Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Auction Report - Arkansas

Yet another auction report from a reader...more reasons not to breed if you can't afford and have the know-how to breed a TOP quality horse who is likely to stay safe from this kind of outcome.

I do disagree that anyone "has no choice" but to let horses go to the killers. The right choice is euthanasia if you can't find them homes and can't give them away and can't afford to feed them. Selling them at an auction or hauling them to a slaughter plant yourself is about MONEY. It means you are a greedy fuckwit. I have no sympathy for someone who breeds a HUNDRED horses and then can't feed them. STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT you insufferable evil morons!


My husband and I went to the monthly horse sale last Saturday (40 miles from us). We were there until the sale was over at 3 a.m., got home at 4. The place was PACKED with people and horses. I watched as one horse after another went through. Good, sound, PAPERED, broke and some even harness broke, horses were going for between $100 and $350. Mostly to the killer buyers who were there. If they had not been there, the prices would have been even worse...*if* the horses sold at all! One dun gelding was really appealing to me - he looked like a Morgan. Beautiful crested neck on him with a huge laid back shoulder. Lots of bone, smoothly muscled, very pretty. Quarter Horse papers. Kid broke, 6 years old, and broke to drive. The killers got him for $350. The place was pretty quiet most of the time. A lady we know had three mares and a gelding there. She mainly takes in rescues. For a year now she has been OVERWHELMED with people asking her to take horses they can't feed, etc. anymore. She told me that for the first time, she's turning away horses that she just can't take. The gelding she brought was an honest 17 hands! She'd fed him for months to get weight back on him and dealt with some training issues. She crawled all over that horse in the sales ring, even sliding off his rump. He was great. He was 9 years old. The killers bought him for $250. Her mares went the same route. She had no choice. She's overrun with horses at home and winter is coming and hay is still hard to find - if you can afford it. Her husband, who is not a horse person, has put his foot down. The horses have been for sale for months and did not sell. She had no choice but to let them go at the horse sale. She is not a breeder. One elderly man had two pairs of nice mules. They were as pretty as a picture - he had them groomed and fitted out just beautiful. He didn't want the teams separated. He guaranteed that they pulled *right* and that they were completely mannered and trained. He had used them to pull wagons full of people. This man is well known for his driving animals. The second team had a palomino mule in it that also was broke to ride so they were riding him in the sales ring. He PO'd both teams. He said he couldn't take less than $500 per mule ($1,000 per team), and they were only going to $300 each in the bidding. Another mule went through - a tall saddle mule that was also fitted out really nice. I'd watched him being ridden outside for hours, all around the parking area. He was really well broke and attractive. I would have loved to have had him. He, too, went to the killers for $250. One Paint QH gelding with papers went through. Kid broke, 8 years old, 16.2 hands, very pretty. A man in front of me got the last bid on him at $350. The owner said he had to have $600 (I thought THAT was awful low!). They asked the buyer if he'd pay that. No. They asked if he'd pay $500 if the owner would do that. No. They asked if he would pay $400 if the owner would to it. Yes. He got that nice horse for $400. At least that one didn't go to the killers. One man had several really well bred QH's go through of varying ages. All of them went low, and all went to the killers. A reg. Paint mare came in with a fairly new Paint filly at side. No more than a couple of weeks old. Both had their papers and both were Medicine Hats. The mare was only 3 years old. The killers got the pair for $350, then turned around and had the filly resold. She brought $100, I think. She was WAY too young to be taken off her mom. Every single mare and foal that came in went this same route - killers bought the pair, then resold the foal. Some friends of our's bought one of the foals. They have TB race horses so I hope they will be able to raise this rescued foal ok. One reg. QH mare went through that brought just over $1,000. She had been shown like crazy and had a bunch of show wins in addition to being well broke, etc. She brought the highest bid of the night. Only one other horse came close to $1,000 - all the rest were down in the low $100's, some even lower than that. I had to fight the impulse to bid on more than one horse and mule that went through - so many NICE ones going for so cheap! There is a Quarter Horse breeder here in our area who is one of the largest in the state - puts literally hundreds of foals on the ground every year. They are well known and have had production sales for years and years with their horses bringing really good prices. We have friends who have bought their horses there. Usually they sell about 400 at each sale, each year. They *do* work with their's, too. These are not wild. And they have the *colors* a lot of people like, but they mostly specialize in certain bloodlines. Everyone around knows this farm and their sales. Last winter, the elderly father was telling us how their sale went last fall - only half of the horses sold, and the prices were not good. They now had 200 head of horses that did not sell that usually would have, and they were coming into a winter where hay was non-existant and they didn't have enough hay for the ones they had expected to sell. They personally had to load up and haul 100 of their own horses to the Texas slaughter plants (before they were closed). They had to. There wasn't anything for them to EAT for the winter. This man wasn't happy about it at all, but he feels they did what they had to do for the rest of the horses to be fed right. They still kept the other 100 and managed to feed them. I don't know if they did any breeding this year, but I reckon they had foals this year due to their not knowing in the spring of 2006 that things were going to turn out so bad by the end of that year.