Saturday, November 8, 2008

And more rescue news...

New website launched to help re-home free Thoroughbreds - check it out. The Horse has been great about publicizing cases of neglect and abuse (including the Petersburg Knight story) and I'm not surprised to see them doing something proactive to help horses.

Suffolk Downs BANS five who sent horses to slaughter. See, guys, they really weren't just blowing smoke, for those of you who doubted! And they mean BUSINESS, even though all these folks have excuses on top of their excuses. Here's what the Suffolk Downs CEO said:

“There are lots of different stories here and everyone has some plausible deniability, but what's the sense of having this policy if we're going to let people skirt around it,” Tuttle told THOROUGHBRED TIMES. “The bottom line is that these horses were endangered and en route to being slaughtered less than 48 hours after leaving here, and the people responsible for them have the responsibility to help us prevent that.”

Mr. Tuttle, you rock. I love how everybody denies they made money on this. HA. As was also pointed out, no Thoroughbred has been turned down from the retirement/rehome program working out of the track. If money was no object, they would have used that route. They were greedy bastards and now they are greedy bastards who can't work at the track. HA. HA. HA.

In general, I'm so pleased with the Thoroughbred industry. Along those same lines, I gotta call out the part of the Thoroughbred industry that seems to be sadly dropping the ball, no pun intended. This bothers me, because it's a discipline I've been involved in for a long time and I think most owners would financially support a well structured rescue/rehab program. So I'm going to ask this: Hey, United States Polo Association? When are you gonna do something for the old polo ponies? I keep finding them at rescues and at auctions and quite frankly, it's a disgrace. Most of your membership can afford retirement board/to keep their retirees, but I know there are individuals who can't (for example, the lower goal pro players, who really don't have any money and live like nomads). So when are we going to set up an actual, formal, polo pony retirement program? For too many years, the polo pony retirement structure has seemed to consist of: donate old pony to school polo program where it will get the shit buted out of it and keep on playing 'til it drops, take tax write-off for inflated value of pony and walk away smiling. We can do better than that. By the way, I think banning players from rated games who are caught sending their old ponies to dealers or slaughter would be a REALLY good idea, too. If the racing industry has enough balls to do it (there I go with the bad pun again...), isn't it time polo stepped up? I am glad to see you have some information about rehoming unwanted horses on the web site now, and I am also glad to see you now have a hotline to report pony abuse and an equine welfare committee, but I want to see some actual physical locations where old polo ponies can be sent where they will be cared for, and a fundraising structure to support that. You need someone to run it, give me a call. There's nothing I'd like better than taking care of old coot polo ponies all day. :-)

For those in Eastern Washington who may want to rescue a horse, one of my readers is making the following offer:

I will be at the Davenport , WA horse sale/auction on November 29th and would like to welcome anyone serious about purchasing a horse at risk of slaughter to go with me. I have been purchasing horses from this auction for over a year and am willing to walk anyone through the entire process.

If you’d like to go with me, I do have some rules. The auction house employees know me by sight, and I don’t want to jeopardize this relationship and be banned from buying/saving horses.

2. Come prepared to buy a horse; this isn’t a sight-seeing tour. Sorry if this sounds harsh, I just don’t have time for people just wanting to see an auction first-hand.
3. Show up on time if you want to go through the kill pens with me. I start going through horses at 10am.
4. My goal is not drawing attention, so please dress appropriately. The theme tends to be ‘Western meets Wheat Farmer’; jeans, riding boots or tennis shoes, and barn-style coats blend in well.
5. I can’t guarantee you’ll find a safe, sound horse, but I will help to the best of my ability.

E-mail her if you're interested.

Oh, and yes, I have seen the "Obama sale" flyer. They've been on the blog before, for breeding silly made-up breeds, not for blaming others for their inability to sell said silly made-up breeds. It is not necessary for 26 more of you to send it. :-) (And speaking of over-sent items, no, I'm never putting Molly the three legged pony here because I personally think that was a waste of rescue resources.) All I have to say about the Obama sale is, if you show me the Presidential candidate who can promise "Spanish Jennet Tiger Horses" will sell, I will work on his campaign like a madwoman because clearly he is a miracle worker.