Category Archives: horse

Day of the Horse


December 13, 2013 is National Day of the Horse here in the United States. It should be a day to take time to recognize how much we owe to the horse and how much of our history has been changed because of them. Yet it is remarkably difficult to get politicians around the country to acknowledge this.

The horse in the photo above is Sergeant Reckless, a horse who served with the United States Marines during the Korean War. Since horses are prey animals, you would expect them to flee from danger. Not this mare. She carried ammo to marines so they could continue their fight and she carried the wounded back to safety. Even being wounded twice did not stop her. For more info, There have been thousands of horses who served bravely throughout history but most of their names are long forgotten.


The United States government in general and BLM in particular seem to have forgotten that horses can be invaluable assets and symbols of freedom. Now they are considered a nuisance, especially if they interfere with cattle grazing on federal lands. The BLM has rounded up most of the wild mustangs, on the pretext that they are overpopulated. No one at the BLM has explained HOW they could become overpopulated by such large numbers. If the mustangs didn’t have the food and water to survive, they would be dead. These are wild horses, not domestic horses who are fed and watered by people. The ugly truth is that the BLM gets money by selling grazing permits to ranchers and the mustangs are getting in the way. So the BLM rounds up the mustangs, using helicopters among other things, to make room for more cattle. This can be done at any time that BLM chooses and they seem to prefer foaling season. (Ladies, imagine that you have just given birth when someone starts chasing you through the desert with a helicopter so your only option is to run for your life). Needless to say, this is very dangerous for mares who have just given birth and a newborn foal cannot run fast enough to keep up with its mother while she’s galloping full speed for miles. The mustangs that survive the round ups are taken to holding facilities and kept there at tax payer expense. Some of the ranchers get paid to keep the mustangs on their property while their cattle are grazing on federal lands. If the mustangs become too much trouble, some of them can easily be shipped off to the nearest equine slaughter house. The ranchers win. The mustangs lose.


Horses can do things that seem impossible and make it look easy. They have the determination and the heart to go above and beyond to the next level. Even this is not always enough, especially in the Sport of Kings. Every racehorse owner hopes their horse will be the next Secretariat. His record still stands but thousands of Thoroughbreds have been destroyed chasing that dream. Some start out with big wins but most end their days as the low level claimers that keep the racing industry running. What happens to them when they can no longer race isn’t always known to the general public. Some of them go on to new careers. Others are not so fortunate. Every year thousands of Thoroughbreds are shipped off by callous owners looking to make a few hundred dollars off a horse that may have won them thousands. Those horses are sold to kill buyers and sent to be slaughtered for food. A typical racehorse is so full of drugs and hormones that the meat would be a health hazard so everybody lies. The kill buyers fill out forms with false information to make sure the slaughterhouse will accept the horse. The plants deliberately test for drug residue in parts of the carcass where they know they will not find any and the meat is sold to consumers in foreign countries.

All of this must stop but the politicians have yet to pass any laws that would correct the problems. America’s wild mustangs should be returned to the wild to roam free. The round ups should be permanently stopped. The SAFE Act should be passed. No horses should be slaughtered in the United States or exported for slaughter in foreign countries. Horses have done so much to inspire us to do greater things and help us in times of dire need. Their service should not be repaid with treachery.



Posted by on December 13, 2013 in equine welfare, horse, Horse Slaughter


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Backstreet Bully


Yet another so-called “unwanted” horse who lost his life in the kill box at a slaughterhouse. The maddening part about it is that this horse was very much wanted. Numerous people tried to save him from the kill auction and later from the slaughterhouse itself. Adena Springs wanted him back and he had a safe home waiting for him. His breeder was willing to do the right thing for him. He was NEVER intended to be sold for slaughter. He was, in fact, completely unfit to be slaughtered for human consumption. As a former racehorse, this Thoroughbred had been given Phenylbutazone and other drugs during his life. That alone should have disqualified him for slaughter. The tattoo on the inside of his upper lip proved his identity. The slaughterhouse was provided with copies of his drug history. They did not care. They killed him anyway. What happened to the meat from his carcass remains open for debate.

An investigation has begun but officials from LPN (Les Viandes de la Petit Nation) in Canada aren’t revealing much to the public. Not every carcass is even tested for drug residues so there is no guarantee that Backstreet Bully’s remains were examined. If they were tested, it’s quite simple for the plant to get a negative test result from a carcass of a horse that was given Bute. They pull test samples from the fat tissue, knowing full well that Bute is deposited in the muscle tissue and not in the fat. The kidneys, which show the highest concentration in horses dosed with Bute, are typically not tested because they aren’t sold as food. It would be nice to know which parts of Backstreet Bully were tested after they had finished butchering him…

Part of his story can be found in a recent article in the Toronto Star. (Link provided below). The following is a first-hand account from Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds, one of the people who tried to save his life:

“Many of you have read the article on the front page of the Toronto Star about Backstreet Bully. He HAS had the last word and although it will never bring him back, he represents a drop in the bucket of the many horses that head to slaughter that clearly illustrate the massive flaws in the horse slaughter industry. I stood on that catwalk at OLEX that day asking Jonathon Lalonde to buy that horse. He refused – he claimed he was “meat only”. I did not believe that so I asked again. He repeated the same thing. That designation was never made on that horse and that has been proven. He lied. He was quickly backed up by Tracey Thompson-Hoogeveen that runs NYNE and promotes the sale of his so called meat horses. She also heard him state that as she was standing there as well. She also claimed she saw it written on the EID or kill sheet as it is commonly known. It was not. She repeated it numerous times. I was not the only one that heard her make these claims. I did not believe a word of it. Tracey also knew that there was a very good chance that I could identify that horse and have his drug records produced clearly indicating he was not eligible for slaughter. She knew because I told her that point blank and then I asked her what she thought would happen should that be the case. She did nothing but stand behind her lie. Did both Jonathon and Tracey know that racehorses are in general not eligible for slaughter due to the excessive drug use? Yes, they did but “they all do it” as in send them to slaughter regardless. There was ample opportunity to stop it. He could have been pulled off that truck in Ottawa along with the other horses she was intending to broker for him on NYNE. If things went true to form, he would have off loaded along with all the others and then re-loaded to head to the plant. It could have been stopped – easily. It was not. He was “just a horse” and the thoroughbred people that love and admire these horses and fight for them so much are “just a joke”. I kept trying. My calls and messages to both of them were ignored – she was “too busy”. Backstreet Bully never won the Queen’s Plate or the Kentucky Derby, nor did he make millions of dollars on the track, in fact only a few thousand but it did not matter to those of us that fought to save his life up until the very end. He was NOT “just a horse” in our eyes and he is only one of many. To add further insult to injury, we asked to have his halter returned – the leather halter with the brass nameplate on it reading Backstreet Bully and that simple request has never been honoured.”

–Mindy Lovell

Transitions Thoroughbreds

What was done to this horse and many others before him is an absolute outrage. He was unfit for slaughter and everyone involved in the process knew this but did not care. It makes no difference to them if the meat is filled with toxic drug residues. They aren’t going to eat it. They will sell it to the unsuspecting Europeans. LPN actually claims that it can trace the animals it slaughters from the farm up to the time they arrive at the plant. That makes very little sense considering the fact that they kill hundreds of thousands of horses from the United States where horses are not raised for food. I highly doubt there are too many farms breeding horses specifically for slaughter in Canada either. They are killing Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and thousands of other horses used in competitive disciplines. Drug use in racing and other equine competitions is standard practice for many owners and trainers. Many of the drugs and other substances that have been banned for use in animals intended for human consumption are used on a daily basis at racetracks and elsewhere. That is the last type of meat anyone in their right mind would choose to eat. If the consumers had any idea what was really in their horse meat, they might lose their appetites…

There was NO reason for Backstreet Bully to die. He had a home waiting for him and years of life left in him. He had numerous people trying desperately to save his life. Those involved in the horse slaughter industry refused to allow anyone to save Backstreet Bully. The auctioneer ignored Mindy Lovell when she attempted to bid on the horse at the Ontario Livestock Exchange auction (OLEX). The kill buyer who did buy him falsely claimed the horse was sold as “meat only” and one official at the auction mentioned that the auction might decide to designate all the Thoroughbreds as “meat only” at the sale. That would mean that only kill buyers would be able to buy them. Private individuals and equine rescues would be unable to bid on them. Quite ironic. The equine advocates are actually trying to help by taking the unfit horses out of the food chain and instead of gratitude, they get nothing but attitude from the auction all the way to the slaughterhouses.

As a final insult, LPN has refused to return Backstreet Bully’s leather halter with the brass plate bearing his name to his breeder. It is difficult to imagine what use they could possibly have for his halter at the slaughterhouse. Why not return it? Perhaps because it is a tangible piece of evidence? Proof that he was slaughtered there. Proof that LPN took the life of yet another Thoroughbred racehorse even though they had proof the horse was not fit for human consumption. The truth of what happened to his carcass will come out sooner or later as the investigation continues. The horse slaughter industry is all about the money. If it is proven that Backstreet Bully was slaughtered for human consumption despite being given Phenylbutazone, it may cost those involved in this nightmare far more than they ever imagined.

Link to the Toronto Star article:


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There is No Humane Way to Slaughter a Horse

This has to stop–everywhere. There is no humane way to slaughter a horse. Period.

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

By Jason Farrell, Sky Correspondent

Sky News has uncovered shocking animal welfare conditions at a UK horse abbatoir.

They include animals being beaten, neglected and illegal procedures in the process of slaughtering British horses for European food markets.

It comes amid public anger that some of our biggest supermarkets have been selling beef burgers and other products that contain horse meat.

Sky News visited the Red Lion Abbatoir near Nantwich in Cheshire after concerns were raised by Animal Welfare Group Hillside Animal Sanctuary.

Investigators at Hillside fitted secret cameras which filmed horses being beaten with an iron road to encourage them into the pens.

British abbatoirSome were then crammed into the slaughter pens in pairs and, on one occasion, a group of three, before being stunned together.

Please continue reading here.

Warning: Very disturbing content.

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Broken Promises: Regalian


This is a missing Thoroughbred mare named Regalian. She is registered with the Jockey Club. Her tattoo number is C17345. Her former owner is desperately seeking any information about her. On February 11th, 2012, she was placed at a farm that claimed to be a foster farm for a reputable equine rescue. She retired from being a broodmare. It was understood that she would only leave with a signed adoption contract and be placed in a safe, new home. Unfortunately, all the information available now points in the opposite direction. Regalian and two other horses were offered for FREE on Craig’s List with no mention of any adoption contract.

From her posting on Net Posse a.k.a Stolen Horse International:

“Regalian – Chestnut TB Mare (tattoed) – was sent to an individual in Milton, Florida, with the understanding that mare would be in a satellite foster program under a rescue in Georgia. The owner had to reduce the herd due to health reasons, and this was one of the last horses that needed to be placed. It was understood that she would be adopted out with a contract under the GA Rescue, and so there was no reason to be concerned that the mare would be sold or sent to an unsuitable home. Stacy later learned the mare had not been re-homed where she had been told (to a lady in Bonifay, FL – now is told the person is possibly a horse trader) and that the GA Rescue had no knowledge of the horse being in its foster care. A witness has stated the individual in Florida offered her the mare at a price and without a contract, which clearly indicated the mare was being sold for personal profit and not being adopted as agreed. The individual in Milton has a documented history of questionable activity, and NetPosse has another pending report with this person in a similar situation.”

65173_373668602722578_1949068259_nThis mare was sent to a place where she was supposed to be available for adoption. She was at this farm in March 25th, 2012. By the time this photo was taken, she had dropped 75 pounds. It is alleged that the person who had Regalian offered to sell her to another individual for a set price. It is also alleged that this mare and other horses were later offered for free on Craig’s List. No adoption contract was mentioned in either case. This mare may have gone through an auction in Alabama. She may be in either Alabama or the Florida panhandle. Her whereabouts at this time are unknown. Regalian has a home waiting for her if she can be found. If she is in a safe home at this time, her former owner would be very relieved to have proof of her safety. If she was sent to slaughter, please let her former owner know that so she can grieve and then put this nightmare behind her.


“A reward is being offered for return of the mare and possible finder’s fee. If evidence is provided that the mare is in a suitable home, Stacy would consider leaving the mare where she is with an adoption contract as were her original intentions. Individual in Milton claims no financial gain was made from this mare’s transaction.” – Net Posse

Mary Johnson is offering $1,500 and Maggie Moss has added another $1,000 to the reward. That means a combined reward of $2,500 is being offered for the safe return of Regalian.


It would be very worthwhile for anyone with information to contact Stacy immediately.





Posted by on December 27, 2012 in equine welfare, horse, Thoroughbred