A Slice Of Reality About Horse Auctions….

The September 19th Valley Auction in Armstrong British Columbia was a success by all accounts – reportedly ALL horses found homes and no horses went to kill buyers.  Many rescuers came home with multiple horses and this is merely one account of a very lucky mare (and foal!) who was purchased merely ONE DAY before she foaled.

Lady’s rescuer was a 15 year-old girl named Keira, who went to the auction on her own. No information about Lady was available to any prospective purchasers,  and it was unknown that she was close to parturition – she delivered her foal, subsequently named Chance, the very next day after the rescue. If she had been purchased by a kill buyer she would have delivered her foal either on a lot somewhere or while in transport to slaughter.

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It’s clear from viewing the National Farm Animal Codes of Practice decision tree for transportation, that the mare should not have been transported to the auction.

Conditions under which horses should not be transported:

  • Fracture or any other severe injury such as gaping wounds, profuse bleeding, severe head injuries, and severe laminitis etc.
  • Sick or diseased – strangles, herpes, virus, pheumonia
  • Lame
  • Fever due to illness
  • Acute frostbite
  • Colic
  • Exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Recent major surgery
  • In shock or dying
  • Emaciation
  • Weakness
  • Non-ambulatory
  • Likely to give birth within 48 hours
  • Suspected or confirmed nervous disorder
  • Uterine, vaginal or rectal prolapse
  • Laboured breathing


  1. Who was the individual who dumped this pregnant mare at the auction house?? Shame on them.

  2. Bernice · ·

    You are an angel Keira, Chance and mom have a great owner and family!

  3. Anne Streeter · ·

    Kudos to Keira! Wonderful story which could have gone so badly. Thanks also to all the rescuers – a happy outcome in a rotten business.

  4. truth is that the trauma associated with shipping could easily bring on birth or miscarrige in any mid to late term pregnancy….

  5. The most obvious of those rules that should be broken is near the bottom. I do not accept that it is okay to transport a pregnant female or one who has given birth to a dependant foal. Allowing this particular brutality – not above the rest for sure – but the particular apathy towards a female who transfers what we call “love” to the next generation is evil in my mind.

    This is the meat industry – chortling “necessary evil.”

    For killpens, auctions, and transports to be as filthy as they are – and inspected by USDA and DOT – tells me theyy could care less if the sick animal rule is broken.

    But good story on the saving of the horses, 65 percent of them represented horses that this lame country (the USA) sent.

  6. Kathleen Ryan · ·

    Thank you For all your hard word on behalf of the horses.

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