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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Not for the Faint of Heart

"The absolute witch hunts that are carried out on some horsemen who have medication overages or withdrawal time infractions yet THIS nonsense gets a blind eye turned on it", said a standardbred trainer, obviously in frustration after learning what happened to a standardbred mare who recently went through an auction ring in North America.  For reasons you will soon see, I am keeping the facts specifically vague.  I do need to tell you the pictures about to be shown are graphic.

This past winter, the horse was sold to someone as a riding horse/broodmare prospect for money which made it clear this horse was not heading to slaughter as the amount paid was too much.  Well, as is too often the case, the person who got the horse sold it and apparently she was sold several times.

Well, the horse ended up in a sale.  Not a grade sale, but a sale which receives coverage in the various trade journals.  It turns out for this horse, there was good luck as an acquaintance of the former owner's family was there checking out the horses and called the original owner telling her the horse was in the auction.  When the horse was going through the ring, the price was so low the former owner told the person to buy the horse and bring the mare back to her so the winning bid was made.

After the sale, the person was giving the horse some feed and water when they discovered something wrong, with one of the legs.

The leg pre-vet clean up
The person called the old owner back and told them about it and asked if they should still buy the horse.  The former owner made it clear to go through with buying the horse as she didn't want anyone else touching this horse.  The only good thing to say about the situation was the horse didn't seem to be in any obvious discomfort and was eating her feed well.

Now, before we go further.  I have no way to know what happened to this horse or when it occurred.  For all I know, it could have happened in transport, in the stall, or its way to the sales ring.  Not knowing all the facts, I can not and will not speculate as to what happened to the horse.

In the next picture, you can see what the wound looked like after sale before a vet was called in to clean it.

It is important in the name of fairness that the mare came back with good weight, muscle tone, shiny coat, and otherwise in good health.  She was also freshly clipped and shod.  Later, the consigner offered to buy the horse back but the old owner declined the offer.

The same leg after the vet cleaned the wound up to
promote healing.  They yellow is the Cannon Bone.
What I don't understand is how this auction didn't pull the horse from the sale, didn't call for a vet to tend to the horse when the injury was discovered?  After all, we are not talking about a grade sale where many horses end up going to slaughter.  Would the commission loss have been that great to let it pass?

Again, not knowing when the injury occurred, you could wonder why the previous owner or broker as the case may be didn't have the horse tended to if it was before the sale.  Maybe it was too expensive to treat.  While I can accept that, why wasn't euthanasia considered? 

I will not cast judgement on the previous owner for I don't know their circumstances, perhaps they sent the horse through the sale anyway figuring someone else would take the horse and have it treated being the expense was so great.  Perhaps they were over their head with this horse.  Not knowing the whose, whats, hows, or whens, to pass any judgement would be unfair without having all the facts.

Yes, at an auction one is supposed to inspect a horse prior to bidding, though one would think a horse injured to this extent at a mixed sale would have been pulled.  Fortunately in this case, the former owner happened to have an acquaintance there who stumbled upon her.  The horse is presently being treated by the new (old) owner's vet and a rough guess is this will likely be a $1,000+ vet bill when all is said and done; this with the owner's vet working with her.  Assuming all goes well, the original owner likely has a pasture ornament at best.  The owner learned one thing from this lesson.  No horse gets sold in the future without a contract.


Anonymous said...

I know you're being diplomatic but this wound is old and in no way occurred on the way to the sale or in the stall at the sale. Proud flesh does not form overnight and even the consignor and sale people should not have allowed this mare in the sale. The only good part is that the original owner got her back and had her cared for by a vet. Shame on the prior owner their disregarding and neglectfulness of this poor mare's injury.

Nick said...

I was at the sale,took pics of this horse. The other one consigned by these people had the same injury as well