Sure enough, last night at Camelot in New Jersey, a day later, six broodmares which sold at Chick's ended up at the Camelot Auction and were bought by #10, who gives people to the end of the week to purchase these horses off of him for a $50 per horse profit or off they go to Canada for slaughter. One of the broodmares is a winner of over $350,000 in her career. One broodmare is 26 years old. Hopefully, the rescue groups will be able to save these and other horses from heading to slaughter. The horses probably came from Chick's to Camelot in an effort to make a quick profit as they know rescuers buy up the horses at Camelot to prevent the horses being sent to their death in Canada. In respect to the proprietor of Camelot, I am not angry; he is merely cleaning up other people's messes and unlike some auctions, he will give rescuers a chance to get the horses bailed out without jacking the prices up too much.
Where I have problem is with standardbred auctions that have no minimum price. While Harrisburg and Tattersalls horses are for the most part safe, these minor auctions tend to be last chance auctions for standardbreds. If someone wants to take a chance on a horse that someone else had no luck with, here is your chance to gamble cheaply. The problem is if no one wants to gamble on a horse, it's likely on its way to death; especially at the cheap prices they can get.
It;s time for the USTA to put an end of these last chance auctions and if not, at least add some protections.
for the horses. These are the changes which need to be made.
- All approved standardbred auction must set a minimum price which makes a horse too expensive for killers to buy.
- If a USTA member is going to sell a horse at auction it must be through an approved auction. A USTA member that sells through an unapproved auction may be sanctioned with a suspension or denial of membership privileges.
- While a horse may be consigned to the auction, the auctioneer must maintain a record of the actual owner of the horse being offered for sale.
- All approved auctions must list the sales price and the name of the winning bidder or agent. If results are shown online they must list the complete information. The winning bidder or agent must maintain control of the standardbred for at least 72 hours. This will allow rescue groups or others to make a subsequent bid to the purchaser. Failure of a USTA member to maintain control for at least 72 hours after the auction may result in a suspension or denial of membership privileges.
- It will be the responsibility of an approved standardbred auction to submit the information necessary to transfer ownership of the horse. Too many times a horse just 'disappears'.
- If a USTA member has a horse which does not meet the minimum price at an approved auction twice in a row, the owner will be able to take advantage of a to be developed program to offer subsidized euthanasia of the horse (to be funded with a surcharge on registrations)..
- Any USTA member who sells their standardbred at an unapproved auction may be denied membership in the USTA.
- For any horse being sold through private sale, it will be mandatory that the original owner must submit information to the registar showing who the horse has been sold to. The new owner must also submit the paperwork to complete the transfer of ownership. If the original or new owner does not complete the transfer process, he will not be allowed to bid at an approved auction. This will ensure a horse does not get 'lost' and eliminates the excuse "I didn't know what happened".
What better message can we be sending out to the public that standardbred racing worries about their racing stock. Owners who spend thousands of dollars a month to keep a horse racing should not be trying to get the last $200 while trying to get rid of a problem. By having a subsidized program to euthanize horses no one wants for secondary careers, at least we can ensure their deaths are humane and not painful.
It is time to stop saying "we can't". Time to say "Why not?"