Observations from an auction

The following is from the heart of a rescuer:

Observations from an auction.
By Jennifer Cutting – Justice Love’n Care Animal Rescue 

First, I want to just post my thoughts. Every week I go to OLEX. I prepared myself for the worst the first time. You think it would get easier and I would become more immune to seeing all the horses go through… In fact, it has become quite the opposite. I find it is harder to go back, to see the never ending amount of horses going through the ring and onto their death. I see beautiful healthy horses not going to a home because there are not enough homes bidding, so onto the meat truck they go.

I see broodmares, who were used to bring life and money to their owners, going on the meat truck because they are no longer worth the money. And their babies aren’t either- where are they going to race? Where is there affordable hay? Where are the ones left that no one purchased that year going to go? Sometimes they are so pregnant, you can see the foals moving inside of them. They will never be born. 

I see stallions going through. Well-bred baby making machines for their owners, but no have no “value” because the stud fees are not coming in- those babies were euthanized so stud fees would not be payable, as where are these babies going to have a future.

I see horses who have transported people to church, to family functions, helped get doctors to homes in time to help out with an emergency. Now they are dead, they were not flashy enough to get the attention and love they deserved after years of service.

I see horses who have plowed fields, their strength is amazing, but yet gentle as lambs, no longer needed as they are “used up” or have been replaced by a “new model”. Now they are worth a lot by the pound, as they are solid, and have a lot of quality meat to be used. They fed people while they were alive by plowing fields for vegetables and grains. And they feed people in their death as well- slaughtered brutally to feed people- give, give, give…

I see starved horses- horses who were so hungry they have eaten rocks and chewed things trying to fill their bellies. We cannot even tell how old they are by looking at their teeth. Bones sticking out, ribs protruding, and it makes me wonder how they are even standing yet alone being able to handle a trailer ride all the way to the plant.

I see sick horses- legs that cannot be stood on, cuts, missing eyes with infection, swollen lymph nodes (could be strangles), horses that need a vet, and if they were a human they would have seen a doctor a long time ago.

I see horses who cannot be handled, never had a chance before they even went to the auction. “Meat only” cause he kicks, not halter broke at age 6, mean and crazy because his experiences may have included the “professional trainer” who likes to use the whip to teach him a lesson and the twitch twisted so hard it appears the horse now has a cleft lip.

I see babies… lots of babies. Some handled, some not. Some so proud of themselves, strutting their pretty prance, knowing they look pretty. But they won’t look pretty for long… they will be dead in a few days, butchered away.

I see so much… it is horrible. Every week I want to take them all home, give them a chance to feel love before they are destined to leave this world… many of these horses have years upon years of life left. For those who don’t, they could be euthanized humanely…

I find the word “humanely” to be hypocritical. We call things “humane” when they are treated with respect and dignity- it is derived from the word “human”. But when I look around, and see what these horses, other animals, and many vulnerable people have suffered at the hands of “humans” I think there has to be a better word… And a better world…





  1. Deborah Tiffin · ·

    I read about horse slaughter and the efforts of the horse warriors daily. I’ve even been lucky enough to help rescue 5 myself – the most exhilarating moments of my 50ish years on the planet. I thought I couldn’t feel more saddened or horrified by this subject than I already am. Then, today you broke my heart again with your words. Some people wish for a lottery win so they can buy houses and cars, travel the world. Me? I’d be hauling as many out of OLEX as I could stuff into a trailer each week. Buy the biggest farm I could find. Hire help. Form a lobby to go up against the big ag interests and criminals that perpetrate this type of inhumanity. Help out other brave rescue groups. If only wishes were horses.
    People who send their horses to auction when they no longer have monetary value are many things best left to your imagination, but they are not “horse people” no matter what they say.

    1. pattyhamilton · ·

      I own one horse and she was given to me because the owner had too many horses to take care of and knew she would have a good home. I feel just love for horses and want to rescue them myself. I work full time in the legal field and my dream also is to win the lottery so that I can buy the property to house many rescue horses. The cold facts are that these horses need our help now. The horse rescue warriors are doing a great job but more needs to be done for the horses.

    2. GASafeHorses · ·

      Well said! From another horse rescuer I have only 2 but those 2 are safe until they die. If our prayers could be answered no horse would be left to suffer.

  2. Jagadambe Dasi · ·

    I could not agree with you more. You said it all. I hear you and feel you. This is so damn sad.

  3. Marilyn Wilson · ·

    Thank you!

  4. Theresa Nolet · ·

    Jennifer thank you for your insight. Thank you for having the strength that so many lack. Thank you for taking action. Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for all you do for the horses.

  5. This breeder got the message. Loud and clear. The last dozen young, registered, branded sport horses I sold I got less than I had JUST that year paid out in their training bills. I can’t afford to breed anymore. I sold my stallion, do my best to take care of my old broodmares and found homes for as many as possible of the horses I’d brought into this world. A few are still here. They are nice horses, but I can’t afford to make them look like it anymore. Instead of breeding, I am running an equine retirement facility. For a fraction of what the fancy barns charge, I can keep your elderly equine for you and when the time comes, gently help them across the rainbow bridge and bury them under an old oak. If more breeders would go this route, turn their pastures into old folks’ homes and share their wisdom and knowledge with folks who should have an affordable solution to those last years, it’d help a lot.

    1. Christine Richardson · ·

      I congratulate you on making such a decision. As you say, more breeders need to do the same, stop breeding.

  6. chris1055 · ·

    So Skye’s father started as a killbuyer! No wonder. How she managed to get elected is incredible when Oklahomans are adamantly opposed to horse slaughter. Hope they’re all voted out in the next round, but it may be too late for the horses.

  7. Barbara Griffith · ·

    You will never stop this as long as horse slaughter is allowed in Canada. It is used as a way to dispose of horses created because of over- breeding. I have said this before and I will say it again, the breeders are looking for that magic horse that will bring them riches, either in the show ring, rodeo, racing. The horses are also a tax write off. That is how they run their business which is like every other business. Slaughter is a dumping ground. Your politicians are paid off by special interests just like the ones here in the US. Some of the most crooked people you will ever hear about. They do all of their dirty work behind closed doors. They never discuss anything out in the open so their constituents can have a say as to what can be done about a situation.
    If you write to their offices you will get a polite letter back saying they will keep your thoughts in mind “if” this should come up in congress. Of course it never does.

    This is what happened in the state of Oklahoma when a politician decided to introduce a bill to allow a horse slaughter plant to open up in a state that banned it 50 years ago. The female politician’s family owns the largest horse auction house in the state, her father made his living as a kill buyer. In order to help out her family she and other politicians decided to try to eliminate the state law against horse slaughter and passe the bill not caring what the voters in Oklahoma wanted. It was all done behind closed doors. No public discussions, nothing, and the ignorant governor signed it into law believing that it was to save the old, sick and abandoned horses from starvation. Which is a lie. The slaughter plants don’t want old, sick horses they want healthy horses. The voters in Oklahoma say they will vote out every person that voted for this bill which is all of them. I hope they do. With what has happened in the EU about horse meat being found mixed with beef in most of the countries I think it may work to our benefit especially with drugs being found in samples of the horse meat. If the demand for horse meat drops in the EU which is where all Canadian and Mexican horse meat is shipped to it will kill the slaughter plant business.
    This is what I’m hoping for, no buyers means no business.

  8. jo@degeorgedynamic.com · ·

    I’m just crying.
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  9. Heather · ·

    The only way to stop this butchering is to get behind Bill C-322 and really work on getting signatures for this petition. If we can get thousands of signatures and combine that with the beef and horse meat scandal in Europe, hopefully our government MPs will listen. You also need to email your representative and let him/her know how you stand on this issue and whether or not they will get your vote in the next election. If our voices are heard loud enough, our government will have to listen.

  10. candice · ·

    The comment about the baby animals who will soon be slaughtered…. Because I have also read about newborn Standardbred Foals being euthanized. I don’t believe these horse breeders are against abortion – even the most anti-abortion person believes it’s better to abort than kill a newborn – but it costs more due to Vet bills. If your mare is pregnant… well, it’s better to abort than kill the newborn. That’s what I think.

  11. Allison · ·

    Thank you for sharing your observations. It must be hard to see this again and again. When will it end? Why can’t they put a ban on unnecessary breeding? Thank you for going there and saving those you can. I don’t know if I could even bring myself to go there…I wish I could go there and take them all. I wish I could do something more to help. Some people just don’t care about these beautiful beings. They brought us to where we are today. We owe them this world. I wish more people would understand. I am so sorry horses for what you are going through and I am so sorry rescuers that you have to witness these inhumane morons destroying what we love.

  12. Anne Streeter · ·

    Unbelievably tragic!!


    It is terriable what happens to them but what can you do , as a horse breeder , it is a horrific end for them but what can we do , sure stop breeding then what , try to educate the familys that want one for their daughters just because the say they love them. Its a horriable realality that this happens as for trying to stop it Good Luck it will never happen realitiy has to set in . All we can do is try there is not one person out there that can save them all, and if you keep going to these auctions and feeling sorry for them and trying to pick ones out to save it wont work . Maybe coming together and protesting at these affairs instead of supporting them as a spector, maybe going into school and teaching the younger generation, there are alot of maybes but instead of feeling sorry for these poor creatures take a stand voice your opinion get on the track and fight for them there seems to be alot of comments about what ifs but no positive ideas about how to prevent it. Try and think about what it is doing to the people that honestly do love their horses and there is no other means of finding homes for them, I for one have been though that its hard we are not really the villens here there is sometimes real truth at why it has to happen some of us cant find any other alternative to the end. but we feel it in our hearts its something that doesnt go away its like signing over a dealth warrent, it hurts but what else can be done its time for change so instead of talking about it and posting sad stories lets get off our ass and try to help out others and educating some not condeming them, fight and protest at these sales not supporting them with pity really try and do something get united, if all of us have a strong support of finding better solutions voice them , make it work!!!!!!

    1. Allison · ·

      Maybe people shouldn’t be breeding right now at a time when there are so many horses. I’m pretty sure that’s the answer. Stop breeding and stop adding to the problem. If there are no horses being bred then the auction horses will be adopted.

      1. Allison, that’s a perfect idea, I had thought of it before. But HOW do we get breeders to quit breeding for a few years? That is a question!!!!!

      2. One way to curb the horse breeding trend is to make horse breeding full of expensive paperwork. In all that messy paperwork there should also be an additional expense to be paid upfront for every foal that is actually bred as a percentage to rescues ‘should’ the animal end up unwanted. At this time, the government does not want to touch the massive over-breeding of horses because it supplies the horse slaughter industry which is an $18 billion industry therefore breeding is encouraged by some associations “paying breeders for breeding a foal” and by farm tax credits. There is a real push to keep making more unwanted horses and sending those no longer useful for another purpose, to be eaten. All in all, it is a lucrative industry which like all lucrative industries, claims the lives of innocent millions, in one way or the other.

  14. All of this cruelty sickens me. I just purchased a 8 yr old qh mareshe is beautiful and smart. She is one of the lucky ones. In the Lord’s name please help this beautiful, noble animal.

  15. pattyhamilton · ·

    It is sad that these horses that have made their way to the auction have no value accept for their weight for their meat. Something just seems so wrong. Why is this happening to these horses because there is not enough money to take care of them. To know that these beautiful creatures will just be butchered and their hearts cut right out of them. This is truly sickening. It just seems like the devils work. Horses are very smart in the right hands. Not at the hands of these killers. Something needs to be done about this death march of perfectly good horses.

  16. Kathy · ·

    The sadness of this terrible reality is overwhelming. To see life so devalued. To see beauty spoiled. When I read these passages and posts, I know evils lurks in the world. Somehow, you have to overcome the discouragement and continue to fight for these beautiful animals in the hope that this horrible, inhumane insanity comes to an end. For no matter how painful it is for us to watch and read, these poor creatures of God are going through much more and need us to continue to fight for them…no matter what.

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