse that was found in an auction by two ladies from a rescue organization. This was just in the past week or so. The horse had the registration tatoo and had raced at Golden Gate Fields. From what GGF sent back to me was their policy, which is very similar to Penn National’s. But, unfortunately, the news segment did not mention the California anti-slaughter law. Ever get the feeling that these laws are forgotten? I sure do. And, yes, I must say that I have developed the same thoughts about the purpose of these kinds oif laws as you have quite well described above.

      • Stacey Jo White

        I am sorry to inform you that California sends may horses to slaughter due to there geographical location to Mexico. Google Mike’s Livestock Auction

        • nu-fan

          And, that is against the anti-slaughter act that California passed. It’s really up to the public to start demanding that its elected officials put some clout into this law by insisting that this law be enforced. Yes, I had already checked Mike’s website. Didn’t find anything other than what seems to be legit. Yes, horses can be auctioned off. But, there is a difference between buyers who purchase a horse for companionship, ranch/farm use, sport, etc. and those whose aim is to send them to slaughter. Is anyone or any group down in Southern California reporting this to the local law enforcement?

          • No one enforces the law in California, there is no funding to do so.

          • nu-fan

            There is money. The funding issue is put forth to placate special interest groups–which usually contribute to the coffers of our elected officials. Horseracing and the welfare of horses isn’t on anyone’s front burners.

          • hoofandpick

            Horses, including race horses, get sent to slaughter in Northern and Southern California. 2-3 truckloads per week. Disgusting.

      • blackcatlover

        For years I followed a beautiful gelding who was a son of Unbridleds Song. He raced at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita for several trainers (even Richard Mandella who gave him lots of time between races) . He did okay but not stellar. He then started changing hands in So California thru private sale and wound up at Zia Park where he raced 2 or 3 times and “disappeared”. I can’t bear to think what probably heappened to this lovely horse. Could he have been bought to race in N.M. as it would be easy to send him to slaughter from there?

        • nu-fan

          I’ve had a similar situation. Followed a horse and when there was no evidence that he was still racing, I was able to track down the owner. He told me that he gave the horse to a friend in another state after the horse suffered a tendon injury. Do I believe him? I wish I could say yes but I have concerns about the horrible alternative. Just don’t know for certain. So, now, I have asked a trainer of another horse that I have been following to let the owners know that, should the day come when the horse no longer is able to race and in need of a home, to let me know. Perhaps, if owners cared enough and took the time to start a little “wait list” of potential homes, they wouldn’t have to resort to the other “option.” But, California does have a no slaughter act and it may be time to get the U.S. senators involved in making certain that this act is enforced. It’s always the squeaky wheel….

          • exracers

            nu-fan: The Jockey Club’s “Thoroughbred Connect” program

            ( )

            is designed to help people let owners know if they are interested in helping a horse.

          • nu-fan

            I did not know that. No one has ever mentioned this before. And, if I don’t know about it, I wonder how many others do not know about this service as well? Thank you! It, sometimes, seems as if one has to have been involved in the horseracing industry to get this kind of information. What would happen, I wonder, if this one bit of information was actually advertised in some form that is part of the general public’s world?

    • Stacey Jo White

      Unfortunate, your interpretation of this story. i think it is safe to say the vast majority, either don’t realize it’s happening or they are the one of thousands that are at B and C tracks breeding stock that should not be breed. What happened to Perfecting the Breed…

    • “Please go save all of them as well”? Rather snide. Are you against horses have good homes? Why are rules so hard for racetrackers – especially trainers – to follow?

    • Why don’t u carry your *** out to CA and help the Hoses???…DA…

  • Sold the Horse for ONE DOLLAR…He didn’t know where the Horse was headed…Didn’t even try to contact the rescue People???…BS…

    • Bonnie

      Ed Price is well known in the Mid-Atlantic racing community where he buys and sells horses all the time. His website is Ed sold the horse for one dollar. This case WILL come down to how “due diligence” is defined. “Ignorance” isn’t always bliss, Ed.

      • Stanley inman

        Any idea why all the focus on Eddie?
        None on the owner-breeder.
        This story is about a single person,
        And it ain’t Eddie price.

        • upstarthere

          Probably b/c Eddie was the one who sold the horse for one dollar. If you know Eddie how about you ask him how is was that he sold this horse for one dollar (!) to Phil Shirk (who many people identify as a “supplier to kill buyers”).

        • Jackie

          But he handled the transaction. And probably many, many others.

        • jim

          I hope this single person you’re talking about is this Shirk guy and not the owner-breeder. I have known the owner for 50 years and he would never ever harm any animal.

          • Pattycakes

            I agree. The owner-breeder has never knowingly sent a horse to slaughter in the past – 14 years? All of a sudden this is what happens? Do I smell a set-up? Tom McClay is an honorable and ethical man. He would never do that. Ever.

          • peterpaul

            LOL, are you kidding! THE OWNER IS RESPONSIBLE ACCORDING TO PENN”S RULES. I never heard of 1 owner having 7 trainers stabled at one race track, something sure smells here.

          • Pattycakes

            Please inform me of the names of the 7 trainers that you allude Tom McClay has at Penn National. By the way, there is nothing in horse racing rules that prevents any owner from having as many trainers as they want. What smells here is your baseless accusations and your lack of integrity to even put your real name to the ridiculous comments that you post under your little screen name.

          • PETERPAUL

            BEATTIE,BEATTIE,KULP.,CRANE,HOUGHTON,SALVAGGIO,ROJAS……..HE HAD OVER 7….PAPPADA……. its called ethics ,peachant(lol) get it!!

          • peterpaul

            hey Patty your a liar there is no licensee for Patty Lawrence!!!! Go back and find another name in state files! In your position should you really be posting? Be careful FBI is watching you! They know your the one.

          • Stanley inman

            I’m goin to bet
            Tom and Eddie are friends
            Which in our business is a polite way of saying
            They are business associates.
            Horses are economic assets
            Law refers to them as livestock
            Eddie was helping a friend
            Tom’s reputation for being “honorable”
            Led him to conceal his role;
            The story (IMO) is all about tom

          • Pattycakes

            How exactly did he conceal his role? And I believe that Mr. Price was an employee of Mr. McClay’s and not a “friend”. Due diligence is about a “reasonable” attempt – are we supposed to start doing background checks on all buyers of horses now?

      • Larry Ensor

        Fasig Tipton has always set the minimum acceptable bid for any horse sold at their Maryland or any of their sales above the prevailing slaughter price for as long as I can remember. At least 40 years. I have catalogs going back 30 years in storage to back my statement. I can also state this as fact because my father headed the company with John Finney. All reputable sales companies had/have this policy in place. What took place after the a horse passed through the ring unsold was beyond the sales companies control. I can tell you that my father made sure to the best of his ability that no kill buyers were allowed on the grounds to “conduct’ business.

        I have bought and sold horses to Ed Price from time to time over the past 20 years and all of our business were in numbers considerably higher then slaughter prices. I find it hard to believe that Ed would need to involve himself in such affairs to make a living. I will not comment on what took place with this horse because I have no or indirect knowledge. I am a member of the PHBA and IMO Ed was one of the most creditable members of the board. No disrespect to the other board members but unlike most he is like myself are “all in” where as this is what we do for a living not a side line or a hobby.

        • Jo

          Oh my God, seriously. How many horses these days, get ZERO bids at auction?
          Answer- Lots! Hip number after hip number at too many Reputable sale company horse auctions receive NO BID at all. I have seen this at yearling sales, and mixed sales…. ALWAYS TOO MANY IN CATALOGUES, NOT ENOUGH BUYERS…PLAIN AND SIMPLE… CARELESS OVER BREEDING feeds slaughter plants. Horsemen Benevolent Associations and members of Jockey Club MUST be held more responsible.

          • Kestrel

            You are so right, Jo, especially at sales like the Fasig-Tipton December Mixed sale. How many broodmares go through the ring and bring no bids, also horses of racing age that have shown nothing on the track? These are the horses that get sold for pittance or are given away back in the stable area, and often meet a less than desirable fate.

          • Larry Ensor

            Yes Jo seriously.

            But I do not disagree with your comments by and large. I am not a defender of present day Fasig Tipton management I have no affiliation other then family history and having worked for the company more 20 years ago. But in fairness it is not the sales companies responsibility to tell sellers whether their entry is going sell or not. But they do set an upset price for every sale they conduct. Most sales these day the upset price at open or mixed sales is $1,000 no bid will be excepted below that. They also have also upped the entry fee so that seller will not be tempted to use the sale as a dumping ground. So with a $1,000 entry fee, $1,000 minimum “reserve” plus associated sales expenses even if the horse sells for $2,500-$3,000 there is still a good chance the seller is going to owe someone more money. So, you would like to think hobby breeders which IMO these type of horses fall under would give a lot more thought in this day and age to the repercussions of their actions.

          • Roisin

            Well said ! The bottom line is too many individuals are pleading ignorance (difficult to believe !) in such cases and too many others are looking the other way. And of course, the breeding industry is out of control, one need just look at the OBS catalogues as one example.

    • twocorgis

      Pegs my BS meter, too.

  • Linds

    Nice Candace! Keep doing what you do!

  • Stacey Jo Whiteq

    A very important fact that needs to be understood by anyone involved is that the Canadian Slaughter Houses will indeed accept horses from the States and they do not discriminate. It is a fallacy that the Canadian Government will not accept Thoroughbreds from the U.S. if they are known to been treated with certain drugs. This is merely a “Good Faith” campaign. Proof positive is when a Adena Springs horse that they tried to save from the Slaughter House in Canada. The powers that be at Adena contacted the feedlot in Canada and provided all of the medication records for the horse from birth that included proof that the horse had received bute within the legal (Canadian) time frame …to no avail to try to save the horse. The Canadian Slaughter House still would not release the horse and it was eventually on a plate somewhere in Europe…it was an exhausting effort and very upsetting for Adena. They had done everything possible to grant this horse a fantastic life beyond the track. Once the horse was at the feedlot in Canada, it was over. Moral to the story- Stricter restrictions on horses passing through the borders including Canada and Mexico.

    • Richard C

      If the powerful, influential Adena can’t stop it in that one case….who can? That is perhaps the biggest tragedy of them all.

      • Stacey Jo White


    • Yes When we tracked Cactus Cafe and Canuki, the plant did return the horse after we provided the medical records. Mark Wedig, lost his license to race, is basically persona non grata on tracks. He was one of those middlemen, who would get a trailer load full, keep them at Barbarino training center in WV and then take them straight to Fred Bauer’s farm. Fred being one of the biggest kill buyers in the country. The plants stated at that point they would no longer accept TBs, we’ve seen an increase in TBs going to Mexico now, but they are still going to Canada. We rescued a flea bitten TB gelding little over one week ago from Sugarcreek auction from the kill pen, literally off of the truck, he’d already been loaded. Baker knew it was a TB, tattoo on his lip. Consigned by Muirhead Sales & Stables in MI. They knew the horse would go to slaughter too.

      • I have often ponder, Canuki had two agents step up for him, yet no one ever stepped up for Cactus Cafe. The two agents who stepped up for Canuki, didn’t care about Cactus Cafe. What makes one horse’s life more valuable than the other when it comes to being saved from slaughter. Both sound, both with prospects.

        • Yes, Jo-Claire, I agree with you. ALL horses deserve to have someone step up for them. However, in a business ruled by economics, many horses do NOT have a former owner/breeder/agent step up for them and those horses are often left behind. That is a sad commentary on the racing industry but keep in mind that the drugging of horses and the slaughtering of horses is part of the corporate culture in racing. For those TB’s that don’t have someone to step up financially for them, the racing industry needs to do so.

      • Faith

        My first OTTB was a beautiful gray mare Barbarino said to “get rid of” after she shattered her knee trying to win her last race for them. We moved her just hours ahead of Bauer’s arrival. Let’s put Barbarino and Bauer under more light here in WV and shut down their slimy conspiracy.

    • I met Ed Price 25 years ago. I have bought his horses, he has bought mares for me, advised me on breeding mares, performed mare care at his farm, foaled out mares, advised me about trainers, riders, breeding and horse care in general. We speak frequently about all things horse and I know hundreds of people in the horse business. Why havent i heard of these thousands of horses to slaughter? I can assure you he has an impeccable reputation as an agent and a horseman… I find myself agreeing with Mr Nord…. Are you ashamed to apply your name to these accusations.. You should be…….Now for the other negative comments on this site…Ed Price was the advocate most responsible for my re-entrance in the race horse game and my participation in the pennsylvania breeders program… His resignation is likely an attempt to shield the program from this negative publicity not an admission of guilt…What if he didnt know that Mr Shirk was a “killer” buyer..I didnt and my google search only produced this current situation..what if he was lied to about the plan for this horse ? Should he have hired a private investigator to follow him and for how long? …In my opinion 95% of the people in the game love the horses and the game in that order…Let me assure you Ed is not in the other 5%..try not to be so quick to judge with so little information….Mike Cox

      • upstarthere

        Since apparently you know Ed so well how about you pick the phone up and give him a call and get us the real story.

  • Horse for Course

    It is well known that if you sell a horse for $1 and it is not someone you have done due diligence on that the horse is going to get slaughtered. Unless you are brand new in racing, you know this. I have confidence Mr. Silver will do the right thing here and exercise Penn Nats property exclusion right for violation of the policy. Otherwise, it will send the wrong message and every horseman would simply have to say they sold the horse for $1.

    • Jo

      I didn’t know when I was brand new in racing that most went to slaughter. I wouldn’t have bought.

  • Ann Taylor

    to “Old Timer” (hiding real name): Your snarky comment only suggests that you support the underside of the slaughter issue. So you’re part of the problem & you participate? (My guess.) It’s a new day and time for old timers, lacking vision, commitment & compassion, to take leave. Amen.

  • Richard C

    Nobody ever knows nothin’ when selling a runner for a couple of bucks — all involved should never be able to hold a license anywhere in North America… the minimum.

  • caroline

    No excuses with TFH and New Vocations options available. I wonder what this horse’s injuries are, if any? Seems often the case that the horses most directly delivered to the pipeline are often those most hurt, and there is a reason (or two) for that.

    • You do realize how many horses New Vocations and other rescues turn down each and every day right? They are full etc etc… It is ONLY when someone is caught that suddenly every rescue in the nations claims that they would have helped.. It is a JOKE!

      • I agree with you on that.

      • This is only the tip of the iceberg. TFH IS accepting the ‘broken’ horses..the ones that should be humanely euthanized and they are sending them to re-homing facilities in Chester County to be resold to the unsuspecting public. Barb Luna has been made aware of this and several lawsuits have been filed agaisnt one of her re homing facilities yet no one seems to care. It IS important what happens to these is also important not to sell them to an unsuspecting public for a profit mere weeks after leaving the track.

        • Carol.. this is what needs to be done.. why anyone would sue Barb Luna for doing the humane thing for a horse that is going to end up in slaughter is beyond me. Tragic!!!

      • caroline

        You do know that it actually costs money to maintain horses, do you Mary? You seem to not really understand the concept of resource scarcity, which is pretty essential to the successful operation of not non profits but – you know – the world. Millions of dollars, apparently, cited above given to rescues? I Laugh. I Laugh. Hand me everyone else’s meds, please.

  • Where do people think all of the horses that leave Penn National and other races tracks end up at when they are no longer needed or wanted. How is this shocking? We have approximately 15,000 thoroughbreds that go to slaughter each year. This is one owner getting caught this one time… but the reality is that this is all too common. Going after the guilty one at a time might seem like a victory but later they will just make sure no one finds out. The racing industry needs to step up and assure that the athletes in this sport are protected and NOT leave it up to each owner/ trainer in this sport. Generally horses like Prince Michael have no where to go because the rescues that are supposed to help them are as corrupt as the industry that sends them off to die a torturous death. Where are all of the rescues that are given millions of dollars by this industry each and every year? Perhaps an investigation should be done on corrupt rescues that only take the best of the best and leave the horses that are in the most need to be sent off to die. I certainly do NOT consider that rescue. The industry needs to STOP supporting rescue that does not take in the horses that are in danger just because they are not 100% sound and adoptable. Shame on them ALL!!!!

    • I know of and work with a number of rescues. None of them are receiving “millions” of dollars from the industry. They scrape and scrimp for every dollar and expend time and energy and tears every day to rescue as many as possible with little or no recognition. Shame on you, Mary for condeming the many fine people who make this their life’s mission because there may be some who are less than reputable. I am tired of people who believe that their way is the only way. Anyone and everyone who saves a life is part of the solution. I can never say enough or appreciate enough the people who scour these sales to rescue the unfortunate creatures that land at New Holland and sales like it.

      • well where do you think all of the money that the racing industry donates is at? You must not know the right rescues.. people in racing, breeders etc are VERY generous .. their 990s each year show what they are getting. You should check them out.

        • upstarthere

          Since your very first post to this site you have done NOTHING but trash the industry and anyone who assists in the rehoming of a TB. You show NOTHING but your ignorance in every one of your posts because there is NO breed organization that does more for its horse than the Thoroughbred industry. If you even had a clue you would realize that and would turn your attention to the AQHA, the Arabians or even the TN Walkers. But keep on if you want, just know we all have you pegged.

          • You are so wrong, I love horse racing.. I don’t like the corrupt rescues that are not doing their job and I do believe the athletes in this industry should be protected. If you read what I said more carefully, what I am saying is that the industry IS doing ALOT but the rescues are not helping the horses as they should.. where is the money?

          • Db

            Mary, you are delusional. Please get back on your meds….

          • sadly I am far from delusional .. even those that have worked and volunteered for some of these rescues that take in big money from the racing and breeding industry will tell you that this is very much the truth. It is pathetic that you hide behind the initials Db lol

          • dcurtis

            Mary is speaking the truth, the rest of you need to take off your blindfolds.

          • Give me the names of the million dollar rescues and I will do my best to determine where the money went. In reality, rescues shouldn’t be needed at all. They exist only to clean up the messes made by others. The racing industry has never, and likely will never, truly protect the horses. The industry you ‘love’ produces 35,000 registered foals each year. Each year, according to the last FDA reports, some 17,000 Thoroughbreds are slaughtered. To be clear, you support an industry in which an amount of horses equal to one half of the annual foal crop is sent to slaughter yet you harp about rescues not doing enough. RESCUES didn’t cause this. Owners, vets, and trainers given the authority to dispose of horses, are responsible and should be held accountable. Until the industry breaks free of the drug, run and dump mentality nothing will change.

          • Do you know who saves most of the thoroughbreds in this sport from slaughter? The people in the industry. Where do you think the BIG rescues get all their money from? The people in the racing and breeding industry. Just like Jo-Claire just stated a moment ago.. they saved a horse thanks to Maggi Moss who is still one of the top owners in this country. What I am sick of are people that HATE her and people like her in this business but yet their hands are out to take their money. The bigger rescues will tell you if you call them where their MAIN donations come .. THE INDUSTRY!

            My problem is that the industry uses these rescues to make it seem as if they are doing SO SO MUCH to help the horses.. they give the money and turn away and as long as they APPEAR to be doing something to help, no one cares. Later we see horses that have little or no options going to slaughter and these same rescues could care less

          • upstarthere

            So how does it happen that you and Mary Adkins Matthews have the same rescue horse on your facebook page (given she says she rescued the horse)? Huh Mary?

          • I don’t know Joyce at all so I have no clue who she did or did not help

          • I haven’t posted any pictures of the horses I’ve directly or indirectly rescued. I think you meant to reply to someone else?

          • Joyce, I agree with you 100%. If people did the right thing, we wouldn’t need rescues.

      • Mary supports the slaughter of horses, thinks it’s a necessary evil

        • I am very much against horse slaughter and have saved many horses, Jo-Claire is against the racing industry and hates those that support the sport, lies and says they are pro-slaughter. Sad people like you have to lie to get your point across Jo. Shame on you!

          Although horse slaugher plants have now closed in the U.S.,horses are still being crowded into trucks, enduring long hours without food, water and rest, sometimes 24-36 hours and driven to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. Crammed onto crowded trailers with no regard for age, sex breed, condition or temperament. It is not uncommon for these animals to arrive at the plants dead or seriously injured. Many times, mares that are pregnant give birth and the foals are killed trying to stand and nurse. Foals are taken from pregnant mares when the mother is being slaughted and are thrown in a pile of trash and left to die. It is hard to hear but these are the facts. We do not use horses as a food source here in the United States and there are no regulations for our horses once they are sent to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered.

          “In its 2000 report on methods of Euthanasia, the American Veterinary Medical Association stated that the captive bolt gun should not be used on equines unless head restraint could be assured. This is because of the relatively narrow forehead of equines, their head shyness and the fact that the brain is set back further than in cattle for which the gun is intended. It is difficult for an operator to assure proper placement of the gun.”No slaughter house ever found a practical way to restrain the heads of the horses, so by the AVMA’s very definition, the process was not acceptable. The result was a very large number of ineffective stuns. These misplaced blows undoubtedly caused severe pain until a stunning or fatal blow was delivered. ”

          Many horses are slaughtered while still conscious due to these problems. Slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia.

          “The captive bolt is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, these animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected.”Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector

          In Mexico they are sometimes stabbed repeatedly in the neck many times with a Puntilla knife until paralyzed. In Canada they are many times shot with a 22 and this has proven to be non-effective and the horses are seen trying to stand after being shot.

          “Most people do not know the torture inflicted upon these intelligent horses. It is the ultimate betrayal to those which so trust and love us. Thoroughbreds are wonderful and amazing horses. Bred over the centuries for speed and strength, they are highly intelligent and sensitive horses who bond quickly to humans. It is this intelligence and bonding that makes them great race horses, but that bond is betrayed on the slaughterhouse floor.

          • Mary Matthews has repeatedly stated on many different occasions on Facebook and other websites, she believes slaughter is a necessary evil.

            US horses are under contract to go to EU approved plants and the method of slaughter is the penetrating captive bolt, not a punitilla knife, that is used in local plants, slaughtering local horses. So please get the information correct.

            I am against the people in the industry who send horses to slaughter, I work with people in the industry to help get horses saved. Let’s see we just saved a grey flea bitten TB from Sugarcreek on the 30th. I was there. When is the last time you were at Sugarcreek Mary, I was at Shipshewana on the 29th, when was the last time you were there? Mary when was the last time you negotiated with Baker to secure the release of a horse.

            Oh that’s right you haven’t because you’re afraid of horses.

            Who are you quoting Mary? You didn’t cite your source… plagiarize much?


            Here is the TB we rescued from Sugarcreek. We owe thanks to Maggie Moss and the Race Fund for supporting this “cause.”

          • Oh yeah lol you love Maggi Moss but hate me even though you want drugs removed from the industry … well guess what? Maggi is against the ban on Lasix so go figure. Why is she not your enemy? You need to do your homework or stop being a hypocrite Jo-Claire, it gets old!

          • I do like Maggi Moss, I believe that Maggi does the right thing for her horses. She is one of the good persons in the industry. I know her stance on the drug issue. While we may not agree on everything I do like her and respect her.

          • I like and respect Maggi, too. However, I don’t agree with the rampant use of drugs in racing. Maggi and I disagree on that but that doesn’t mean we can’t work together save horses lives.

          • That is a flat out lie.. I have never said such a thing.. NEVER.. In fact I was listed on the EWA web site as a member before you were.

            And I didn’t think this was a contest as to who has negotiated a deal to help a horse from slaughter even though I have done exactly that in the past. It is people like you that have other agendas other than the welfare of horses that actually hurt horses in the end. Even your good friend Mindy said that it is a joke that you are claiming that I am pro-slaughter. You KNOW that is a lie and it is disgusting to say such a thing.

            I never plagiarized anything.. my quotes are there and the rest are my own words .. you need to get a grip

      • I am not saying that EACH rescue gets millions but the racing and breeding industry is very generous and millions of dollars are given to many rescues to help support the retirement of thoroughbreds each year and yet we still have thousands shipped off to slaughter. If you check out a rescues 990s you an see their financials each year. The problem I see is that the rescues that get the most are NOT the ones that help the horses MOST in need. Instead you have smaller rescues going broke trying to save them and many time they get no support from anyone in this industry.

    • Jo

      The rescues that are given millions of dollars each year. Oh man! Rescues need funding so take race industry throwaways which aren’t adoptable after secret dealer to next secret …dealer…secret…dealer….killpen…slaughter house..secret pot luck dinner

      • Ms. Matthews, the people in the racing industry SHOULD save most of THEIR horses! To say otherwise is idiotic, at best. They are the ones that make the money on them and off them! We appreciate everything that Maggi Moss has done to help the horses of her industry and we have thanked her for that. Even though I am not a pro-racing enthusisast, I know there are some good people in racing and Maggi is one of them. However, to insinuate, Ms. Matthews that I, and others, have our hands out to take their money is not only untrue, but it is reprehensible. Maggi did offer some support but it is nobody’s business, including yours, how much was offered. Her help will NOT come close to covering this TB’s expenses. The horse’s feet are in bad shape and grain is falling out of the horse’s mouth plus the horse eats with a head tilt. If you had a grasp on what it takes to “save” a horse, you would know that a person must also consider the time it takes to pick the horse up and haul it to a safe place. That is the hard part. You also need to consider the wear and tear on your truck and trailer. I have said for years that sitting on your butt and writing a check or making a phone call is the easy part. The hard part is taking action. Next time there is a horse in need at SC, I’ll have someone reach out to you and you can jump in your truck and “save” the horse. How does that sound to you? Oh, I forgot, you don’t have a truck or trailer. However, we do agree on something. I am sick of you saying that I hate Maggi Moss. That is just another one of your lies. By the way, when I picked up the grey TB last Wednesday from SC, there was a little Standardbred that had been consigned that day. I spoke to Baker and he said that he would bid on the skinny, little horse on that Friday. Well, I bought the horse for $200 and I did NOT have my hand out for a donation. I got up off my butt and I picked the little mare up last night. She is in VERY rough shape. I don’t just talk the talk, but I walk the walk. If that makes you unhappy, then so be it.

        • You and I both know the truth Mary Johnson… you can deny things now that your hand is out but we both know how you really feel. Eventually everyone figures you out and I am sure Maggi Moss will too. I once begged a rescue to help a horse that you had “saved” but threatened to euthanize without even attempting to look for a home for him .. remember that Mary? You said you had to get him out of there FAST.. His name was Amigo Mio and he went to Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue in Florida .. even Jennifer Swanson hates you now. Anyone that deals with you for too long realizes what you are all about…. A USER that has HER own agenda. Your loyalty to those that help you doesn’t last long. You blame others for show boating and wanting pats on the back but it is really you that has that need… you were talking about yourself. Then I had to get a good friend to pick up Theycallmeadreamer because again you had “saved” him but he was not out of there fast enough as planned. Maybe you are in over your head but don’t stop whatever you do because you would lose those bragging rights you need so bad.

          • Mary Johnson doesn’t have the space to keep extra horses for very long. We took the gray horse but I already have a home for him. Mary has her own horses she has rescued over the years. She can hold a horse for a short period of time, but not longer. That’s called being responsible Mary Matthews. It’s called being there at a moments notice to pick up the horse to keep them safe and then moving them on to a rescue who can then work on training and finding them a home.

            Bragging rights Mary? You should talk. You didn’t donate any money for Cactus Cafe and Canuki, you didn’t do anything other than put the whole operation at risk. You aren’t on the ground finding the horses and picking them up. You sit at your run you finger off.

          • yea yea yea .. you are a broken record but it is not responsible to pick up a horse and keep it a few days or weeks in your barn and ship it off to let someone else worry about. And for the record, who cares about Canucki and Cactus Cafe, that is old news! … But thanks to you and your little group.. Maggi Moss was right, you put him out of business and he is now a full time kill buyer. I have saved more horses sitting at my computer without a trailer than you and Mary Johnson have with one, but again .. I am not looking for a pat on the back like you are… you just keep bringing it up over and over..ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh.. and everywhere I go online.. there you are attacking me with some nasty comment. I guess you are not as good of a person unless you attempt to bring others down.

          • He needed to be put out of business. Wedig sold the horses to slaughter. He shouldn’t have been allowed to race. And he is persona non grata now and is not allowed on any track. Mary you have no idea how many horses I have or have not rescued. See instead of just sitting at a computer, I have actually been on the ground saving horses. I’ve been doing that for over 10 years. You wouldn’t know which end of a horse to put a halter on let alone how to take care of one.

            Scum like Wedig should never be allowed near a track. Mary I couldn’t care less about you. You just happened to be on here when I came to read the article posting your gibberish again.

          • I ONLY know what you have told me Jo so unless you lied to me, I do know and have those old messages from you. Apparently you think telling lies again will make you appear to be more credible lol

          • Wedig has been a kill buyer for years. Even Ms. Moss can’t stand him. How long has Ms. Matthews been involved with horses? She knows nothing about them except what she learns on the internet. However, she does take excellent photos from a distance. Matthews is an idiot. It isn’t responsible to pick up a horse and save it’s life and keep it for 4 or 6 or 8 weeks and then ship it off to someone else to worry about? Matthews certainly doesn’t keep the horses she “saves”. Why does Matthews arrange to ship horses to Jen Swanson in Florida? That doesn’t sound responsible to me. Wait till I tell Jen. What a joker Matthews is. Jo-Claire, you know more about horses than Matthews could ever hope to know. You are also right about Matthews being clueless about the horses that you and I have helped over the years. Obviously, when a horse is “saved”, it has to be shipped by truck and trailer. Perhaps Matthews paints wings on the horses and they fly to their destination! Jo-Claire, we will continue to work together and let Matthews work with the kill buyer middleman, Mr. Mark Wedig.

          • Really, Ms. Matthews? You did contact Ms. Jennifer Swanson to take in Amigo Mio when we were FB friends but that is ALL we ever were. I sent Pure Thoughts a check for $500 when they accepted him into their program. I also gave them 2 weeks to auction off my condo and it generated about $1000 for their fund raising.I NEVER threatened to euthanize him and to say that I did is a lie. I do privately communicate with Ms. Swanson and I have privately communicated with Ms. Moss. I will privately message Ms. Swanson and ask her if she hates me. I’m not sure why she takes my money and updates me on horses that I have donated if she hates me so much. You have been caught in many lies so it is now time to stop the nonsense. Remember when you harassed Joe Deluca? I showed him your hateful posts and he said to either leave him alone or he would take legal action. Oh, yea, I forgot. You lied about him, too. You said that he was a liar and loved slaughter. By the way, your memory is a little foggy. You and Mindy Lovell asked me get involved with Theycallmeadreamer but, once I picked him up, you two seemed to disappear into the forest. i kept him for a month. I told BOTH of you girls that I couldn’t keep him for more than a short period of time. He was shippping to Florida but the shipper NEVER showed up. At that point, Jen Swanson stepped into the picture and took legal ownership of Dreamer and she arranged to have Ms. Vanness pick the horse up. I made it clear from the beginning that I couldn’t keep the horse. Obviously, you now have chosen to twist and spin the story.Why didn’t you take him and put him in your little backyard? Surely you could have raised some funding on FB, right? I also remember when you became good buddies with Mark Wedig. You said that you talked to him for hours at a time. What nonsense! Didn’t he offer to let you drive over to Mountaineer for a visit with Cactus and Canuki? We all laughed about your “big talk” but when it came time to visit the horses, you were “bad sick”. Of course, the horses were with him for 3 months but you must have been too busy to work that into your schedule. I have over 50 years experience with horses and have owned quite a few over the years. I think you have owned ONE for a few hours and you quickly donated that one to Old Friends. I have also heard you are afraid of horses but told me how you slept in your horse’s stall at OF when he recovered from an injury. Of course, I didn’t believe you but you do like to feel important. If you were such good buddies with the kill buyer middleman, why couldn’t you obtain Cactus and Canuki? Maybe you liked Wedig more than he liked you, right? Just to make myself clear to you who so enjoys twisting and spinning the truth and flat out lying. The horses that I “save” have a place to go when they come into my barn. I foster horses other than my own. My own will never leave my ownership. I will euthanize first before I let a horse fall into the wrong hands. It is easy for someone like yourself to sit on your butt and criticize me for taking responsibility for my animals. My record speaks for itself. You are just jealous because I have the resources to not only donate to rescues, but to bring horses into my barn for short periods of time. I am NOT a hoarder and I do know my limits and that is why I don’t collect horses. Both the grey TB and the little STB that I just rescued from SC have a place to go when they put on some weight. I’m sure with your vast horse experience (ha, ha) you know how important good feed is to these thin horses. You seem mighty unhappy with the way that I work to help horses. If you are so unhappy with me, then why don’t you show me how to do it better? Perhaps you could rescue one or two, as well. Right?

          • Jennifer Swanson helped you as a favor to me. I have the messages that I can show you proving it.. Be my guest and ask her and if she lies to you I will post all of my messages with her publicly on facebook.. I am DONE with the lies and the harassment. I post a comment on any story online even a racing one and there you all are attacking me.. it needs to stop now.

          • I never knew theycallmeadreamer.. that must have been Mindy that asked you to help him.. NOT me, but yes I did save his life because you were going to kill him until my friend picked him up

        • according to Jo-Claire.. you should not be worried about his feet, teeth and care.. she says she has a home for him.. let him new owner take care of his needs.. right? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

          • That is none of your concern, Ms. Matthews. The horse will be with me for awhile and I take care of all horses in my barn just like I did Cactus Cafe and Canuki.

          • Jo Said “Mary Johnson doesn’t have the space to keep extra horses for very long. We took the gray horse but I already have a home for him.”

          • Canucki’s breeder was more than willing to take him and give him a forever home in Kentucky but later I saw you trying to beg people for money to get him to a rescue in Texas and also for the transport… go figure. The man was hurt terribly that he was not able to help this poor horse that he bred and loved but instead donors paid for a LONG trip and care that was NOT needed when the breeder was willing to step up. Sad :(

  • nu-fan

    A BIG thanks to Cahdace and all of the others throughout the country who check these auctions for racehorses that are bound for slaughter! And, to Ed Price: Simply put, you didn’t do your due diligence regardless as to how it is defined–and you know it.

  • Peterpaul

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!! LET’S SEE IF THEY HOLD “THIS” OWNER RESPONSIBLE. Board members and the liking have long been allowed to slaughter horses, its the small trainers that get screwed. Selling a horse for $1 lol…death sentence…………….after all who wants to watch their hair fall out when the EPO starts withdraw

  • Horse sense

    I don’t understand why Mr. Price resigned his position when he stated that he wasn’t aware who Phil Shirk was. Something stinks here.

    • the horse never raced or worked out either

      • casereae

        what does that change?, the fact is that the horse was stabled at Penn National

        • It changes nothing.. I was just stating that it never raced or had a work out.

      • CluelessinOH

        You are really showing your ignorance! Do your research before you start with your “know it all attitude”

        • I was responding to Horse Sense.. nothing more lol

          • Db

            Who cares if he worked or ran….does that make him “not” a thoroughbred owned by this man ?

          • Yes it does matter to some.. it makes it even worse that this young horse never even ran a race or had a work out ended up in slaughter .

          • CluelessinOH

            Prince Michael official work out 7/23/12. Also Prince Michael was last on the backside of Penn the week before he was sold to Shirk.

          • right but on Equibase there are no official work outs.. I wonder what was wrong with him or was the poor boy just not fast enough?

          • Mary- just FYI for you- Equibase only shows recent workouts. (90 days, I think.) Once it gets past that point then they no longer show on the horse’s page.

          • Roisin

            Whether he was too slow or had a “problem” we do not know at this point and it is unimportant. However, what we do know and what is important, is that there are many, many others like him not lucky enough to meet a Candace Sheirer.This is a two faced industry and more and more I do not like being involved.

          • I agree… it shows how sinister the industry can be

          • CluelessinOH

            You can usually dig up works after they fall of Equibase or call the racing office. Prince Michael had a history of tying up only when he was in training and treated several times by vets while on the backside of Penn. Other than the tying up issues in training the horse is sound.

      • Why does it matter? I don’t care if it is an ancient, broken down old belgian or Zenyatta, no horse deserves to go thru the terror and pain associated with slaughter.

        • I agree. It doesn’t matter if the horse won $5 or $5 million, ran once or 100 times, is beautiful or not so much. They ALL deserve a good life and death with dignity. They are ALL just as worthy as Zenyatta.

          • Roisin

            Yes, and they are here because we humans bred them. They don’t just appear.

  • harry

    Penn National is so hypocritical in this anti-slaughter policy. Penn National owns Zia Park in New Mexico. New Mexico has just built a slaughter house in Roswell where the owners said they will slaughter at least 100 plus horses a day maybe more. Their was a court fight from opposition but the courts sided with the slaughter house owners. Where was Penn National opposition to this barbaric and inhumane practice?? No owners of any New Mexico race track at least in public made any statements opposing this brutal torture of horses including Penn National. Penn National has no problem with slaughter houses in New Mexico only what they find Grantsville,Pa. .What a bunch of hypocritical owners.

    • There has not been a court case heard yet. De los Santos filed suit against USDA for failure to issue a permit. To date they have not made it to court yet. USDA does not have the funds to pay for inspections and Sec Vilsack has asked congress to find another way to handle unwanted horses in this country. Everyone here needs to contact their Senators and Congressmen and ask them to co-sponsor the Safeguard Food Safety Exports (SAFE) Act, S. 541 & H.R. 1094.

    • crookedstick

      Dr. Leonard Blach, owner of Mine That Bird lives next door to Valley Meat in Roswell NM and was Expert Witness for horse slaughter for human consumption !

      • jo

        where did you get this fact? cant wait to see the movie all about mine that bird.

      • jo

        Valley meats, bunch of lowlife subhumans slaughtering anything with 4 legs.

  • anderson5999

    The Pennsylvania horse breeders group may indeed be donating money to racetrack rescues, but right in the upper echelon of their own organization was someone who sold a horse to a pretty well known supplier to a killer buyer. Perhaps in the future they should perform a little better “vetting out” process before electing people to these positions. Now they have egg on their faces.

  • blackcatlover

    Mr. Price, you are a disgrace! Glad that you immediately resigned. Mr McClay, would you please care to comment?

  • peterpaul

    Hate t0 destroy your cereal but all the horse rescues are able to send “un-retrainable horses to salughter, that dirty ugly secret out there. Its a filthy scandal, its a big tax breaak is what it amounts too.t look up who the largest sellers to the killers are……….plain black and white, but hey everybody has to make a buck , right?

    • Tax break? Even if what you say were true there is no tax break. Your lack of knowledge of how charities are run is apparent. However, I have met several people who run horse rescues (and I run one myself) and none of them would EVER send a horse to slaughter. Yes, horses are sometimes euthanized, but it’s done by a vet. If you know of a rescue that does send horses to slaughter, you should make that public as they would then lose their financial support and be closed. Innuendo and refusal to take action makes you no better than them.

      • peterpaul

        he Law > Donations and Deductions

        Horses and the Law

        Donations and Deductions

        10 Jan 2012, 7:51 AM


        Rulings handed down by the United States
        Tax Court are anything but easy reading. They’re usually long and
        complicated, and they frequently deal with obscure portions of the
        massive U.S. Tax Code that make sense to some tax attorneys and CPAs,
        but to almost no one else. Every now and then, though, a tax court
        decision has far-reaching implications.

        Van Dusen v. Commissioner is one of those cases.

        Anyone who volunteers for an animal rescue group that has IRS
        recognition as a charitable organization—it’s called 501(c)(3)
        status—should pay attention. The ruling doesn’t address horse rescues
        specifically, but the court’s reasoning might help reduce the financial
        burden of volunteering for your favorite equine charity.

        Jan Elizabeth Van Dusen is a California attorney who does a
        significant amount of volunteer work for Fix Our Ferals, a group whose
        charitable work involves trapping feral cats, neutering them, and then
        returning the animals to the wild. Van Dusen provided foster care in her
        home for many of the cats while they recovered from surgery. During
        2004, she had as many as 70 and 80 cats in her home, seven of which were
        pets. The rest were foster animals. She paid out-of-pocket for care of
        all the cats; expenses for the foster cats were not reimbursed by Fix
        Our Ferals.

        Anyone who fosters animals, from cats and dogs to horses, knows that
        these outlays can quickly amount to some serious money. When Van Dusen
        filed her federal tax return for 2004, she claimed a charitable
        deduction of more than $12,000 for non-reimbursed expenses attributed to
        a “cat rescue operation.” The Internal Revenue Service, not
        surprisingly, replied with a resounding “no.”

        The Law

        The IRS generally allows deductions for charitable contributions, with some important limitations:

        ● The recipient organization must be recognized as such by the IRS (the important 501(c)(3) designation).

        ● The donation can be money given directly to the organization, money
        placed in trust for the group, or non-reimbursed expenses incurred
        while performing a service.

        ● The donation cannot be the monetary value of a volunteer’s time.

        ● Donations will not be allowed without proper documentation.

        The IRS claimed that Van Dusen was an “independent cat rescue worker”
        whose efforts did not benefit Fix Our Ferals. The Tax Court disagreed,
        noting the Van Dusen had a “strong connection with Fix Our Ferals” and
        that she was a “regular volunteer who performed substantial services for
        the organization.”

        The Tax Court did not allow deductions for all of Van Dusen’s animal
        expenses. Because she could not separate the expenses for her pet cats
        from the foster cats, the Court calculated a percentage to be applied to
        the total outlays. The Court also allowed expenses under $250 based on
        Van Dusen’s receipts and canceled checks, but did not allow expenses of
        $250 or more because she did not have required acknowledgments from Fix
        Our Ferals.


        The Van Dusen ruling has important implications for anyone who
        volunteers with an animal rescue and who intends to deduct expenses
        incurred on behalf of the organization. The expenses may be deductible
        under certain circumstances. (It’s important to emphasize “may” because
        this isn’t legal advice and each volunteer’s situation is different.
        Anyone who intends to deduct non-reimbursed volunteer expenses should
        consult an attorney or accountant for guidance.)

        ● The animal rescue organization must have IRS recognition as a legitimate charity.

        ● The charitable work must be related to the mission of the organization.

        ● Proper and timely documentation of expenses is required. For
        expenses under $250, receipts or canceled checks might be sufficient.
        Contemporaneous letters from the organization documenting the donation
        always are better, and are required for expenses of $250 or more.

        ● There must be no reimbursement (money, goods, or services) from the organization.

        ● Expenses for the volunteer’s own animals should be maintained separately from expenses incurred for the organization.

        The IRS says that there are more than 1.5 million charitable
        organizations with 501(c)(3) status. A small number of those are animal
        rescue or welfare charities, and a smaller number still are horse
        rescues. The Tax Court ruling addressed one volunteer and a single
        animal welfare group, but the reasoning of the decision should apply
        across the board.

        Do you consider possible tax deductions when deciding whether to volunteer your services to an equine rescue?

        Also,just cross check, your local livestock buyers and do the research yourself.

        501c read about it
        Filed under: IRS • charity

        • Yes, rescues get tax breaks, but selling horses to slaughter has nothing to do with it. As I said, if you know of a rescue that does that you should report them. There are frauds out there who pretend to rescue horses – and they should be prosecuted for defrauding the public.

    • I know which one he speaks, however, they never show TBs on their website, because kill buyer Brian Moore doesn’t put them in the desperate pen which is then marketed as being loaded on the truck. Huge mark up on the horses, papers never sent to the buyers, horses very sick, lame, should have been put down, but weren’t.

      • Just so you know, AC4H very much does show and list thoroughbreds on their broker pages all of the time

        • Those arethe older ones… not straight from the track. The horses straight from the track go straight to the slaughter plant. New Holland is on Monday. They get the paperwork faxed in, get their paperwork back and pull out Monday night for canada.

  • Thank God for Deborah and Candace!!! There seems to be some BS floating around about responsibility for this stupid act….thanks to the ladies efforts to stay on top of the situation!!!

    • Kestrel

      Amen, Holly, I certainly applaud their efforts! Otherwise this colt might be in somebody’s hamburger today.

  • BerksBound

    Seriously… tracing the sale of race horses to slaughter is like watching back alley drug deals.

    Time to eliminate this barbaric trade in horse flesh. These animals have run their hearts out for us. Sending them into the horrors of transport, feedlot and inhumane killing in the slaughter pipeline is morally repugnant.

  • peterpaul

    I really wonder why Penn National is suddenly trying to clean their image? My money says it because that “non-existant” FBI probe is close to completion, too bad for them you can’t right prior wrongs…..funny……. Penn singled out McClay, isn’t it!!!! They threw him under the bus as they say, “BIG MAN” expendable…………looks like head honcho trying to save his own tail. Penn has had this policy for years and PLENTY OF PROOF WAS BROUGHT TO THEM, management IGNORED IT!

  • Thanks for this story Ray! You are doing a great job covering all sides of racing!

    • PR is doing a Hell of Job!!!…They report things DRF or Blood- Horse won’t touch…

      • Roisin

        Right on !! That is what good reporting is all about.

  • I used to do a lot of rescue at New Holland.Trainers simply bring the horse in and it is loaded straight into the kill buyer trailer or put directly in the kill pen so it doesn’t go thru the auction and nobody is the wiser……These assholes will find a way,there are to be an euthanasia system in place at the track to prevent it.

    • Amen…ty…

    • Jo

      Kinda like Ontario horses (mostly Standies) but also lots of Fort Erie track exiting TB that land at Olex, Carsons, Haggersville auction …Dunnville feedlot. Big Mystery?
      who drops em off there…before beautiful sightseeing trip to Quebec slaughter plants…
      WEG will be tested on their New Feb 2013 effective Horse Welfare policy…No Doubt
      All tracks should have and enforce no kill policies. If track operators and good horsepeople want respect from the public, then clean up the sport all around and get rid of the scumbags!

  • Brickyard

    For over 20 years, Ed Price bought all the horses at the Fasig-Tipton auctions in MD that went to the killers, until the auction co. put in minimum bids to prevent this. For ED PRICE to say he didn’t know the horse was going to the killer auction is ludicrous…he has probably sent thousands of horses there over the years.

    • Rick M Nord

      Why don’t you have GUTS enough to identify yourself and back up your libelous statement with facts? I could go online and make wild accusations about you without even knowing you and would put myself in a position to be sued for libel, much like you have done. I have known and partnered with Mr. Price for a good 30 yrs and no one is more respected in the industry than he is. Step up and identify yourself, don’t be a coward!!

      • PG

        Relax…tough guy

        • Rick M. Nord

          I am not a tough guy, thank you. What I don’t like are people who shoot off their mouth, especially making libelous statements, with no facts to back them up. Let me tell you, Mr. Price and myself in partnership as well as on his own, have done business here and around the world and have been very successful. Ed would not have been wasting his time handling killer horses to make a living. Again, “Mr. Brickyard” is a coward in hiding. Both you and Brickyard are affraid to use your names.

          • Roisin

            No, he was not making a living, per se, in the killing business but one can easily look the other and plead ignorance which is just as bad if not worse. In this business people know what others do and “I didn’t know” just does not hold water. I bet this is not the first time for all involved in this paticular incident. Who would have known about Prince Michael but for Candace Scheirer! Thank you Candace.

    • Larry Ensor

      This is a repeated post that some reason, user error I guess, it posted in reply to Bonnie instead of a reply to Brickyard.

      Fasig Tipton has always set the minimum acceptable bid for any horse sold at their Maryland or any of their sales above the prevailing slaughter price for as long as I can remember. At least 40 years. I have catalogs going back 30 years in storage to back my statement. I can also state this as fact because my father headed the company with John Finney. All reputable sales companies had/have this policy in place. What took place after the a horse passed through the ring unsold was beyond the sales companies control. I can tell you that my father made sure to the best of his ability that no kill buyers were allowed on the grounds to “conduct’ business.

      I have bought and sold horses to Ed Price from time to time over the past 20 years and all of our business were in numbers considerably higher then slaughter prices. I find it hard to believe that Ed would need to involve himself in such affairs to make a living. I will not comment on what took place with this horse because I have no or indirect knowledge. I am a member of the PHBA and IMO Ed was one of the most knowledgeable members of the board. No disrespect to the other board members but unlike most he is like myself are “all in” where as this is what we do for a living not a side line or a hobby.

    • I met Ed Price 25 years ago. I have bought his horses, he has bought mares for me, advised me on breeding mares, performed mare care at his farm, foaled out mares, advised me about trainers, riders, breeding and horse care in general. We speak frequently about all things horse and I know hundreds of people in the horse business. Why havent i heard of these thousands of horses to slaughter? I can assure you he has an impeccable reputation as an agent and a horseman… I find myself agreeing with Mr Nord…. Are you ashamed to apply your name to these accusations.. You should be…….Now for the other negative comments on this site………Ed Price was the advocate most responsible for my re-entrance in the race horse game and my participation in the pennsylvania breeders program… His resignation is likely an attempt to shield the program from this negative publicity not an admission of guilt…What if he didnt know that Mr Shirk was a “killer” buyer..I didnt and my google search only produced this current situation..what if he was lied to about the plan for this horse ? Should he have hired a private investigator to follow him and for how long? …In my opinion 95% of the people in the game love the horses and the game in that order…Let me assure you Ed is not in the other 5%….try not to be so quick to judge with so little information…. mike cox

      • Jim Robison, G&R Stables

        I haven’t known Ed as long as Tanya but I’ve had the same experiences with him that she’s had. Ed’s a friend of mine as well as my mentor. Almost everything I know about thoroughbreds I’ve learned from my experiences with Ed at sales, races, farms and long conversations. People who’ve come to this discussion to blame Ed for the ills of our little world don’t know him, if they did they couldn’t have slandered a man who’s trusted in an industry where there’s very little trust or honor. The amount of malice and hate and ignorance visited on Ed and Tom McClay makes me want nothing more to do with racing. If people want to “save” horses, god bless them, just leave Ed and Tom alone for without them and others like them there wouldn’t be any horses to “save.”

    • I met Ed Price 25 years ago. I have bought his horses, he has bought mares for me, advised me on breeding mares, performed mare care at his farm, foaled out mares, advised me about trainers, riders, breeding and horse care in general. We speak frequently about all things horse and I know hundreds of people in the horse business. Why havent i heard of these thousands of horses to slaughter? I can assure you he has an impeccable reputation as an agent and a horseman… I find myself agreeing with Mr Nord…. Are you ashamed to apply your name to these accusations.. You should be…….Now for the other negative comments on this site………Ed Price was the advocate most responsible for my re-entrance in the race horse game and my participation in the pennsylvania breeders program… His resignation is likely an attempt to shield the program from this negative publicity not an admission of guilt…What if he didnt know that Mr Shirk was a “killer” buyer..I didnt and my google search only produced this current situation..what if he was lied to about the plan for this horse ? Should he have hired a private investigator to follow him and for how long? …In my opinion 95% of the people in the game love the horses and the game in that order…Let me assure you Ed is not in the other 5%….try not to be so quick to judge with so little information……………

      • Bonnie

        Here the information that is know- Ed (a long time well known horse broker) SOLD THE HORSE FOR $1 to Phil (a long time well known horse broker to the killers)

        • Stanley inman

          (Oh, here you are)
          How is it u have no interest in Tom’s role?
          Isn’t that where your

  • Sandy Cooper

    If he wasn’t guilty of selling to a known buyer that supplied horses for slaughter, then he wouldn’t have resigned, and would have fought hard to make sure this never happens again, and to clear his own name. So therefor, I call “FOUL” on you Mr. Price!! Something is definitely amiss with your story!!

  • Noelle

    I hold Congress responsible for this.

    Many congressmen and senators, mine included, claim to support anti-slaughter/anti-transportation legislation. They get A+ ratings from the Humane Society and others for that support.

    But what do they actually do? As usual – NOTHING. The legislation they claim to support and care about never gets to the floor for a vote; it dies every session in committees controlled by pro-slaughter members. They all know it, all our “representatives,” they know their “co-sponsorship” of anti slaughter/anti-transportation legislation is entirely meaningless – just another Capitol Hill scam to get cash and votes from pro-animal voters, another way they can pretend to give a damn while doing nothing whatever to improve anything.

    Next time you read that your congressman has an excellent rating from the Humane Society or the ASPCA, just remember he got that rating for doing absolutely nothing helpful. It’s a joke.

    • So True…We do know congress is a BROKE JOKE!!!…Run by a bunch of self serving self centered *** ****…ty…

    • Hold your senators and congressmen accountable, the new bill, the SAFE Act, S 541 & HR 1094, needs co-sponsors. We have to push our representatives to get this bill out of committee and onto the floor!

    • 14151617

      There is a group that is selling Tee Shirts that say “Save a Horse Eat a Politician.”

  • ziggypop

    Pathetic, no appalling, behavior by those whom the horses depend upon. These animals are trained from day one to trust human beings and look what they get, a buck and they are dead. Sickening.

  • 14151617

    If there was no horse slaughter or transportation to slaughter within or out of the United States.Then the money that Rescues have could be used to help rehome horses and not having to buy horses from slaughter houses and kill buyers to rescue.Stop overbreeding and using slaughter as a disposal for their irresponsiblity and this conversation would not be needed today

  • Lots of talk, lots of banter, Ed Price has been referred to for over three decades as a kill buyer/seller/dealer, no real surprise there, yet the real problems are never addressed. 1.) Over-breeding. 2.) Drug Abuse on the racetrack limits second careers. 3.) No truly effective retirement plans are in place because the cost of keeping horses in good health [especially in this challenging economy] is a lot of money to most people. 4.) AAEP is pro-slaughter. So the question is, if over breeding is not reined in by Jockey Club, and cheats continue to abuse horses in an effort to win races, what then? Perhaps, veterinarians who make their living off of drugging thoroughbreds should offer humane euthanasia as an alternative to heinous slaughter. The simple fact of the matter is, breeders [I am a former one], and owners should be held responsible for the equine life they brought into this world. Lets talk about real world solutions to this issue…

    • The best track in the country for supporting their horses is Suffolks Downs, Sam Elliot has adopted a zero tolerance policy for breakdowns, they have the local practicing vets, track vets and state vets all working together to prevent a horse from racing when they should not.due to injuries, stress, etc. Plus they have a zero tolerance policy on slaughter. I rescued my TB after he was dumped by the trainer and was sold for 70.00 at an auction. I contacted Sam and that trainer is no longer allowed to race at Suffolks Downs. That is how it should be.

  • Rick M. Nord

    I just want to say that I have partnered with Mr. Price for at least 30 years. I have hever had a partner who was more respected, not only for his horse knowledge, but for his honesty and integrity than he is, rather in the country or any other country we sold to. Once a horse is sold, who knows where it might go.

    Now for horse slaughter, all the idiots activists out there have no clue of what’s happening to unwanted horses across the country. I have been involved with horses my entire life and am a horse lover, and have been exclusively with the TB’s for the last 40 yrs. The last 3-4 years I have had no calls for the purpose of buying horses, but many many calls of people trying to give away TB’s, with no success. In so many cases these are horses that have been starved to death or near death and this is far more inhumane than going to slaughter. Farther more, the individual stating that Mr. Price has bought horses for 20 yrs out of the Maryland Sale to go to slaughter, is very libelous and “Brickyard” should make himself known and back up his statement with facts or face the consequences. Get into the real world and see what’s happening. Some of these rescue farms are guilty of improper care of these rescue horse.
    This publication should be more vigilant in helping to clean up the deplorable drug abuse that has permiated our industry that is destroyed the integrity of the sport.

    Rick M. Nord
    Nord Thoroughbred, Inc.

    • Lin Bro

      You are clearly a liar. Anyone who sells a horse for a $1 knows exactly where it is going. There is no need for slaughter. You jackoffs in the TB industry need to stop breeding. Seventy per cent of TBs go to slaughter – most never make it to the track. Stop all your inbreeding and cruel nurse mare programs and go get a real job. Slaughterhouses won’t even take starving and thin horses – they dump those in the Texas desert. The abandoned horses in Texas are Mexican slaughterhouse castoffs. The answer is to stop breeding, find homes for retired TBs as trail buddies, and to provide euthanazia when needed.

      I am the guardian of Water Czar who raced in California. He is a love bug who was rescued from a feedlot where monsters like you leave them!

    • Jo

      “The last 3-4 years I have had no calls for the purpose of buying horses”…. Hello Breeders??

      Oh ya but that would be good old McClay and wait Mr.Price was right and YOU! There is a very clear reason as to why commercial TB Breeders/ Bigshot Jockey Club Board Directors do so well in such a long standing but troubled industry. THEY DISPOSE!!! I think after you

      being in the Biz for the last 40yrs+ you should have your own rescue well established. I’ve chased down a few meat buyers myself too in search of answers on my horses foals.Which

      I never bred, I might add. Actually, Adena Springs bred the 1st baby I’m talking about here.

      That one went to Quebec from Amish Dealer at auction …disgusting…Also,disgusting is Starved horses. Dreamers want the One in 10,000 Zenyatta that is born into this world. We know the odds of that.

    • Are you still breeding Rick? are you still registering foals with the Jockey Club? i’d harbor a guess the answer would be yes. If so you are part of the problem. Everyone in PA and other states know that Phil Shirk is a middleman for the kill buyers.

      • Rick

        I have not been a breeder for many years. What I have done in the industry was race for a few years, but primarily a bloodstock dealer. Bought breeding stock privately at the tracks and at sales to send on to the end users. Have not been a breeder since the late 70’s. It’s been a wonderful and successful run where I have done business with some great people.

        • Good to here, because people who are breeding now, when they still have the year before crop on the ground and haven’t been able to sell them, should not be dropping more foals.

    • Roisin

      Mr Nord you are pro slaughter. The drum beat of better than starvation is old and tired, it is a cop out. The problem lies with irresponsible breeding and the mentality that fits with a throw away society. In order for the horse industry to continue as is, there must be slaughter. This is becoming more and more unacceptable. Obviously, many in the industry, whether they are excellent horsemen or not, want the availability of slaughter because if it is not an option the industry will have to change.

      The drug problem is just one more manifestation of an industry out of control and one that will not survive in it’s current state.

      • Rick M. Nord

        I am pro slaughter when you see animals across the country brutally starving to death. In a perfect world this would not have to be a problem, but unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Nothing is more depressing than to see any animal standing until it can’t stand any longer and lay down and dies. Living in the heartland, you don’t have to travel around or read the papers to hear or see such incidents. Wouldn’t it be more humane to see that animal destroyed than suffer? Many people have noble ideals, but they don’t have the resouces to fulfill those ideals. It’s not an old and tired drum beat, it’s happening more and more everyday.

        • Roisin

          Mr Nord, as you well know, slaughter hast been available all along.So why were all these horses allowed to starve.? Why were they not sent to auction once the owner(s) realized they could not feed them ? The authorities will not step in until the horses are so neglected they are not fit for slaughter. No, Mr Nord some people or either shiftless, mentally challenged or just plain animal abusers. That type of individual will alway be with us and the abuse does not stop with horses.

          Horse slaughter is not about saving the starving horse from starvation and you know that !

        • Tell me Rick, what have you done when you’ve seen horses starving to death? Did you bother to file a police report? You refer to those who actually get involved with stopping the abuse of animals as ‘idiot activists’ yet you apparently stand around and do nothing when a sick or injured animal collapses and finally dies. Seriously, who’s the real idiot here. The same number of horses are being shipped to slaughter now as when the US plants were open yet some owners still prefer to starve their animals. Slaughter is not a solution.

        • Roisin

          Mr Nord, horse slaughter is not about saving the ” starving horse” from starvation, and you know it. Slaughter is and has been available so why are these horses not sent to auction before they are in such bad shape ? People who starve and abuse horses or other animals do not take advantage of alternatives even when these alternatives are readily available. We see this all the time. Those resbonsible for such atrocities will always be with us, unfortunately.

          No, horse slaughter is about enabling the industry to continue business as usual with a disposal system for all the unwaned horses at the various levels and stages of the industry. The glut of horses is the result of over breeding. Of course it is not a “perfect world” (another hackneyed cliche) but there is room for improvement, especially in the horse industry. And it will happen one way or another.

        • hoofandpick

          Rick, this is such a tired old argument that it has grandfather whiskers on it. Get with the program man. The ENTIRE reason you see starving horses is because these horse owners don’t sell their horses to slaughter. Slaughter has been available during and after the US slaughter houses closed.

          It is NOT humane to slaughter a horse Rick. It is inhumane.

          Starving horses are “happening more and more everyday” Rick because of the economy. I will say again, slaughter was and still is available for horse owners even after the US slaughter houses closed.

          Please tell us how many police reports you filed Rick when you saw starving horses as indicated by the reader below? Give us the police numbers so we can check them out.

          And, by the way, did you bother to offer the owners feed and hay to help their horses? Many of the non-racing public are doing just that Rick. So did you step up to the plate to help these horse owners?

          • Rick M. Nord

            First of all, I don’t stick my nose in other people’s business. I feel I can keep my nose in tact that way. Giving handouts to these people is like giving coke to an addict, the more they get, the more they want. I am not out to save the world, I’ll let all you do gooders take care of that for the rest of us.

          • Considering your attitude one would have to wonder how many of your horses ended up in a kill box.

          • hoofandpick

            Rick, those are in appropriate comments coming from a horse breeder. 1. Starving horses or other animals is illegal and there are anti-cruelty laws in every state of the US. You aren’t keeping your “nose intact” but not getting involved. You are doing a huge disservice to the animals that are starving. It is your duty and responsibility as a United States citizen to report starving horses or other farm animals to the police. It is your duty and responsibility to follow up and make sure that animal control and the police do their job to ensure the welfare of the animals. 2. Really, you call helping horse owners who can’t feed their horses because they lost their job or otherwise suffering from the downturn of the economy as “giving coke to an addict, the more they get, the more they want.” This is not true as we have been supplying hay and grain to those who have suffered from the economic downturn and these people are now back on their feet and able to care for their horses without our help. These are very cruel comments Rick that don’t reflect compassion or heart for the animals that have provided in part your livelihood over the years. Your last comment provides a clear understanding about your pro-slaughter stance.

          • Roisin

            Mr Nord, this discussion got started because a prominent and “well respected” person in the Thoroughbred industry sold a young, evidently sound horse for $1 to a person that is known to supply kill buyers and, sure enough,, the horse was found in the kill pen You have talked all around the issue, defending the person who sold the horse etc. I gather you have no problem with “well respected” horsemen hiding behind $1 sale in an attempt to disassociate themselves from sending a young healthy horse to slaughter.. Further, you say you want slaughter because of the huge numbers of “starving horses” you see. However, this horse was not starving. He was going to slaughter because it was the convienient method of disposal. He was not a “race horse”

            You should tell the truth and drop the mantra of the “starving horse”

            After all, you want people to stop hiding behind pseudonyms then you should stop hiding behind the “starving horses” and stop defending the indefensible.

            By the way, your use of the cliche,” do-gooders”, speaks volumes about how you operate in the world.

  • JLC

    Shame on those who have no thought for where these horses end up, and don’t even attempt the rescue pipeline. Kudos to those who rescued Prince Michael–THANK GOD one less in the kill house. He seems a sweetie, too–he can’t have known Candace very long, and look at him in that picture up there, all cuddled up to her. In the cases of many of these horses, the slaughter types ought to consider whether or not they’d do it to their dogs–similar personalities, even if the care of horses can be a lot more complicated. Big prayers for Prince Michael in that he finds a wonderful home. Horse hugs…

  • Alan Porter

    Like Rick Nord, I have know Ed for a considerable number of years, and I don’t know a better horseman. He’s the first person I turn to for advice whenever I have a problem with one of my “herd.” I’ve also bought and sold numerous broodmares and broodmares prospects with him, or from him, for myself and my clients, and would trust him and his word without question.

    Incidentally, the “herd” here consists of seven horses, six of them rescues, and two of them off-track thoroughbreds, and I served as a member of the board of New York Horse Rescue for a couple of years, so I have seen that side of the industry too.

  • runner

    What is the position of the National HBPA and the AQHA? I am being told the AQHA is pro slaughter houses and the division of the HBPA I race in danced around the issue like it was a cobra.

    • AQHA is very pro slaughter and supports the push to get slaughter houses opened back in the USA. That is why the largest number of horses going to slaughter are Quarter Horses.

  • Incidently the horse in this picture is a Penn National Horse and raced until she was 8 and her owners did the right thing, found her a great home when she did not want to run anymore. If you breed the horse race the horse you are responsible for the horse when it is time to stop. That is what a true horsemen does. You Mr. Price are not a horseman. Slaughter should not be an option for the horses that lined your pockets with all that money!!

  • Every one knows Phil Shirk sells to kill… it’s his major line of business. These trainers and owners have to be exposed for their complicity in sending these horses to slaughter



  • john thomas

    My question is. ?What are people going to do with the broken downs horse’s. They all can”t be saved. So what do you do with them. Dig a hole and put them down.I don’t know,but all the horse’s aren’t safe to give away. The key thing is, what happen’s to them ,when the person rescues them and does’t have the money to pay for feed or hay ,vet bill ect. It’s just a question!

    • fallbrook

      Are you assuming that most people who rescue these creatures don’t have any money to begin with? I started with one and over time had Six , yes at times it has been hard. I now have four . They do get old and sick and I do what I think is best for them, one was put down at age 19 due to cancer and the other old age . I have 4 and they range in ages from 16 to 32. When their time comes I will have them put down humanely .Oh and I have one who was injured racing she was not able to be ridden, but is a wonderful pasture ornament ! It would be kinder ti dig a hole for some of them instead of slaughter.

    • John, the humane thing to do is to euthanize them. The racing industry runs broken down horses all the time, especially at the low level tracks. There is NO excuse for handing off any horse for slaughter. NONE!

  • Rick M. Nord

    I placed a comment yesterday in defense of the unfounded accusations against Ed Price and it was up very shortly and then apparently removed. Let’s be fair and post all comments in fairness to the accused.

    • RayPaulick

      The comment was not deleted or moderated.

  • elkton stable

    As far as I am concerned the issue ended when the horse was transferred in its entirety to Mr Shirk. Going through a chain of custody in order to trace ownership linked to stabling at Penn National is ridiculous over regulation. Essentially Mr McClay and Mr Price are victims now for a horse that was sold bu them. The culpable party is the owner of the horse at the timr of sale. An analogy can be made in the selling of a horse to someone and that horse while under new ownership kicks and kills a stablehand. Is the previous owner liable? The answer is no. A sale is a transfer of ownership with all the rights and tesponsibility defined by ownership. Even with a stipulation at the time of sale, it is null and void if the horse is resold. This rulr imposed by Penn National intrudes on the rights of ownership even if it is well intended. Selling a horse directly to a killer when stabled on the grounds is one thing, living in terror for selling a horse that has an unforseeable future is quite another

    • They knew when they sold the horse to Shirk it was going to slaughter.

    • Go baby go

      Your analogy is stupid.

    • JockeysDream

      Google Phil Shirk, horse. Would you sell or give a horse to him if you had good intentions for the horse? In June 2011 Shirk bought several Star Barn mares in foal for a $1 in the parking lot of the Richie Miller sale from that assphat Paul Truitt. Many of those mares were sold for slaughter at the hands of Phil Shirk!
      Ed Price is the brother of Phil Price, one of the biggest horse dealers in the NE with a history of selling thoroughbreds at New Holland including private sales with contracted a kill buyer in the auction parking lot.

    • hoofandpick

      Are you pro-slaughter?

    • Roisin

      Yes indeed, it’s called passing the buck ! (no pun intended) Your kind reasoning is a joke if not scary.. Shame on anyone who would attempt tp hide behind a one dollar sale.

    • peterpaul

      thats the bull in Penn’s Rules. It strictly, shall we say ‘pay to play” who they regulate????? IT is the OWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY

  • fallbrook

    How old is Ed Price? His name is on papers on a mare I owned (she is buried behind my barn) He purchased her in 1985 at ” California October sale” for $3200. He sold her to friends of mine in 1986 for $5000. His address at that time was in Massachusetts. All I ever heard about him is that he bought and sold horses for resale. As far as the race tracks go in the past I have not found them to be very helpful. I had called Penn National to get some information on a horseI bought who had raced there , I was told it was privileged information and the samething happened when I called the Philadelphia race park looking for his half brother ” Indiantown”I know it was years ago when this happened , I have a feeling it hasn’t changed.

  • hoofandpick

    Here is another story about a race horse who was very much wanted but was slaughtered in Quebec despite their best efforts to get Backstreet Bully out.
    From the article:
    “You can’t kill that horse,” Stacie Clark, who works for the Stronach farm, recalled pleading with an abattoir official. It wasn’t just small amounts of these drugs that had once been given to the horse: 21 doses of nitrofurazone, which has been linked to cancer in humans, and at least 23 doses of bute, a drug linked to bone marrow disease.:

    This poor race horse was killed in the slaughter house and these unscruplous people still won’t say whether the toxic meat from this horse was sent overseas to be eaten by humans!
    Horse slaughter for human consumption is also a food SAFETY issue as many race horses are given drugs that are banned in food animals such as bute and nitrofurazone.

  • Larry Ensor

    To those who feel the people that make a living as “kill buyer” are cruel at least they have a vested interest in looking after the horse until the bullet. But since the domestic slaughter ban a whole new industry has come about. Most I would like to believe with good intentions but we know what road can be paved with those. And those that make a living by playing to the bleeding hearts. An industry that needs to be closely monitored with strict oversight. If the Paulick Report will allow the following is a link to the documented story of a filly we bred and sold and how she ended up 4 months after being given to “a good home”.

    • Sunny

      I feel you are 100% correct. Sometimes even the best of intentions can’t save a horse from the kill pen. I do not believe this is one of those cases, but it happens a lot. I can list a number of horses who were given to various “rescues” to be rehomed after their careers, only to later end up in local auctions in terrible condition.

    • Larry, I read the story …unfreakin’ believable…unfortunately, not surprising. Glad you got your girl back.

  • Tod Adamson

    Instead of moaning and growning, Does anyone have a solution that can avoid euthanization or slaughter of unwanted race horses? Is the elimination of ill bred horses the answer? Maybe if the JC registration fee was increased to $10,000.00, some breeders might have second thoughts.

    • Sunny

      Where would all the now unregistered TB’s go then? You’d have thousands that are bred in local markets not able to be registered and being dumped as trash, thousands of small farms out of business, a huge fallout economic impact to farriers, vets, employees etc. To say nothing of forcing thousands upon thousands of trainers into unemployment. Small breeders are not solely the problem, and most small breeders (who $10,000 reg fees would demolish) are highly invested in their stock and DO try to make sure they stay safe! Even the best of intentions doesn’t guarantee your babies are safe.

    • If a horse comes off the track and is lame for life, cannot have a second career and will be in pain for the rest of his or her life, then I have no problem with euthanasia. But tracks should adopt zero tolerance policy for breakdowns as well.

  • Horse sense

    Four reasons why horse racing at Penn National is in the toilet………..McErlean, Mostoller, Brown, and McClay.

    • Pattycakes

      Please elaborate on how Tom McClay has contributed to putting Penn National in the toilet as you claim. I know Mr. McClay has served on the HBPA Board for the past ten years. He does no without renumeration and without the thanks from fellow horsemen. His trainers that he uses are always told to treat his horses with the utmost care. Do you even know Tom McClay personally? For your post to have validity we need more detail and for that detail to be respected and accepted we need you to stop hiding behind your screen name and post your real name like someone with convictions would.

  • I rarely comment on this forum, but I have read threads here by people I know speaking badly of Ed Price that I feel compelled to join messrs. Rick Nord and Alan Porter, both of whom I know and respect, to say a few words in Ed’s defense. I’ve known Ed for 20-plus years, done business with him, socialized with him, visited his farm in PA, and have never found him to be anything but an honest—and knowledgeable—horseman. His horses on his farm are always in excellent condition, too.

    I’ve been in the newspaper/reporting business and know firsthand how stuff gets distorted down the chain. I spoke to Ed yesterday about this controversy, and I am sure that once the specific details of the bill of sale are made public his role in this matter will be seen in a different light.

    • JockeysDream

      Sid, as of yesterday morning Penn management were still waiting for Ed to produce the bill of sale. Why the delay? Why the hasty resignation? I have been contacted privately by others who have also known Ed Price for 20 plus years and their experiences have been quite the opposite from yours. No distortion of the facts going on here I can assure you and with all due respect I think you may be in for a rude awakening!

    • Kestrel

      He admitted selling the horse for $1 to Phil Shirk. How is this stuff getting distorted?

      • Oscetra

        Ed Price is the “Dale Baird” of Penn Nat’l. One way ticket to the truck.

  • Bruce

    Everybody in the racing industry knows that Price and McClay are top shelf. Always operating with class and running a first rate professional operations. These allegations are just like the recent failed FBI investigation, where the statutes ran out for lack of evidence. Bogus, unfounded, and a pointless witch hunt

    • JockeysDream

      No one is questioning how Price and McClay run their horses or care for them while racing. The concern is what happens to them after they can no longer race. How many other Prince Michaels have been sold to Shirk on a $1 bill of sale?

      • GB

        Hi Deb

  • The excuse is always the same, they didn’t know the horse was going to be sold for slaughter.

  • caroline

    Seeing lots of comments about “x” is a good horseman and does “y” and “z” for horses in some context and yet is a kill buyer. Understand – most “kill buyers” and dealers who direct horses to slaughter also run legitimate horse businesses of some sort and are typically (experienced) horsemen and horsewomen in some capacity; access to and knowledge of horses and the horse industry is crucial to being able to acquire and direct horses of (what is perceived as) no other value into the slaughter pipeline.

  • I don’t know Tom McClay personnally but I know he is a fair man and he is successful financially. Believe me he does not need the money to sell a horse to be retired, thus the $1.00 transaction. I do know that Ed Price has worked diligently for Tom and would never do anything to hurt one of Tom’s horses or to knowingly hurt Tom’s reputation. I know Ed Price to be honest and upfront in his dealings and he is a man of his word. I talked to Ed this morning and he feels terrible about this. I just want to remind everyone that this is America – innocent until proven guilty – I bet Ed will be vindicated.

    • Annie

      Agreed. Tom McClay is a good man. He does this as a hobby not as a profession. He would never put a horse in harms way. I can’t even believe the stuff people are writing on here and don’t even know the facts to the story. This story is absurd. As well as the people commenting on here.

    • Judge Judy

      Vindicated? He ADMITTED selling the horse to Phil Shirk! What’s he going to be vindicated FROM?

    • Ellen B

      McMahons said the same of Eddie Rystenbil and look where Princess Tiffany ended up!

  • peterpaul

    FOR A RULE TO BE A RULE , IT MUST PERTAIN TO EVERYBODY. THE OWNER IS THIS MATTER BEARS THE RESPONSIBILITY, PERIOD. McCLAY , STAND UP, take responsibility for you self. YOUR on the HBPA board which approves and contributes to these rules. YOUR not above the law , which P.N.G.I. made. YOUR lackey, Todd, makes phone calls to horsemen when this happens and threatens them with management, LET IT APPLY TO YOU, ALSO. WE will soon see this cesspool cleansing. Yet, evidence was presented to Penn’s management on the leading trainers at Penn, and NOTHING WAS DONE. IT SMELLS.

    • Pattycakes

      Mr. McClay is, always has and always will stand up for himself.
      PERIOD! The HBPA does not contribute in any way to rules and
      regulations that Penn National institutes at their race tracks.
      PERIOD! No one is above the law, agreed. I have no idea why you would
      post your little rant about Todd Mosteller and his purported influence
      with the horsemen and Penn National. Examples please! As far as the
      cesspool cleaning that you refer to – I have no idea what you are
      talking about. Please elaborate for us less fortunate to be on the
      inside of Penn National issues like you claim to be. Also, please
      identify yourself rather than hiding your screen name. Your comments
      will be received as more valid if you post your actual name. DO NOT

      • Kestrel

        Why don’t YOU publish your real name?

        • peterpaul

          Patty is part of the Den.

          They have destroyed Penn Racing, not the people that brought this corruption to light. Just wait till the public learns what happened there. From weight scandal’s that were”punished” , to horses being “held” going unpunished till Law Authorities questioned so call “stewards” on their inaction…………..yea Patty Cakes………………Patty Cake, patty cake……you can bake your boys a cake………..I hear a few of them lost a little weight worrying.

          • Pattycakes

            What do you have the intelligence of a 7 year old? You obviously lack the guts to stand behind ANYTHING that you post. You certainly do not have the fortitude to offer your real name. The FBI investigation that you often allude to in your rants is pure crap. Who are the two people that got arrested by the way? Please name them. You don’t have to come out from under your shell to do that.

        • Pattycakes

          My name is Patty Lawrence. I have known Tom McClay for the past 16 years. I have mucked stalls at Penn National and I have taken care of horses on my husband’s farm. Now Kestrel, it’s your turn to publish your name. If you are going to make comments, at least put your real name to them.

      • peterpaul

        The problem with identifying yourself in horse racing is called being blackballed . Everybody in the sport knows it occurs, And as far as Todd goes, YES, that is EXACTLY what Todd has done, did he contact McClay? Did he contact his trainer to purchase the horse back or he would forward to Racing Secretary, as he has done to others?

        We will soon see what a cesspool Penn was allowed to become by massive corruption. It’s amazing to me that the “Grand Jury” records from the past were subpoened by the Federal Bureau of Investigation! That is unheard of in law. So continue to believe your little” Den of Thieves” is above the law there at Penn. It has nothing to do with jealousness but fairness. And by the way, YES the horsemen’s group did have input into those rules. When management works “in the shadows” with individuals on teh backside< YES there's 1 year of research on this matter, WHEN YOU HAVE A Commission investigator lobbying to get people to vouch for a jockey that refuses to give his best efforts…..(its as if they have a private relationship)……….. YOU DESTROY RACING.

        • Pattycakes

          Let me try to help you with your name. You seem to have forgotten it. Are you David Wells or Paul Rudy?

          • peterpaul

            Pattycakes, i’m none of the above. Oh, i mean Patty, or maybe it’s TEENA!! Have i struck a nerve with you bringing up the jockey relationship? Well, maybe you should pay more attention to your job instead of sitting at your desk typing away and commenting on things you know nothing about. and make sure that the jockeys finish to the wire tonight. that would be a welcome change.

          • peterpaul

            What happened to Pattycakes……I mean Teena!! didnt she like the truth??

          • peterpaul

            We sure show favortism on this thread. Pattycakes can mention full names of people but when her name is mentioned the post is removed.

          • peterpaul

            Patty Lawrence? No such licensee, Tina

            Also, please wasting the state’s money while your working,time to do your job

  • Rick M Nord

    I just want to make a final post on this subject. This has denigrated to pro and anti-slaughter. My post was orignially put out to defend a person who is not only a long time friend, associate and a well respected person from charater assination.. Many of the comments about Mr. Price were inflammatory and in some cases libelous by some people who won’t even identify themselves. The fact will come out and I am confident Mr. Price will ultimately found blameless.

  • Nan

    I have known Tom McClay for 12 + years both in business and personally.. His fine character has always been apparent in every aspect of his life that I have witnessed. I have observed his passion for the horse racing industry and can not believe that he would be involved in anything that would bring shame on the industry or himself. I have been startled to read some of the comments here and trust that his excellent reputation will be upheld.

  • Charlestonbeach

    Tom McClay is an ethical man. He loves horses and would never harm any animal.

  • Mark

    I have known Tom for over 15 years, and what I have learned and appreciated about him is that he calls it fair and square, and looks out for those less well off. He would never do this, so something else is going on here. Lets not overreact, and prejudge here.

  • Rizzy

    It saddens me to see so many people “pile on” without facts or context. Tom McClay has been an exemplary leader and staunch advocate for the care of horses and the sport of horse racing. Unfortunately, unfounded allegations and mean spirited comments will not go away, long after his name is cleared. I have seen so many good people hurt by anonymous comments that are not based in fact.

  • Pattycakes

    I have known Mr. McClay for over 22 years. Mr. McClay was only three years old and a ward of the court in Philadelphia, PA when he was sent off to an orphan school – Milton Hershey School. Three years old. And when you are 18 they send you off with a suitcase and say – good luck! You are on your own. No one helped him. He didn’t inherit his money, he earned it through hard work and sacrifice

    I know for a fact that he has given thousands of dollars out of his own pocket for local charities such as Bethesda Mission (a homeless shelter in Harrisburg). And not only has he given money to support their mission but he has served dinner there.

    He also built a school for orphans in Nepal, India. And that cost him over a million dollars. Yeah, out of his own pocket. No tax breaks or federal grants – out of his own pocket. Go ahead. Google it.

    I also know for a fact that when New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was starting out that Mr. McClay gave them thousands of dollars. Out of his own pocket.

    • Face the Facts

      Mr. McClay contributed thousands of dollars to Mike Veon also……..I’m sure that was a worthwhile cause too. would someone refresh my memory as to where Mike Veon is now. Well Tom, at least you have stayed consistent with the company you keep, both in the political world and horse racing.

      • Pattycakes

        You realize Mike Veon was the single most important person in the state legislature for the passage of Act 71 – the Horse Race Development Fund. Every one involved in horse racing should give a thanks to Mr. McClay for helping to get this important piece of legislation become law in PA. Since you seem to know Mr. McClay why don’t you identify yourself? Don’t hide behind your little screen name. Tell me what you did to help horse racing continue to exist as a business in the state of PA.

        • Face the Facts

          Answer my question, where is Mike Veon now? He might have helped in the passage of Act 71 but only because his pockets were lined. You seem to look at these people with rose colored glasses. Horse racing is a filthy business especially at Penn National. Why?? Greed…..that’s why!! So Pattycakes just stay tuned, horse racing in Pa. will soon be reduced to rubble when the FEDS get done with them and it will be a direct result from all your great friends greed and a sick thirst for power.

          • Pattycakes

            Other than the ridiculous rant you just posted, why don’t you have the fortitude to identify yourself? People like you just love hiding behind screen names and acting like a big shot. Go on the record. Stand up for yourself! Name please! This is the last time that I will post a reply to you – Face the Facts – unless you reveal who you are. Your real name. Mr. McClay is at the race track most nights. Have you ever approached him to tell him your feelings about him? I’ll bet not. That would just show that you love hiding behind the screen name that protects cowards and punks like you.

          • Face the Facts

            Where is Mike Veon?? i’m not a big shot, i just know the truth about Penn National. and you are just another poor soul that most likely is manipulated by the likes of a Tom Mcclay. In due time we will know who has made the correct statement here on this thread. Good day.

          • Pattycakes

            Mike Veon is in jail. Since you say you know the truth about Penn National please share! You and your band of misfits continue to make stupid, baseless comments about what’s going to happen “in due time” at Penn National. Obviously, you are just another blow hard that knows nothing about the investigations at Penn National. Again, I request, have the guts to post your name with the crap you’ve been slinging on this web site. People like you are nothing but cowards and punks.

          • peterpaul

            lol. really P-a-t-t-y, The Investigation IS NOT OVER. THERE has been arrests, in fact that’s where the information is coming from. Funny how people with children and college bills coming “will talk” when faced with jail time. There has been a “major” player in the corruption that is “the mother load’ of information. People like retiring in peace, know what I mean ,P-A-T-T-Y just remember , they know who you are, if I am right in who you are. NOTHING worse than corrupt officials.Know what I mean? Don’t you just hate it, with your high moral values.
            Can you imagine racing officials talking at a industry function, asking people to “vouch” for a jockey not giving best efforts!!! Unreal for sure, the investigation is over.

          • PG

            Uh…ok “Pattycakes”

          • Pattycakes

            I already posted my real name on this site. How about yours? Or, are you just another one of those people that likes to make stupid comments on this web site.

    • peterpaul

      It is possibly a shame what racing has created in this this man then. We will soon learn of all the actions of this philanthropist, and how racing must brought out the dark in him. It’s a terrible reflection on racing at Penn. Just remember the FBI took down people of great wealth that had no reason for more money other than the thrill of winning. I hope it isn’t so, but as Mike Veon learned , nobody is above the law.

      • Pattycakes

        Please forward at least one of the actions that you seem to think you have that Tom McClay, the great philanthropist, has committed? It is a simple question my friend, and all you have to do is answer it. But I have a feeling, like all the other crap you post on this website that you won’t provide any facts. Again, more fantasy with your FBI crap, I see. Still asking for your real name. Not so knowledgeable all of a sudden, I see. I believe that if the FBI is coming for anyone at Penn National, they are coming for idiots like you. Again, simple question. Name ONE thing that Tom McClay has done.

  • Cam

    I am from central Canada and have known Ed for many years. I have purchased several horses from him and every business deal has been handled with professionalism and based on a lot of trust. It is unfortunate that this incident has received the negative “press” from the Paulick Report that it has. The tone of his articles always reflect his opinion, to which he is entitled, but when his words are so intentionally damaging, it crosses the line.

    The horse racing and breeding industries have come under a lot of scrutiny as of late, and most of us are working towards a solution to retiring and not shipping our athletes or breeding stock, but it isn’t easy. We have purchased horses for several thousands of dollars and gone on to give these horses away because we want them to have good homes. Not everyone can afford a purchase price, but they can still manage a good home. We have also had the flip-side happen, where we have given away horses to fellow breeders with the ‘good word’ that they will be looked after, only to find the horses near death 5 weeks later or missing in action all together. You can take someone’s word when you sell them a horse, but once that horse leaves your possession, you can’t be held responsible – all you can do is try to make it right.

    It seems that Ed and his owner are being ‘made an example’ of in Mr. Paulick’s Report, and in going back through several stories, several other individuals have had their names publicized in extremely negative lights. I can’t see any advantage for a racing manager, Vice President of a breeding executive, or a high profile owner to sell a horse for $1.00. These people are dealing with horses with values into the tens of thousands of dollars and more. There is no logic to this story. A dollar is not worth a reputation.

  • Bill

    I do not know anything about horses or horse racing…..I do know about people and their character. I have known Tom McClay for over 10 years. I have done business with him and become a friend. Tom is an ethical man and a man of strong moral fiber ie. he is a man of excellent character. The “heat” of these discussions indicate a great deal of emotion. That usually leads to finding the nearest person to whip up on so every one can pat themselves on the back and feel good. In my experience it is best to gather all the facts before making judgements and tearing someone down.

  • Tracy Wessner

    As a participant in the racing industry and a colleague to both Ed price and Tom macclay, I can attest that I have experienced nothing short of professionalism and respect to the sport. To knowingly jeopardize themselves in a manner such as this is preposterous. Ed works diligently to serve many aspects of the racing industry and strives to do his very best for all of us. He is an accomplished horseman who has the respect of people worldwide. This is an unfortunate situation that any of us in the industry could experience unintentionally.

  • Tara Jaeck

    Tom McClay is a man of strong character [one of the good guys] and a ruthless businessman – but NOT at the cost of the well being/unfair treatment of a horse. Step back, stop throwing accusations about his character.

  • Larry Ensor

    Shooting the messenger seems to have become more popular then deer hunting. Be it in this forum any forum in general. I see no difference between those that use an alias and a deer hunter. Neither has to look the deer in the eye when pulling the trigger. Though the noble hunter will track their wounded prey and reveal themselves face to face. They take responsibility for their actions of not delivering a clean shot and ending the suffering.

    The above metaphor, perhaps a poor one at that, is not only directed at the comments of those who have a peripheral understanding of what transpired. Most of which IMO have never owned a horse let alone a racehorse. But also to those that do or have owned one. To those who have not I certainly understand your anger and outrage. But character assassination is not justified with out due diligence. Which IMO has not been given to those involved. Just because the horse was sold for “$1” does not mean the “seller” could care less what happened after the fact. It is a legal necessity to bind a sale and purchase contract. Protecting the seller and the purchaser. The dollar doesn’t actually change “hands”. For those that don’t understand this I suggest a bit of education by reading up on the Uniform Commercial Code which applies to the sale of anything. Before putting fingers to key board and hitting send.

    Character assassination is nothing new in any profession, endeavor . Social media gives “mob mentality” a new meaning and is far more effective. There are no faces in the social media mob.

    A couple of years ago we gave/sold two untattooed 2 year olds to Kelsey Lafever. (a PR or internet search will explain) Horses that we bred,foaled and raise personally. Horses that I broke/started and trained personally. They were not regally bred but nor were they “nickel” breds. They just didn’t have the look nor talent that I felt justified sending them to the race track. Given the fact they were PA breds with more pedigree and “looks” then the average PA bred I could have sold them for several thousand or given them to an owner/trainer in hopes of getting a few thousand in breeders awards. But at their expense. Instead I thought I was “doing right by the horse”, a often used term I find a bit disingenuous, by “selling” them for $1 to a person who came well recommended to carry on their schooling and resell as pleasure/sport horses. Had these horses been tattooed they may have ended up being part of “her story” and we would have been vilified. The same that is being done now. But this is nothing new to me I have been made guilty by association in the past especially when I lived in Lexington KY.

    Nature of the beast.

    I will admit that I have been party to the not so “noble hunter” that I started this dissertation with. That being the direct or not owner of horses that I, or clients were happy, relieved to “give” a away so as to stop the “bleeding” with no questions asked. One of my earlier posts gave a link to what happens with this “doing right by the horse” mind set. The same that owners who “dump” their horses on the “Canters” of the industry so they can sleep well at night. If they have that much conscience.

    Like many we offer a re-schooling program at a fraction of the cost of keeping a horse in training at the track but very few takers. Even by partners. Some of which are given far more credibly within the industry then they deserve.

    That fact of the matter is the sport of racing is a game of numbers. The average horse is lucky to break it’s maiden let along pay its way. Everyone loves a hero from humble beginnings and owned by a Funny Cide partnership. Happy endings for all. But that’s the exception not the norm. Before social media the industry could hide its’ “dirty little secrets” as Ray pointed out in Q&A Racing’s Future. What the industry has to get a handle on is/will this be acceptable in this day and age? The fact that nobody with a “name” within the industry has yet to comment on this forum or any other that I have read be it good, bad or indifferent speaks for its self.

    In all fairness given the fact that the industry as a whole or in its parts, breeding, racing, ownership, though TOBA seems to think it represents something, has no address to drop a letter/note in the suggestion/complaint box makes it difficult for someone to step up to the plate. Let alone an entity that has the will and or authority to take action and protect the image and name of the sport. For people who have made it their life’s passion and livelihood. Most of which you’ve never heard of and most likely never will. But that’s not to say that we don’t have integrity nor compassion for what we do. The majority of us that do what we do for a living and make it our life’s work do not do it for the money. No rational capitalist would.

  • whisperer

    What about the trainers at Penn National who knowingly sell a horse with an injury that should have ended a racing career to a new owner intending to race the horse (and not telling buyer that the horse had this pre-existing injury)Then leaving the new owner with the horse that is not even able to ridden as a how horse. Easy way out for scum trainers.

    • RahvinesSong

      Such as David Wells Charlie DeMario and owner Mark Bliss. Its time Penn really cleaned house!

      • venus

        I bought two horses from a trainer at Penn with her knowing i wanted to run the horse then find out after paying $4000.00 tha the horse can do nothing because he has a serious issue with his knee which vet determined to be a couple years old. So apparently the horses was running on drugs.

  • NW

    I’m sorry if Tom Mcclay did not know of this I believe him!
    He is a man filled with honesty and integrity and most of all HEART for horses and their sport!
    People, there are always more sides to a story that never get heard!
    Don’t push allegations by assumptions, it make an a..s of U and an innocent man!

  • Addy Mack

    For as long as I’ve known Tom McClay, he has been an avid horseman that I have learned so much from. His success in this business is a strong measurement of how passionate he is, and how much he wishes to carry on. I sincerely hope the outcome of this event reflects his passion and we can move forward.

    • Roisin

      While what you said may be true, this is not the issue here. His horse was sold for $1.00 and to a known supplier of kill buyers. Had the horse not been rescued none would have been the wiser.. People in the business know what others in the business do word gets out on the back stretch. To reiterate, the issue is not his passion and success, it is his horse sold to a known supplier of kill buyers. And sure enough the horse was found in the slaughter pipe line.This is against the track policy.

  • Burton

    Wow, all of a sudden there seems to be a glut of McClay-Price support postings … sort of like rallying the troops, eh?

  • Lon Tschetter

    I have known Tom McClay for more than 10 years and I freely admit that I
    know very little about the inner dealings of the horse racing industry
    — but I don’t have to know anything to offer my support for Tom and
    vouch for his moral character and his passion for horse racing. I’ve
    learned from being around Tom for many years, that his love of horses
    stems largely from his daughter’s love of horses — the daughter that he
    lost in a car accident more than 10 years ago. It is inconceivable
    that Tom would do anything that might cause harm to ANY horse. And just a side observation after
    reading through this lengthy thread … it seems that some of the most
    vile comments are coming from those who obviously have nothing but
    contempt for race horse owners in general anyway. So now, Tom becomes
    an easy punching bag for those who can’t resist piling on using fake

  • Donna

    Tom McClay is one of the nicest, most down to earth, generous people you will ever meet. for someone to unjustly accuse him of such wrongdoing is simply preposterous.

  • norman

    I also have know ed price for years and he has always seem like a snake, as for McClay I have talked to him. Just beacause you are a horse owner, doesn’t mean you know what is going on in the horse business. I would be shocked if mcClay knew the difference between a saddle and bit.

  • Larry Ensor

    In light of recent conversations and some research of my own I think Mr. Price has some explaining to do. I retract my earlier support for the time being.

  • freewill72

    This is the first I’ve heard of this story, and I don’t know the people involved, so I’ll reserve judgment. That said, though, a lot of the things reported seem awfully peculiar. Why do the stated upstanding owner and his representative know such a shady dealer as Phil Shirk (him, I’ll judge based on a preponderance of evidence already established)? Who sells a horse to such a dealer for $1? Why was the horse never raced, and if it was for a medical reason, why turn him over to a “kill buyer” instead of finding a more humane, human solution? And why was New Vocations avoided for care of the horse or a safe home?

    The only person I’m acquainted with is Mr. Silver, and I know him good enough that he would have done whatever was necessary to make sure this horse never made it to a “kill buyer”. I’m hopeful this is just an isolated incident, and that the reputations of Mr. Price and Mr. McClay will bear out this as being a rare misstep. And yet, without judging them, the questions I pointed out earlier are serious and nagging. I hope they have some mighty fine answers to give. Racing has to evolve with the times; I just hope the “old way of doing business” doesn’t drag skeletons out of the closet for anyone.

  • Longtime groom

    I was a groom years ago and it was common to send the cripples on the killer van driven by the security gaurd on his day off, i would give them some extra sweet feed pet them and say good by, usually crying i would ask why not give them away to a good home or just put them down and save them from the killer pen, and they would say the owner does not want to pay day rate for a horse that cant win and i need the stall anyway. McClay and all owners know were their horses are going, when you hire a middle man to do your dirty work your just as much a piece as crap as him. Is ed price related to phill price? Well phill price has been to more killer auctions than tom McClay has had trainers. I bummed a ride from Phil once back to new england and he told me he had to stop at few farms, well one was a killer pen in foxborough ma . it was like being in hell for horses, ill never forget it worse thing i ever saw. Maybe McClay should visit one of these places & maybe he’ll think twice about shady middle men.

  • crookedstick

    Now we have the owner of a Kentucky Derby winner testifying on behalf of Valley Meat, horse slaughter for human consumption ! What next?

  • Joey Meyer

    Penn National is the culprit in the demise of such horses and should shoulder most of the blame! I ship in to race at PN and the receiving barn stalls and shedrow will cripple more horses than the folks that the association are trying to roll under the bus… Hollywood racinos want nothing to do with racing and offer the worst accommodations I’ve experienced. The racing associations should pick up the tab…

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