Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When bad things happen to good horses

Meet Hanks QD Too, aka "Scarlet."

Scarlet is a very nice mare - in fact, she's the sort of mare that even I refer to as a breeding quality mare. She's well bred - the daughter of AQHA Champion Impressive Bar Leo out of a daughter of AQHA Champion (and very famous sire) Blondy's Dude. She's HYPP N/N.

And she's structurally good - even in this shitty condition, we can see a good shoulder, deep through the chest, not downhill, good pasterns, pretty neck set...this is going to be a beautiful mare when she has weight on.

Which amazingly enough IS going to happen because a reader of this blog, Julie Sheppard, saved her ass on Saturday night at the Pony Express Horse Auction in Covington, Georgia. Where she was RIDDEN THROUGH in this condition at the direction of her seller, MIKE GREEN from BYRON, GEORGIA. Hopefully someone here knows Mike and can alert him that the ENTIRE EQUINE COMMUNITY is about to know what a cruel, evil, unredeemable, soulless asshat he is. Hey, if you're in Georgia, make sure you never sell MIKE GREEN from BYRON, GEORGIA a horse!

Now the auctioneer at the sale gets a GOLD STAR because when Julie spoke up and said she wanted the mare to rehab for 4-H, he gave her the mare for free. HOORAY. I do not know his name, but thank you, sir. Apparently the bidding was at a whopping $31.

Scarlet is in bad shape. She has a heart murmur, ventral edema, possible congestive heart failure - needs an Echocardiogram to determine the severity, she has a wind-sucking, air-filled uterus and needs to have a Caslicks procedure, and she needs her teeth floated. She is now finally under the care of a veterinarian, thanks to Julie, who is sucking up the cost out of her personal money.

Let's review Scarlet's history here. This mare has had eight owners and produced eleven registered foals in her nineteen years on this earth. Not a one of them has a single AQHA point or has even participated in the Horseback Riding Program, so I think it is safe to assume most of her owners were Breeders Without a Clue. They had no plan for her foals but they kept making sure she popped them out...over and over and over again. She was sold to Mr. Asshat Green by an outfit called J&L Quarter Horses in Saint Cloud, Florida. I can't find out anything more about them on the web, and indeed they may have been completely duped by Mr. Asshat into believing he was a "good home," but I will note that the J&L folks popped three babies out of this good mare by completely unremarkable, nothing stallions like Easter Blue Bar, Hickory's Smooth Dude (earner of a whopping THREE halter points in ABRA, woot!), and some creature called Playin With Kid that has no show record, and I can't even seem to find out if he's HYPP negative though it bears noting he's sired by N/H stallion Kid Clu. Feel free to research further, I ran out of free AQHA searches for the month. Shit, people, you HAD a good mare and you didn't spend the money to breed her to a good stallion...not once. And look at the smorgasboard of bloodlines you bred her to. What the hell was even the point? Not like you had a discipline in mind!

Regardless, the current history seems to be: Clueless Florida breeder sold her to Asshat Green in May 2005, and he's managed to damn near kill her in the meantime. Now our faithful Blog Reader is stuck cleaning up this godawful mess, at her expense. That's not fair. A lot of other people owned this mare and got babies out of her, and I'll bet some of you know them (or even are them). Harold Mead bred her, in Valdosta, Georgia. Then she was sold to Danny Ray Hemmer, in Lamar, Arkansas. From there she went to Jerry and Carol Cluck in Van Buren, Arkansas, and they flipped her in three weeks to Joe Steidley, in Alpena, Arkansas. Joe had her for five years and sold her to the Lyman Shoemaker Estate in Lowell, Arkansas. They had her for about a year and a half and sold her to Danny Ramsey, in Colcord, Oklahoma. Danny had her for five years and sold her to the J&L folks.

If you're on this list, I'll tell you what, I'm going to think very highly of you if you get in touch and shoot over some money for the care of this mare. (Don't paypal me, I don't have her) Show me that some of you can and will take responsibility for horses you have owned that fall into bad hands. I could use my faith in human beings restored a bit. To clarify, Julie's not asking for money - that's all my idea because these situations make me very angry. Why are the rest of us always cleaning up the constant stream of neglected former broodmares?

Finally, as Julie points out "My biggest issue is with the Department of Agriculture agent on duty (as required by law) that allowed the horse to be sold. I feel that the horse should have been impounded and an investigation started to determine why she was in such condition." I agree. So all of you, please contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Animal Protection Division - they have e-mail - and weigh in on how there needs to be a formal investigation. Let's not only do our bit to take down Mr. Asshat Green, but also people like him at auctions all over.
Finally, I know someone is gonna pop in and say "all breeding is bad, see, see, a good bred mare was at a sale for $31!" Well, no. You know, this mare was less likely to wind up like this - by a mile. She just seems to have drawn the short straw for much of her recent history if not always. It does happen - but it doesn't happen to get of AQHA Champions as much as it happens to get of some no-name, no-pedigree-no record horse. I'll continue to argue that point with anybody.