I’m going to feature another `face of slaughter’ today. This horse is not a famous horse. I’m pretty sure he’s not even registered. He’s also not exactly the best put together horse in the world. I’m pretty sure he won’t go on to be a world beater or get any other recognition other than that he is loved by his family. He is probably the kind of horse that almost everybody would consider a `cull’. His people call him `Pete’ and he is our poster child today.
On May 18, 2010, Pete was one of 30 horses on a trailer bound for a Texas feedlot owned by Frontier Meats. The feedlot in Texas supplied horses to a slaughter-house in Mexico. All the horses on this load had come from Missouri kill buyer, Terry Broocke. While traveling through Oklahoma, the truck hit a median on the turnpike near I-35 in the early morning hours and overturned. Eleven horses died at the scene and another two died after the survivors were transported back to Broocke’s property in Missouri. Thankfully, after nearly three months of negotiations and pressure, the HSUS and Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue were given custody of the surviving animals, many still in terrible condition and largely untreated for their injuries.
So, how did Pete end up on that truck? A couple of weeks earlier, on April 30th, 2010, he was run through a ring at the Montgomery City Livestock Auction as a stallion. From what the rescue was able to find out, Pete was owned by a family that couldn’t deal with his hormones. Apparently, Pete would try to mount mares while they were being ridden near and charge the fence at passing horses. By the time he made it to the rescue in August he was estimated to be 4yrs old or under, so you can imagine what a young stallion of that age with improper handling might have been like. Clearly the family that sold him had no interest or care about what happened to him because they neither gelded him, which may have gone a long ways towards settling him down, nor did they bother to break him. It is rumored that he was sold in the neighborhood of about $35 dollars the night he went in the ring. That alone should have given them no doubt where their horse was heading. It would seem they didn’t care.
There is also more to Pete’s story. When the trailer overturned back in May, the first thing the state police checked was that all the paperwork was in order on this load. It was. Every horse had a current Coggins on it. The name on Pete’s Coggins was the name of a `rescue and rehab’ ranch in Missouri that consigned him to that sale. At the time they were allegedly in the process of trying to achieve their 501c3 status. The `rescue’ said that Pete had been `dropped off’ at their place and was wreaking havoc and that they had attempted to `re-home’ him or place him with another rescue. They `said’ they even started him although he wasn’t ridden in the ring that night. They also `said’ that he was bought by a family that night, but they never came and picked him up, so the auction gave him to the kill buyer. Now tell me why the auction wouldn’t have called the consignor back to come get the horse when they allegedly knew each other well? Who is the ultimate douche-nozzle in this situation? I would have to say all parties involved…
When news of the trailer wreck and ensuing drama hit the blogs, Pete was featured due to the name on his Coggins. That same name happens to be one of the more vocal PSAs who often demonstrates a distinct disdain for rescues. Apparently, after people were named and shamed, the rescue abandoned their application for 501c3 status and said they closed down for rescue, although continued to label their horses as `rehabilitated’. As tragic as that trailer wreck was, it turned out to be life-saving for Pete. He is now a gelding and was adopted by a family in Oklahoma where he is very much loved. This horse that wasn’t worth $50 to somebody is now priceless to his new family. When anti-slaughter advocates call for more responsible breeding, we aren’t saying that horses like Pete, who are already here, need to disappear. We see the value in every life, but realize that not everybody else does. Maybe Pete wouldn’t have found himself on his way to Mexico had he been better looking, better bred, trained and/or gelded? The only thing I know is that until that truck turned over, every single person Pete had met in his life had failed him and the only one that was going to pay the price for that was Pete. How many other `Petes’ never get so lucky?