Recent news in the world of horses

wild horses at theordore roosevelt national park

Much has been going on – the trial of Larry Joe Wheelon – a notorious horse sorer; EHV is still making the rounds in the United States – horse owners need to keep an eye on their local news, a bill to bring back horse slaughter and today we received an info graphic from horse advocate Vickery Eckhoff on how much public land the wild horses in the American West actually have access to when compared to cattle. ~ HfH

Wild Horses

This info graphic shows clearly how many cattle vs. wild horses on BLM and where. Click on image below to download pdf – please share! – Vickery Eckhoff


Horse Soring

From: The Chattanoogan
By: Roy Exum

Our Sored Walkers Weep

roy_exum_smI believe the United States Constitution is our most precious document. I also believe in order for us to live in the way that so many who have died for our country dreamed we would someday, we must cherish the Constitution, uphold it, and glory in it. That established, the Constitution just broke my heart.

Tammy Harrington, a circuit court judge in Blount County, has just ruled Larry Joe Wheelon’s rights under the Fourth Amendment were violated by a search warrant in an April 2013 raid on his barn. On that day 19 horses were seized, some so badly abused by caustic chemicals the animals could hardly walk. The evidence was overwhelming but Judge Harrington’s ruling on Friday means the 70-year-old Wheelon will soon walk as a free man rather than serve any punishment for very obvious soring practices he uses to make Tennessee Walking Horse dance a sickening step called the “Big Lick.

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Horse Slaughter

From: The Courier Journal
By: Jonathan Miller

Horse slaughter bill may have a chance

Horses being transported for slaughter

Horses being transported for slaughter

As memories from American Pharoah’s thrilling ride still resonate, it’s instructive to remember an earlier Run for the Roses nearly three decades ago. The 1986 Kentucky Derby was a sentimental, even magical affair, as the legendary 54-year-old jockey Willie Shoemaker finally captured the only major racing prize that had eluded him.

The Shoe steered Ferdinand, a 17-1 long shot 3-year-old, from last place through a heavy traffic jam in the stretch, to a 21/4 length victory at the wire. Ferdinand emerged as a national figure, later sealing his legend with an historic photo finish Breeders’ Classic upset over the mighty Alysheba, clinching Horse of the Year honors in 1987.

It’s also instructive to consider the retirement arc of that champion thoroughbred. After only modest success at breeding talented offspring, he was sold to Japanese interests in 1994. In 2002, at the relatively young age of 19, he was “disposed of” in a Japanese slaughterhouse. While Ferdinand might have wound up as a gourmet steak at an upscale Toyko restaurant, the most likely fate of this elite athlete was in the form of processed pet food.

No other Derby winner has met the same despicable demise. In fact, since this tragedy was exposed, many sales contracts for prized stallions now include a “Ferdinand clause,” enabling the seller to repurchase a horse after his career at stud is complete.

Every year, however, an estimated 150,000 U.S. horses are sent to Canadian or Mexican slaughterhouses to feed horse-hungry palates in Europe, South America and Asia. More than 10,000 of them are thoroughbreds.

At the center of this practice are middlemen known as “kill buyers,” whose profitable profession consists of gathering up horses for slaughter and then transporting them across the U.S. border. They purport to offer a valuable service to the industry: With the sport of racing in serious economic distress, kill buyers provide financial recompense to struggling owners, and profess to provide a more humane alternative to the abandonment and slow starvation of unwanted horses.

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Horse Health

From: The News Gazette
By: Debra Pressey

Stable owners watchful after virus strikes two horses

ehv-1 horse

EHV-1 can be spread horse to horse

GIFFORD — Area stable owners said they’re being even more watchful after two cases of a contagious equine virus were found at Gordyville USA, ending in the death of one of the horses.

Gordyville announced two horses that had been in the same stable were diagnosed with EHV-1 — which is one of the three equine herpesvirus types that pose serious health risks to horses — after the Midwest Reining Horse Association show earlier this month.

One of the infected horses was successfully treated, and one was humanely euthanized, according to Gordyville.

Gordyville has since canceled the Illinois Quarter Horse Association Youth show scheduled for this weekend and has conferred with the University of Illinois and others about what measures to take to stop the spread of the infection.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
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