New Bucksport residents raise rescued Clydesdales

BUCKPORT, Maine (The Elsworth American)  — Earlier this month, a Texas couple moved to Silver Lake Road with a very large 5-year-old. His name is Butch, and he is a 2,700-pound Clydesdale horse, but don’t let the size scare you.

“You’ll see they are just very giant puppy dogs,” said David Doane, who takes care of Butch, six other horses, a mule and a cat along with his wife, Michelle Rhodes. The whole bunch moved to Bucksport from Texas earlier this month. “They would sit in your lap if they could figure out how to.”

Clydesdales are a large breed of horse used originally for pulling plows or hauling coal. Today the breed is famous for its appearance in Budweiser beer commercials, but it also plays a troubled role in the production of an estrogen-rich drug called Premarin, which is used to treat symptoms of menopause.

Premarin is made of the estrogen found in pregnant mare urine and, considering their size, Clydesdale mares produce a lot of urine. Several pharmaceutical companies put thousands of Clydesdale mares in pens, where they stayed for months at a time and urinated into bags. Once the mares delivered their foals, most of the foals were sold for slaughter, their meat shipped to consumers in Europe and Asia.

“It’s a nasty business,” Rhodes said. “They sell the babies to slaughter if people don’t adopt them.” Continue reading »

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David Doane smiles at Butch, one of his and his wife Michelle Rhodes’ seven horses. The gang, which also includes one mule and one cat, moved to Bucksport from Texas earlier this month. The Elsworth American.

Former racehorses rescued from slaughter

Update 5/17/2017 8:17 a.m EST. Since Shedrow Confessions seems to have a handle on the backstory to this report, we will refer you to them and close our investigation. Go to for their story. Warning: Foul Language.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Source) — A San Diego County horse rescue is saving 20 thoroughbred racehorses from being slaughtered for meat, which is sold on the black market for human consumption in other parts of the world.

Michelle Cochran runs HiCaliber Horse Rescue in Valley Center.

“I have been in the horse world for over a decade and I haven’t known it existed,” Cochran said.

She wants to raise awareness on illegal horse meat trade.

“It’s human consumption. That’s the biggest issue,” Cochran said. “It’s all for human consumption.”

Cochran said in some parts of Europe, Russia and Asia, people eat horse meat. Some of the horses who end up in the “kill pens” are former racehorses.

It’s a fact that can be traced back to the tattoos that race horses have inside their upper lip.

When Cochran learned of 20 thoroughbred racehorses about to be slaughtered for meat in Louisiana, she and the group jumped into action – raising $40,000 in 48 hours.

“If they get hurt. They are too slow. They are too old. They are done,” Cochran said. Continue reading »

Take Action to End Horse Slaughter

Write or call your U.S. Representative and ask them to co-sponsor and use their influence to pass the SAFE ActH.R. 113 — that bans horse slaughter and closes the export to slaughter loophole for all horses including racehorses.

Story Source: Channel 10 News, San Diego.

Mother-daughter team up with kill buyer to save horses from slaughter

PEABODY, KAN. — Donald Bradley, reporting for the Kansas City Star, writes:

Every day, often several times a day, Saje Bayes drives the dirt road to the kill lot.

There she sees the horses that will soon be loaded on a truck to Mexico for slaughter.

Saje and her mother, Amy Bayes, save the ones they can.

“New ones show up all the time,” said Saje, 20, a college student. “I need to see them.”

In the dark, sometimes secretive world of horse slaughter in America — a longtime controversy that some think may soon kick back up with a new president — a natural enmity exists between horse rescue groups and “kill buyers,” the grim term used for those who purchase horses to resell them to Mexican slaughter plants.

Then there’s Saje (pronounced sage) and Amy Bayes, who run Greenwood Stables and Equine Horse Rescue. They have a working relationship with a kill buyer not far from their place near the Whitewater River on the western edge of the Flint Hills in south-central Kansas. The man lets them have dibs on any horse they think they can find a home for.

Last year, that amounted to 700 horses. Sounds like a lot, but it’s only a fraction of the number that went to Mexico on the man’s crowded trucks.

“The picking is the worst thing ever,” said Amy Bayes, who works as a librarian in Newton.

She agreed to talk about her relationship with the man only if his name was not used in this story. She worried that animal welfare activists could jeopardize the arrangement she has with him.

“He puts up with a lot from us,” Amy said. “He lets us pull horses he would rather we not. He gives us a chance to find them homes. He’s been nice. We’re not friends by any means, and he knows what side I’m on. We just agree to disagree.” Continue reading »

Photo: Keith Meyers, Kansas City Star.

A Christmas rescue makes it a happy new year for a horse, disabled children and the taxpayer

Updated 1/25/2016 2:40 pm

Just before Christmas I spotted a gorgeous, healthy, palomino quarter horse colt in a kill pen in Bastrop, Louisiana awaiting shipment to slaughter in Mexico. I bought him as a gift for a therapeutic riding school for handicapped children in Victoria, Texas and shipped him to them.

Had I not intervened he would have been crammed into a crowded trailer with panic stricken adult horses and sent to a hellish death or been trampled to death in transit. A foreign meat company would have made a few hundred bucks selling him by the pound and paying no U.S. taxes. His story would have ended there.

However, now that he has been snatched from the slimy clutches of the foreign horse meat trade he will go to on to a loving home and a long, productive life as a therapeutic riding horse. He will help thousands of emotionally and physically handicapped kids overcome their challenges.

In his 20-year life he will generate several million dollars (I calculate about 9 million) in taxable economic activity in hay, grain, stable salaries, lesson fees, farriers, tooth care, vet services, etc.

A few hundred bucks to a foreign corporation, zero benefits to the U.S. and a one-way trip to horse hell for a beloved American icon vs a productive life, enrichment of the lives of Americans, and millions to our economy are the side effects of horse slaughter.

This is the choice represented by passage of HR 1942/S 1214 — to get rid of the slaughter of our horses.

I urge ya’ll to pass this bill in 2016 so that we can multiply this success story by 130,000 per year (92% of the 140,000 horses slaughtered per year are healthy and young just like this one), pump billions into our economy and stop the foreign meat traders from robbing us of a cherished American treasure.

If you’re so inclined please forward a link to this story to your State and Federal legislators as these are all strong talking points for stopping the slaughter of our horses.

Happy New Year!!!

Brian Sullivan

We will update you with pictures when we receive them. —Editor.