It seems inconceivable that a member of a prominent horse racing family that includes a celebrated jockey and trainer does not know when he is sending horses to an auction frequented by buyers for a slaughter plant. However, that is what Keith Asmussen, father of retired international jockey Cash Asmussen and noted American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer Steve Asmussen, is claiming.
Esther Marr and Ron Mitchell reporting for The Blood-Horse write:
Ten broodmares at a Texas livestock auction frequented by kill buyers were shipped there by Keith Asmussen’s Asmussen Horse Center July 7.
Nine of the mares—two of which are by top sires Storm Cat and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew—were purchased by a Thoroughbred aftercare activist and are now under the care of Donna Keen’s Remember Me Rescue. Located 50 miles west of Austin, Texas, the Round Mountain sale is allegedly attended by many buyers that ship their purchases to Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption.
Asmussen told reporters:
“As far as I am concerned (this was a legitimate horse sale), and I had no idea about the killer buyers until (horse rescue activists) started writing me letters.”
The mares are reportedly in good condition except for one who is slightly underweight. They will be checked the weekend of July 14 to see how many are in foal.
The list of rescued horses reads as follows:
—Valid Obsession, a 20-year-old daughter of Valid Appeal and a full sister to sires Valid Expectations and Littleexpectations. She is reported to have a 2012 foal by Asmussen Horse Center stallion Intimidator and was bred back to that stallion for 2013.
—Luxury of Time, a 17-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew. She was bred to Intimidator for 2013.
—Adios La Cucaracha, a 15-year-old daughter of Storm Cat with a 2012 foal by Intimidator and bred to Intimidator for 2013.
—Rhododendron, a 7-year-old daughter of Mutakddim. She has a 2012 foal by Seneca Jones and was bred to Intimidator for 2013.
—Our Revival, a 12-year-old daughter of Ide with a 2012 foal by Heckle and bred to Asmussen Horse Center stallion Primal Storm for 2013.
—Endless Storm, a 20-year-old daughter of Storm Bird with a 2012 foal by Intimidator and bred to Intimidator for 2013.
—Ethel Is Best, a 13-year-old daughter of Woodman. She was bred to Intimidator for 2013.
—Karitsas Punch, a 14-year-old daughter of Two Punch. She was bred to Asmussen Horse Center stallion Littleexpectations for 2013.
—Fans Galore, a 15-year-old daughter of Lear Fan. She was bred to Primal Storm for 2013.
—Empress Jones, an 8-year-old daughter of Seneca Jones with a 2012 foal by Heckle and bred to Intimidator for 2013.
The rescue was first reported by the Paulick Report.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/71203/asmussen-mares-now-at-remember-me-rescue#ixzz20Rw9nG4n
Featured image: Trainer Steve Asmussen at the rail, Belmont Park, 2011. Source: Kathleen Toler, Flickr.