Want to know what kind of horses get dumped in the kill pens at Sugar Creek? This kind. The black Quarter Horse mare in this photo was crowded into a small pen at an auction house. She was run through the ring loose and no one said a word on her behalf. The meat buyers were raising their hands to decide which truck she would get on to be hauled to an out of country slaughter house. It didn't matter what she had done for her previous owners, foals she'd given them, 4-H shows she'd taken their kids to. At this auction her value was only determined by the pound. But a meat truck was not to be #484's fate that Friday.
For over 10 years I have been pulling horses out of the Sugar Creek auction. It is rewarding and heartbreaking in almost equal measure. So many "good" horses go for meat. For those aware of horse slaughter it is perhaps easier to assume that only lame, blind, sick, or old horses have a rendering plant as their final destination. This is not so. Many paths lead a horse to a pen at a kill sale. I can only speculate about the reasons that this mare (and others like her) are dumped at auctions.
I pulled Bacardi out of Sugar Creek Friday and she went into the show pen the next weekend. And she did great! Horse and rider teams often have to spend significant amounts of time together before competing successfully. Bacardi and I spent one week together. She is an amazing horse and I am thrilled to have played a part in her journey from kill pen to show pen. This black mare is one of the fortunate few, lots of other good horses don't get pulled from the kill pens. I feel commissioned to save as many horses as I can for as long as I can. Because too many good horses end up in the kill pens!