Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Did you get her a fake ID and a new SSN too?

I've frequently extolled the benefits of buying a horse with registration papers from a major breed registry, one of which is the opportunity to know your animal's genetic history. You know if there are any genetic defects the horse is afflicted with or at risk of passing on and you know the bloodlines so that if you choose to breed, you can make a good decision. You can verify the parentage via DNA so that you know you got what you paid for and nobody switched papers on you.

Sometimes, however, a registered horse suddenly becomes a mystery horse because the seller is trying to cover something up. A breeder whose stallion produces a high percentage of parrot mouthed foals may dump those foals at an auction with no papers, for example, in order to cover up her stallion's flaw. Or a stolen horse may be auctioned without papers to decrease the odds that he will ever be found again. In today's case, we have a mare selling without papers to mask her HYPP positive status.

Blog on HYPP if you don't know what it is.

In August 2007, I blogged about a
"sport horse" breeder selling a HYPP N/H AQHA mare. She admitted the mare was N/H in her ad but claimed she was "asymptomatic." I pointed out all the problems with that argument - there's really no such thing, plus she was breeding her to a Clydesdale to create more potentially HYPP positive ticking time bomb grade horses. 'Cause the only thing more fun to deal with than a halter-type QH having a seizure on the ground is a part-Clydesdale doing the same!

Now this same mare is being marketed as a
beginner safe trail horse. I don't know about you, but I do not want to put a beginner on a trail horse who may fall over without warning. Hell, I do not want to get on that myself!

The ad states "Not registered due to her color, though she is 100% QH; no papers will be provided, no registration possibility whatsoever." Oooh, nice try on the lying! It is true that in 2001, the year this mare was foaled, perlinos were not yet eligible for AQHA registration (that started in 2003 - prior to that, they had to be registered with APHA). But what Sheila the Sleazy Seller is really trying to hide is the mare's HYPP N/H status.

In fact, she is so determined to do so that she has
invented a whole new pedigree for the mare - one that has no cross to Impressive and could not possibly result in a HYPP positive horse! According to her Craigslist ad "papers are not available now or ever." Of course not! Sleazy Sheila probably already burned the evidence.

As I frequently note, I do not make people put these things on the Internet! Compare the pictures between my original blog entry and the EquineNow ad - that is indisputably the same mare. It's the same seller. Only now, two years later, the bloodlines are different and the papers have gone poof? What a crock! If you can't sell them with their flaws, just lie about them - problem solved!

This is the sort of thing that makes honest horse breeders and sellers tear their hair out. Some poor beginner family is gonna buy this mare. And maybe they will get lucky and the mare will remain asymptomatic. Or maybe they will wind up having an experience like this one described on Bringing Light To HYPP:

"On Saturday, July 19th of this year I found myself in the back of an ambulance with my daughter in a neck brace strapped to a board. What possibly could have gone wrong to cause her horse to behave in such a manner. She was loping slowly, Dottie's head dropped suddenly and she seemed to "suck back" to try to stop herself. The local website reports "It was the worst crash I'd ever seen" and "the helmet saved her life". Thankfully, my daughter's neck was not broken. She fractured her shoulder in two places and had a cut inside her mouth down to the jaw bone. A sort of explosion in her mouth from the impact. The next few days were a series of doctors appointments. Orthopedic surgeon first. Oral surgeon next. We were told she needed oral surgery to repair the cut in her mouth."

The owners soon learned that Dottie was HYPP N/H. Her first attack put her young rider in the hospital. Dottie was eighteen years old and to the best of everyone's knowledge, had never had a previous attack. There is no such thing as asymptomatic...there are horses who have not had an attack YET.

Now, Sheila, it was one thing to sell a HYPP N/H mare in foal, like you were trying to do two years ago. That was merely a sign that you were yet another irresponsible breeder who was knowingly perpetuating a potentially fatal disease. But falsifying the pedigree and lying about a known HYPP status is a whole different thing, and if that mare's next owner winds up hurt or dead, you're going to have a lot of explaining to do. You can bet I've screen capped the evidence.