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  1. #1
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    Default New thread... Finidng horses from Zero Tolerance tracks at Auctions....

    Angela suggested that this issue needs to be discussed and not hidden away. And I agree. Moreso since my incident in the summer when a Finger Lakes runner showed up at Camelot 3 weeks after it's last race. I called and spoke to the stewards, racing office, the adoption folks and no one had a clue about their zero tolerance policy. I remember that Finger Lakes was one of the tracks in 2009 to jump on the "Zero Tolerance" bandwagon after the horse owned by Mary Lou Whitney and originally trained by Nick Zito showed up at an auction. I fully admit my brain can be a little fuzzy, but on this I am sure. They issued a press release.

    But when it came time and I was talking to them the Steward told me "Well no one has ever called and said anything like this before." In 2 full years of having this policy NO one has ever called??? Wow.

    And then I heard the story of the more recent horse from FL ending up at Unadilla. And I wished the folks who posted about it, a lot of luck. Given my past experience with trying to talk to the Finger Lakes "powers that be" I think this is not an issue they 1.) know how to handle or 2.) Are willing to admit that they don't know their own policy and don't enforce it.

    So I sent along an email to a good racing journalist friend and gave them the details. They're interested to know more.

    So now is the time..... If you all have CONFIRMED stories and know the people who first hand experienced them, then lets hear it.

    3rd person and stuff like "I heard that one time at band camp...." is not gonna do it. But with hard facts we can likely get this story into the public eye and see if the track will hold to its stated policies as other tracks have.


    ~Emily
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries



  2. #2
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    so what do you want to do?

    I have a horse that no longer runs, so I give it to the groom who give it to his uncle who gives it to a friend and he sells it at auction.

    So you come and want to mess with me?

    The 'zero-tolerance' thing is feel-good material. It's not workable. not to mention it's easily circumvented.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Tough issue since I know someone this year who finally after years of planning and thought, 'rescued' a track horse from a seemingly reputable OTTB group. The horse was not the family trail horse it was marketed to be and the family had to go through a different horse trader to trade it for an older horse of another breed.

    The original OTTB group said they didn't have another horse that was 'trail ready' but knew a guy that did, and gave them the name of that guy...Who knows what happened to the original OTTB, it was traded to the second dealer for the second horse. No money changed hands with the second dealer.

    People can only do so much for these horses no matter what their original intentions were in the beginning.



  4. #4
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    The sad fact is that once they leave the backside, they are at the mercy of whoever has them, and whoever has them next, and so on. There is no possible way to keep OTTBs from auction. Very sad fact.
    SPAY/NEUTER/RESCUE/ADOPT!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    so what do you want to do?

    I have a horse that no longer runs, so I give it to the groom who give it to his uncle who gives it to a friend and he sells it at auction.

    So you come and want to mess with me?

    The 'zero-tolerance' thing is feel-good material. It's not workable. not to mention it's easily circumvented.
    Spot on.

    People need to stop trying to control what others do with their private property.

    Once a horse (or any other property) changes ownership, the former owner loses all claim to it or control over it.



  6. #6
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    Default

    Now this is secondhand information, so it's hard for me to verify:

    But a local friend put in a good word for his friend at Delaware Park. The trainer at Del Park gave the guy a horse with the agreement he was going to keep the horse to use himself -- NO written contract that we know of. The new owner is the type to always be selling the latest horse, so in a month an ad appears on CL for the horse for a too-cheap price. Buyer is a known scammer who has burned people before (verified by his phone# and email address). Scammer promises best home for horses and talks guy into getting horse for free -- NO written contract. Horse appears in the Camelot kill pen 2 1/2 weeks later, looking like hell. Rescue groups look up tattoo, trace it back to Del Park, and the crap hits the fan.

    Horse is bought from Camelot's owner and eventually, once references checked out, back to my friend (not his friend who took it). Two rescues, Equihab and Canter, along with the individual rescue folks working the Camelot kill pens all worked together to get the horse safe and back into a good forever home. I personally saw this horse, saw the home it went to, and know it was safe. The horse lived there until he passed away.

    My friend (not the guy who gave the horse away) is no longer welcome at Del Park because it was his trailer the horse left on, even though all he was doing was hauling & had no idea new owner was just going to give the Tb away. I've heard that the original trainer was reprimanded, but I'm fuzzy on if he was kicked off the track entirely. Word is spreading locally about the "friend" who gave away the horse to the scammer, with no contract or reference check; he won't be getting any help finding horses again. There ARE consequences for taking horses under false pretenses or ignoring do-not-slaughter rules.

    While it's true it's your property now that you own it, the very least we need to see is written proof the track trainer checked references and and got a signed sales contract stating new owner won't sell to slaughter. Certainly horses change hands and owner #1 can't control what owner #6 is going t do. But a good faith effort does need to be made if the trainers want to work at tracks with no-slaughter policy.

    I believe the no-slaughter thing can be done. But we'd need to have all tracks doing it and some way to report a possible violation to the respective track. We only hear about it when a tattooed horse is found by a rescue-type person, and we don't hear about how many quietly vanish unnoticed onto the meat truck.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    so what do you want to do?

    I have a horse that no longer runs, so I give it to the groom who give it to his uncle who gives it to a friend and he sells it at auction.

    So you come and want to mess with me?

    The 'zero-tolerance' thing is feel-good material. It's not workable. not to mention it's easily circumvented.
    At Finger Lakes it's called 'the pit'
    Walk the horse over, pay the Vet to put the horse who won you $$ down, and be done with it.
    Sending a horse with chips, fractures, and other issues off to a slaughter sale, or to a home or anywhere is simply passing the buck. It's not ok. It reflects badly on all of us horseman, esp if we shrug and say 'buyer beware'.

    And if you know that the horse arrived at the auction only one hand away from the trainer/owner and that trainer/owner KNEW where it was headed? Sorry Ala your scenario happens, but in this case we know that the trainer knew... and sent the horse off, injured, anyway. Shame on him. After the horse made him money no less.

    A Track with a policy but no plan to enforce it is busy issuing lip service. Boo hoo they got called on the policy THEY put in place. Was a gun to their heads when they wrote that policy? Tough noogies they are now being shown to have a empty policy that was probably implemented to make themselves look good. How's that working for you know Finger Lakes? If no one has learned anything from the 'Penn State' type disasters, they should note, a cover up ALWAYS ends up uncovered. And ends up making you look WORSE.

    And how sad that people involved with helping horses can't at least step up and offer advice, names, phone numbers and other help when these horses are found in bad places. Doing good is admirable, but the real measure of your mettle, of how charitable you are is not when you do what you want to do, but when you are presented with a problem and how you then handle it or how fast you instead stash your head in the sand.

    I am so disgusted.



  8. #8
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    Default

    And another thing... someone noted that mentioning this on the other thread jeopardized the horses listed. Those horses are in jeaopardy anyway, as evidenced by the horses found in bad places. Shall we just ignore that? Pretending it does not happen will not help those horses on the trainers listings who do not get bought before seasons end. Where will those horses go? I'll give you 3 guesses- NH, Camelot, Unadilla... oh and a fourth... direct to slaughter.

    Here's an idea; presently the trainers/owners pay a fee to support those SIXTEEN stalls at Purple Haze, while most of them never get to use one cause ... hello there are only 16 [yes more than most tracks].
    How about instead the trainers/owners pay into a euth fund, so an injured horse can be taken over to 'the pit' and put down for less than they are now... and problem solved. Purple Haze helps 16 horses a year [depending on how fast they do/do not get adopted]. I bet 4 times that or even more need to simply be put down. So fund that Finger Lakes.



  9. #9
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    Default

    The simple answer to this is zero tolerance must follow a process based on the all American concept that the accused party is innocent until proved guilty. That means that anyone lodging a complaint against a trainer must go to the track owner or HBPA president with hard evidence against that trainer. That translates into sales receipts with the trainer's name on it. In other words, you can't just take away a man's lively hood because you think he sold his horse with the intent to have that horse end up at a low end auction.

    All tracks have legal counsel and I'm sure the need for having hard evidence was made clear to them from the start of their Zero Tolerance Stance. I'm sure it took about two seconds to realize that in order for the track to play a part in truely protecting the horses they needed to do something proactive, something that might help change the whole culture of the backside. So what else could they do that might protect the horses from slaughter? In Finger Lake's case they were the first track to put an adoption program in place. (Thank you Margaret Ohlinger.) I'm not sure if the Exceller program came before the adoption program, but they were the first Finger Lakes listing service. Then "Louise" began the Finger Lakes listing program, and most recently we got the endorsement of HBPA and were able to continue listing horses as Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds. So while Zero Tolerance tied the hands of track officials because of the necessary paper trail, their proactive programs offered trainers viable solutions to horses needing off track placement.

    If you have a legitimate complaint and a paper trail to support it, it is not hard to get the attention you need to register that complaint. Just go to the top of the chain of command. Stewards have very well defined jobs and their hands are tied to do anything. Don't go there. Go to the top. It's easy to find those phone numbers at any track.

    At least as far as Finger Lakes goes, it's pretty hard for me to criticize a track who works this hard to give its horsemen alternatives to slaughter. And beyond the recognized organizations there is a huge community of vets and individuals who also work to ensure many of the lame horses come to humane ends.



  10. #10
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    One of the big problems with enforcing a zero tolerance policy is that horses often go through several sets of hands before ending up at a kill sale or with a kill buyer. What we run into a fair amount is a horse showing up at New Holland or Camelot (or both, heh), that someone at the track gave to someone a few weeks before. That person might sell him to so and so, or give him to someone else, and all told a horse can pass through 3-4 sets of hands before showing up at the auction. And then, how do you legally hold the track connections responsible?

    It often comes down to a trainer or owner saying, "well so and so told me they'd retrain it and find him a new home" or "I thought it was a good home" or "I sold the horse to some lady" - and then the line of who is responsible gets very fuzzy.

    I believe there's a young woman in PA who just got slapped with fraud charges for taking horses off Penn National under false pretenses then selling them at NH and to kill buyers.

    But all in all these policies are much harder to enforce than you might think. And I know at CT they're also worried that because of a new state law (if I understand this right), people who had been ruled off the track for being involved in moving horses to slaughter may be able to get back in, without the track being able to do much about it (it's licensing related, and made some changes as to who has licensing power at racetracks, iirc). CT takes this stuff pretty seriously - I think they realize this is not only a moral and ethical issue but also as something that has repurcussions for the business of racing in general.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela Freda View Post
    At Finger Lakes it's called 'the pit'
    Walk the horse over, pay the Vet to put the horse who won you $$ down, and be done with it.
    Sending a horse with chips, fractures, and other issues off to a slaughter sale, or to a home or anywhere is simply passing the buck. It's not ok. It reflects badly on all of us horseman, esp if we shrug and say 'buyer beware'.

    And if you know that the horse arrived at the auction only one hand away from the trainer/owner and that trainer/owner KNEW where it was headed? Sorry Ala your scenario happens, but in this case we know that the trainer knew... and sent the horse off, injured, anyway. Shame on him. After the horse made him money no less.

    A Track with a policy but no plan to enforce it is busy issuing lip service. Boo hoo they got called on the policy THEY put in place. Was a gun to their heads when they wrote that policy? Tough noogies they are now being shown to have a empty policy that was probably implemented to make themselves look good. How's that working for you know Finger Lakes? If no one has learned anything from the 'Penn State' type disasters, they should note, a cover up ALWAYS ends up uncovered. And ends up making you look WORSE.

    And how sad that people involved with helping horses can't at least step up and offer advice, names, phone numbers and other help when these horses are found in bad places. Doing good is admirable, but the real measure of your mettle, of how charitable you are is not when you do what you want to do, but when you are presented with a problem and how you then handle it or how fast you instead stash your head in the sand.

    I am so disgusted.
    You are assuming.

    The point I made is that you can't legislate what happens down the road.

    The horse had chips when it left the trainers barn? Can you prove it?

    'The Pit' is not a half bad thing.
    going into the fine differences on how to put a horse down and what to do with the remains but we have run in circles on that one for years.

    Giving a broken down horse away is bad. For the horse, for the recipient, for the image, true.
    But really, you try to police everybody's intentions along the line.

    The direct line has always worked, the horse just goes in the front of the truck where nobody ever looks.

    This is not about the end of the horse, this is about the hypocrisy in the movement to keep horsy from going to slaughter.
    It happens. It will always happen. Putting a feelgood rule in place is not going to stop it. It's THAT simple.


    When I give I don't give with strings attached. Even animals. because I don't want strings attached to what I receive. Even animals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela Freda View Post
    Sorry Ala your scenario happens, but in this case we know that the trainer knew... and sent the horse off, injured, anyway.
    The problem is, you can "know" the trainer knew, but that's different than proving it to the point of making it actionable. That's the hard part of all this.

    (and of course, even worse, is that people who don't want to make the effort to place/euth/otherwise take care of their horses aren't going to be stopped by this policy - they just go "underground" - sending horses to dealers with strict instructions to not try to re-sell or run through an auction, etc. They go the "direct to kill" route, which is much harder for us to find out about.)
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEPowell View Post
    In Finger Lake's case they were the first track to put an adoption program in place. (Thank you Margaret Ohlinger.) I'm not sure if the Exceller program came before the adoption program, but they were the first Finger Lakes listing service. Then "Louise" began the Finger Lakes listing program, and most recently we got the endorsement of HBPA and were able to continue listing horses as Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds. So while Zero Tolerance tied the hands of track officials because of the necessary paper trail, their proactive programs offered trainers viable solutions to horses needing off track placement.
    How much good do you have to do in order to get a pass for some bad you might do?

    [/QUOTE]If you have a legitimate complaint and a paper trail to support it, it is not hard to get the attention you need to register that complaint. Just go to the top of the chain of command. Stewards have very well defined jobs and their hands are tied to do anything. Don't go there. Go to the top. It's easy to find those phone numbers at any track.[/QUOTE]
    It is? Really? I'm a pretty good internet detective and I could not find it. Maybe they need a page on the Purple Haze website explaining what you need and and who to call. Is that so hard to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by SEPowell View Post
    At least as far as Finger Lakes goes, it's pretty hard for me to criticize a track who works this hard to give its horsemen alternatives to slaughter. And beyond the recognized organizations there is a huge community of vets and individuals who also work to ensure many of the lame horses come to humane ends.
    The point is that a horse who was catastrophically injured was sent off [regardless of whether they knew where to or not]... instead of being walked to the pit. WHY? Shame on them!

    As for documentation... if you don't know how or who to reach at FL to find help for a horse you see at a sale [late at night]... and the horse then goes to slaughter... the documentation is slaughtered. SO then what do you have? If a tree falls in the woods... if a Finger Lakes horse is sent to slaughter but you can not PROVE it... was it really slaughtered?
    Help is only as good as how accessible it is. A policy is only as good as those who made it want it to be.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinated View Post
    The problem is, you can "know" the trainer knew, but that's different than proving it to the point of making it actionable. That's the hard part of all this.

    (and of course, even worse, is that people who don't want to make the effort to place/euth/otherwise take care of their horses aren't going to be stopped by this policy - they just go "underground" - sending horses to dealers with strict instructions to not try to re-sell or run through an auction, etc. They go the "direct to kill" route, which is much harder for us to find out about.)
    The one horse in question had chips and a fracture. That happened at the track, probably in her last race she trailed in. She then had a months lay up and then was shipped to Unadilla.... where were the officials who had to be aware that at the very least she finished that last race with some kind of injury.
    When a horse comes out of a race dead last/lame/whatever, don't they have to show- at the next work out at least- what was found to be wrong top cause that poor last finish? If not, shouldn't they? This would not only show the horse received care, and protect the trainer should something happen in the next race... but also protect the horse and insure that they are being cared for to a minimum standard.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    You are assuming.
    I dunno hat you are saying I am assuming, but let me tell you [and I will via PM if you care to hear the saga] I know alot more about these FL horses than I can say here.
    All of it makes me sick.

    'This is not about the end of the horse, this is about the hypocrisy in the movement to keep horsy from going to slaughter.
    It happens. It will always happen. Putting a feelgood rule in place is not going to stop it. It's THAT simple.'
    No this is about the hypocrisy of an empty policy this track made voluntarily and very publicly.
    *I* did not make them make that policy. Either they truly meant to keep horses from going from their track to slaughter and appreciate hearing when it happens... or they made the policy to make themselves look good... and now they have egg on their face.
    Will be interesting to see which it is.



  16. #16
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    For those tracks with a "zero tolerance policy" why not have a standard contract readily available to the trainers. I sold X horse on X date for X amount with the agreement horse will not be sold to slaughter. Signature and printed name of trainer and sig/printed name,address phone number of buyer. Trainer gets top copy, buyer gets bottom copy and owner of the horse gets 3rd. I am really seriously not understanding how an owner cannot know on a day to day basis how many horses they own and what the status is of these horses. I am all for holding the trainers and owners BOTH responsible for the welfare of the horses they own. Agreement I listed above should be kept for records for 2 years. If it's found either the trainer or the buyer violated the terms of the agreement than whatever the value of the horse (monies earned) should be paid back to the owner(listed with JC) of the horse. If horse is sold to a third party without a written contract than buyer with the last contract wins. So if I buy a horse from trainer and sign the agreement and then sell it at auction for meat I have to pay owner of horse (JC) value of horse. If I sell to someone without a written agreement and horse is sold for meat (or rescued) again I have to pay last owner value of horse. If I sell with written contract, I'm free and clear.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  17. #17
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    Okay so you can't punish the trainer, but when he is told his horse was found at auction less than 2 weeks after she ran for him and finished last (breaking down?); and less than 2 months after winning 4,000 for the team, can't they have the decency to pay the vet bill?


    The New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund boasts of giving out 5 million dollars in incentives to breeders and stallion owners in 2010. Why is not there a nice fat retirement fund for the horses, just wondering.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by commandercody View Post
    Okay so you can't punish the trainer, but when he is told his horse was found at auction less than 2 weeks after she ran for him and finished last (breaking down?); and less than 2 months after winning 4,000 for the team, can't they have the decency to pay the vet bill?


    The New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund boasts of giving out 5 million dollars in incentives to breeders and stallion owners in 2010. Why is not there a nice fat retirement fund for the horses, just wondering.
    you can be morally outraged but even if the horse was found at the sale the next day but not consigned by the trainer, do you really want to go that route?!

    You are talking about retirement funds for horses in an industry that does not even do that for people!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  19. #19
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    I think it is great that Americans are so keen on dictating morality. I really do.

    I am really sick of having the blame laid at the trainers' feet. There are actually some owners who *gasp* have a trailer. They can come pick up their horses whenever they feel like it and do whatever they want to with them. Even if that means taking them to slaughter. Or giving them to someone who ends up taking them to slaughter.

    Stop laying this responsiblity on the trainer. The owner OWNS the horse. What if he doesn't want the trainer to put a broke down horse down? Do you still want the trainer to put the horse down then have to accept financial responsibility for the owner's loss of property?

    There are many owners who allow their trainers the discretion of how to dispose of no longer wanted horses, but there are many more, particularly at cheaper tracks that will bring the stock trailer, load the horse and head for the auction. Or give the order for the trainer to do just that.

    In the end, the trainers DON"T OWN THE HORSE. Why punish them for their owners' decisions? The trainer can give other avenues for getting rid of horses, but it is not up to them to be moral police. Apparently, that is the job of many on CoTH

    Flame suit zipped
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustbreeches View Post
    I think it is great that Americans are so keen on dictating morality. I really do.

    I am really sick of having the blame laid at the trainers' feet. There are actually some owners who *gasp* have a trailer. They can come pick up their horses whenever they feel like it and do whatever they want to with them. Even if that means taking them to slaughter. Or giving them to someone who ends up taking them to slaughter.

    Stop laying this responsiblity on the trainer. The owner OWNS the horse.
    Flame suit zipped
    In this case, and in many cases at this particular track, owner and trainer are one and same.
    So I think when many of us are writing 'trainer' we mean 'owner/trainer'.



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