Thoroughbred Slaughter Banned at Viandes Richelieu

Go the CHDC site for more details on how this piece of luck came about:


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A Sucker Born Every Minute

Français a suivre.  UPDATE/MISE A DATE :  Chad, the lovely young QH above has been placed in a good home with a couple of colts for company.  Merci a tous ceux qui ont demande des nouvelles de Chad qui vit maintenant la belle vie avec un nouveau propriétaire grace au diligence de Helene !

Even wealth and position won’t protect you or your horse from unscrupulous buyers–while horse racing commissions look the other way.   Kill-buyers  have testified to the many lies they tell owners desperate to place their beloved horse in a good home (check out Chad below, a 6-yr-old waiting for his forever home).  So why be shocked that it happens all the way up the ladder?  An upscale sucker is still a sucker and the deceitful buyer may be wearing a Rolex rather than jeans.  In this case, the lying buyer simply ignored the contract of sale which clearly states that injured Star Plus, was never again to be used in racing.  Obviously, he knew he could dupe the owner and get away with it, knew that the racing commissions wouldn’t intervene.   The owner is doing everything he can to get this horse back (get him off the racetrack especially since he is a danger to himself, jockeys and other horses) yet the American racing commissions are doing nothing to help him stop this unconscionable breach of contract, criminal endangerment, and criminal animal neglect.

On a less publicized scale, we have Chad, a good-tempered, calm and quite lovely dun QH of 6 hrs old who needs a home.  Chad (see pix) has just a touch of arthritis, enough to keep his loving and responsible owner from ever again showing him in dressage or eventing.  He can be used for light trail riding or as a learner horse for youngsters or as a stabilizing companion for another horse.  His owner needs to place him by the end of February.  If Chad speaks to you, contact me at and I will put you in touch with his owner.  Her plea follows:

j’ai un beau quarter horse enregistré à donner dans une bonne famille. Il a 6 ans, mesure 15,3 mains et est de couleur Dun. Il est très beau et calme. Depuis la fin de l’été, il boîtait un peu et on a découvert qu’il faisait de l’arthrite. Il a été injecté aux jarrets et ça va mieux mais il reste quelque chose au grasset droit encore. Je ne peux plus l’utiliser pour faire du dressage et encore moins du saut depuis le mois de septembre. Je le monte encore 4ou 5 fois par semaine de façon légère (pas,trot,galop) et il fait de la trail. J’aimerais qu’il continue à avoir une belle vie avec des gens qui vont en prendre soin car il le mérite vraiment. Ça pourrait être un bon compagnon pour un autre cheval et il pourrait être encore monté pour de la trail ou des petits cours aux débutants. Il vit au box et est sorti tous les jours.J’ai contacté le refuge Galahad mais ils n’ont pas de place avant la fin mai car ils inspectent les futurs centres d’hébergement et ça va prendre du temps. En principe, j’aimerais qu’il parte pour à la fin de février. C’est dur mais je dois me résoudre à cette éventualité!
merci beaucoup!


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Jockeying for Position

HBO just showed a special on the lives of jockeys, and, as I suspected, jockeys live lives of desperation.  Randy Romero, who brought the filly Personal Ensign to her signature win in the Distaff race, was the symbol of what jockeys undergo just to “feel like a king” on the back of a horse with wings for feet.  The documentary featured the kidney transplant that this man, after 21 previous operations, couldn’t afford.  He, like many other jockeys, practised bulimia on a meal-by-meal basis, endured “hot box” bathing (in which the water is heated to 106 or 107 degrees F.), and was instrumental in bringing up the standard weight for jockeys.

I know I’ll take flack for this post.

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Primer: the Last Part (possibly)

Next question:

All right…so if all of this is true, what is the CFIA doing about it?  I have cousins in Europe and they’ve told me that there was a spot in the news that the EC (European Commission) put out a not-so-favourable report on Canada’s handling of food animals, especially pigs and horses:  what’s the story there?

Before I answer this question, I do want to caution readers that the government’s (that is, any government’s) private password for “we can’t legally fine, admonish or shut you down, but really this is borderline below-standard” is the word, “adequate”.  I’m not making this up; I did work in our nation’s capital for a short time, and, needless to say, I learned a lot.  “Adequate” saves a government agency from taking action which might give some bigshots’ or lobbyists’ heartburn, and/or might affect the economy in negative ways.  This is what you might call a circumspect view, an all-things-considered, all-things-being-equal position, not unlike the notwithstanding clause in the Meech Accord, or like last year’s redundant declaration by the federal government that ‘Quebec is a nation in its own right’ (as if we didn’t know that)…but I digress.

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Animals Angels’ Light Up the Sky

Every year, Animals’-Angels USA holds a vigil by candle light that lights up the sky with the love of humans for animals.  Let me put that another way:  lights up the sky with the love we hold for the others we share this planet with.  I sent a very, very personal missive to AA last year about the horses I grew up with…horses whose very presence lightened a childhood and adolescence fraught with, well, personal and family contradictions I agonized over.  I wasn’t much different from people my age, some of whom knew worse, I’m sure.

Here I offer words I wrote when the CHDC held a Memorial when the Norval Slaughterhouse in Ontario was finally and permanently shut down; the Memorial was held on May 1, 2011 (I posted on that somewhere; look thru my Horse posts).  These slaughtered equines–horses, minis, donkeys, mules and burros–were all owned equines whose service to us went unthanked, ultimately unappreciated to the point of not mere death, but a peculiarly human-engineered death…that of the terror of transport away from safety and love and human kindness to the cruel, unfeeling pathology of the abattoir.  AA’s Vigil is on December 10th of this year:  send your personal tribute to the animal(s) of your choice now.  Herman Melville said:  ‘Silence is the voice of God’…maybe so, but He can see alright, and our candles will be a beacon of love He can hardly miss.

And so I wrote to, and for, the horses who passed through Cerberus at the Norval Horse Slaughterhouse…

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An Aside to the Primer on Horse Slaughter

ALERT:  Several of the email alerts I received yesterday stated that the US has decided to re-instate monies so that USDA workers can “inspect” horse abattoirs if and when they re-open for business.  Go here    or here   http:///  for more information.  AMERICANS, go here to learn how your own state can combat this backward thinking:

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