GRAND JUNCTION, CO (Wild Horses & Burros) — The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet Oct. 18-19 in Grand Junction, Colorado, to discuss wild horse and burro overpopulation on public lands and the impacts the animals are having on the range.
Today, the BLM estimates that about 73,000 wild horses and burros reside in 10 Western states—a record number since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed—and almost three times the number the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other land uses.
The meeting will be held at the Grand Vista Hotel, 2790 Crossroads Boulevard at Horizon Drive. The hotel’s website address is grandvistahotel.com and its phone number is 970/241-1077.
Prior to the meeting, a field tour will be held on Oct. 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., departing from the Grand Vista Hotel lobby in Grand Junction. The field tour will have limited availability for the public on a first-come, first-served advance sign up. Attendees must provide for their own transportation (four-wheel drive recommended). To sign up, contact Dorothea Boothe by e-mail no later than Oct. 6 at email@example.com.
The public can address the Advisory Board on Oct. 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. Individuals who want to make a statement should register in person with the BLM prior to 3 p.m., local time, on that same day at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board could limit the length of presentations, set at three minutes for previous meetings.
Speakers should submit a written copy of their statement to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting. There will be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments may be recorded. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement to:
National Wild Horse and Burro Program
Attention: Ramona DeLorme
1340 Financial Boulevard
Reno, NV, 89502-7147
Comments may also be e-mailed to the BLM at firstname.lastname@example.org; please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the e-mail’s subject line.
Thanks to horse advocates like you a lot of pressure has been put on the Governor of Colorado and the State’s lawmakers, but chiefly on the Governor.
It is Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who has finally responded, stating he is “supportive of some sort of new oversight”.
What? There’s more.
“When financial self-interest is involved, people might dope up horses — do things that are unacceptable for almost everyone,” Governor Hickenlooper told FOX31 during a recent on-camera interview.
“You want to get all those people together and say how can we make sure these horses are not mistreated for the lowest amount of cost and intrusion into people’s lives? We want to make the regulatory part of as minimum as possible and still guarantee the welfare of horses.”
The key words here are financial self-interest.
Chief of Racing Enforcement, Ron Hammerzell, told the FOX31 Problem Solvers he hears complaints about unsanctioned horse racing, happening at rodeo grounds like in Deer Trail, but can’t do anything about it.
Hammerzell said, “Simply, our statutory authority doesn’t really allow us to get involved there. Again, when local law enforcement calls, we assist them in any way we can.”
How about reporting it to the FBI? Isn’t this type of activity where illegal gambling is involved a federal crime, like dog fighting?
Governor Hickenlooper thinks with the help of venue operators, animal rights organizations (like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), lawmakers, and racing regulators, the state can and should start thinking about crafting some simple safety rules that bring horse match-races out of the shadows.
The ASPCA are animal welfarists and exactly who you do not want in a situation like this. It is nigh to impossible to make these horses safe in sanctioned horse racing let alone unsanctioned. Look at the horrible day-to-day drugging, abuse and death connected with sanctioned horse racing.
Sadly we see that no firm stand for what is right is going to be taken by the politically ineffective Governor of Colorado. And we are not simply talking about the horses here even though they are our main focus.
Hickenlooper asked, “How to we get to a compromise where everyone is satisfied – where we can make sure horses are not mistreated, the spectators and racers are safe and the end of every day, everything is going to be okay?”
It is never right in cases of potentially dangerous and abusive activities to try to satisfy everyone. It shouldn’t even be a consideration.
Compromise. What an ugly word in the context of this barbaric issue. For the most part, the only ones being compromised are the horses. Sound familiar?
Response from Legitimate Racing
We have been trying to get a response from legitimate horse racing in Colorado but none will give Tuesday’s Horse or The Horse Fund a statement. However, we notice no one we spoke with seemed particularly concerned. Is it because this is a way of unloading racehorses they don’t want any longer without having to go through the bothersome task of getting rid of them some other way such as via the meat man at auction?
The undercover report mentions that the unsanctioned races they investigated were run primarily by hispanics. Since there are so many hispanics working at U.S. racetracks they are in a prime position to acquire racehorses for unsanctioned races. Is this another reason those running horses at sanctioned races prefer to stay mum or don’t seem to have a problem with it? It seems they would at least be concerned about the gambling revenues they are losing. Why aren’t they? Is someone in sanctioned racing taking kickbacks?
Take action residents of Colorado.
• Find your State Legislators and call or email them. The Legislature is not in session but they are working. Tell them that you are disappointed with the Governor’s response and ask them to amend an existing statute or pass a new one that will make unsanctioned racing illegal Colorado.
Tip: Collect your thoughts. Make a note of what you want to say, rehearse it a few times until you feel you’ve “got it”. Then dial and deliver it. We all do that here so we present our views in the best possible way.
DENVER, Colorado. KDVR FOX31. Chris Halsne and Chris Koeberl reporting. (May 18, 2017) — Hidden cameras capture doping, gambling and abuse of horses as regulators, politicians, and law enforcement turn a blind eye. Go to full investigative report »
It’s Easter Sunday outside the Deer Trail Rodeo grounds.
Armed teams of private security in flak jackets set up a road block searching passengers and vehicles. What they are looking for is unclear, but alcohol and beer are allowed to pass. An Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy drove by slowly on the street outside the stadium, but did not stop.
By early afternoon, approximately 500 spectators are lined up along metal railings near a long, manicured dirt track.
They were drawn here by an online advertising push from a company calling itself Parejeras Racing USA.
A Spanish language flyer promised 10 “match-races,” with prize money in the thousands of dollars.
At first glance, the horse races looked much like the legal, sanctioned ones held at Colorado’s only licensed horse race facility, Arapahoe Park in Aurora.
Jockeys, in colorful silk, mounted muscular Quarter horses draped with matching blankets embossed with large numbers. Handlers helped guide the horses and riders to a metal starting gate.
As the horses charged down the straight-away, it became apparent, there were few rules.
Whipping of the animals was harsh and nearly nonstop.
In one race, a jockey veered his horse into another competitor. The high-speed ramming pushed the thundering beasts toward spectators standing within inches of the track, including children.
In two other races, jockeys lost their balance and went tumbling among the hoofs of other race horses.
Problem Solvers, working with knowledgeable insiders, acquired hidden camera footage of not only the races, but all the activities happening just off the track.
The drugging of the horses is rampant and potentially lethal.
Hidden camera footage revealed a brown liquid being injected into a racehorse’s neck who moments later was entered into the starting gates and raced.
The liquid in the syringe was described as “ ‘typically a cocktail of stimulants’ to ramp up the horse’s heart – to get it to run faster”.
Equine veterinarian Bruce Connelly stated, “I’ve seen match-race horses run blind. Break themselves up because of stuff that was put in ‘em that shouldn’t have been.”
Local Law Enforcement
The problem is, the report points out, is that law enforcement and the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees some 1,400 pages of racing regulations, can take action only in sanctioned horse races. Adding “it seemed impossible to FOX31 that such a large event, widely advertised and attended by so many people could go unnoticed by local politicians.”
Oh, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by local politicians or law enforcement. They have either turned a blind eye to it like that Arapahoe Sheriff’s deputy who drove slowly by and didn’t stop, or profited by it, or both.
What about the Mayor?
According to state records, Deer Trail mayor, Kent Vashus is the “registered agent” of the Deer Trail Jockey Club. The Jockey Club is one of the oldest non-profits in Colorado and owner of the Rodeo grounds where the unsanctioned Easter races were held.
Vashus admitted to the FOX31 Problem Solvers he had allowed Parejares Racing USA to use the Rodeo grounds for races in the past. Records show he approved at least fourteen “Mexican Horse Races” in Deer Trail since 2015.
Contact the Governor and register your concern using his online form. Ask him to take immediate action against unsanctioned horse racing and the horrific abuses of the horses used for it. Notwithstanding the horses, onlookers including children are put at risk of injury and even death. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report with him — https://goo.gl/ajkEFl.
(1) Contact your individual legislator stating this is an important issue to you and you wish to see it on the next Session’s agenda. Share this shortened link to the full KDVR investigative report — https://goo.gl/ajkEFl.
(2) Contact the following Colorado lawmakers urging them to place this issue on the next Session’s agenda and enact all laws necessary to make these unauthorized races illegal. Be sure to share the link to the full KDVR investigative report — https://goo.gl/ajkEFl.
• Speaker of the House, Cristanta Duran (email@example.com)
• House Majority Leader, K.C. Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• House Minority Leader, Patrick Neville (email@example.com)
• President of the Senate, Kevin Grantham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Senate Majority Leader, Chris Holbert (email@example.com)
• Senate Minority Leader, Lucia Garcia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oh, and throw that unscrupulous Mayor of yours Kent Vashus out on his ear next election Deer Trail residents.
FEATURED IMAGE The image of the horse looking out from under the stands was taken at the Deer Trail Rodeo Grounds and is used here for illustrative purposes only. The image was not filed with the source report.
DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver police officer on the mounted patrol unit has been docked one day of vacation as punishment after documents showed his horse was left tied up for 16 hours without food or water.
A disciplinary letter said that on Sept. 26, officer Joseph Teeter finished his mounted patrol shift and returned to the Denver Police Mounted Patrol Barn to unload his horse, MC Hammer, into a stall.
Teeter tied the horse to an eye hook with a rope that left about 2 to 3 feet of slack. The letter said Teeter “became distracted doing paperwork and forgot he had left the horse tied in the stall.”
The horse was discovered still tied up in the stall at 6:15 a.m. the next morning. The horse had no access to food or water during those 16 hours.