Custard the foal left motherless by the nurse mare industry is rescued

Via One Green Planet

Caslon Quote Left BlackThanks to the tireless efforts of Edgar’s Mission and the folks at Horse Shepherd Rehabilitation Center, an orphaned foal named Custard has been given a second chance to grow up with a loving mother. For those of you who are meeting Custard for the first time, here is a little background about our hero.

Custard’s mother is a thoroughbred mare who was ripped away from her baby and forced to foster another foal. Custard was only two-and-a-half weeks old when this happened. This is common practice in many facets of the husbandry industry and one that leaves many animals without mothers.

Thankfully Edgar’s Mission took charge of Custard and got in touch with the Horse Shepherd Rehabilitation Center. As luck would have it, the rehabilitation center had a mare who had recently lost her own foal to natural causes. When we left Custard, she was on her way to meet Meg in the hopes that she and her foster mother would accept each other.

See also this uplifting page on which includes Custard’s rescue and six other heartwarming stories. It’s called “Seven Animals Who are Blissful of Anything Outside of Their Happiness Bubble”. Go there now »

Watch the video at One Green Planet to see how Meg and Custard are now fully bonded and as happy as any family can be. Go there now »


Milk of Death: The Dark Side of the Nurse Mare Industry, by Jane Allin.


Custard and Edgars Mission Director Pam Ahern (pictured at top) stepped in to give Custard the reassurance and love she needed until a long-term home could be found for the foal. Thanks to the loving team at Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary, she was able to be bonded with foster mare, Megs, who is now giving her everything she needs to grow into a happy and healthy horse.

Adopting no sale Thoroughbreds (US)


Wow, at long last horse breeders and traders with their thinking caps on. And not solely about themselves, but about the future of the horses they bring into the world.

This is such a step forward that it is difficult for us to think of anything sarcastic to say, and as our dear readers know, we have plenty of it for the nonsensical ideas people who have control over horses’ lives come up with. Or worse, ones that design programs who say they are in our horses’ interests, and are anything but.

In an article entitled “Unwanted Horses: A Challenge for Sellers,” by the excellent Deirdre Biles writing for The Blood-Horse, she tells us about a new adoption program for Thoroughbreds that remain unsold.

Calling them unwanted would not be our choice of words, rather these are horses, because of excessive breeding, have no takers in the sale ring. They are unsold horses, not unwanted horses.

The unsold Thoroughbred adoption program is the brainchild of Antony Beck, president of Gainesway Farm in Lexington. So far, we like Mr. Beck.

Beck tells Biles:

It’s a sad, but a very definite situation that we’re facing,” Beck said. “A large number of Thoroughbreds are going to be taken out of the breed one way or another, and it would be wonderful if they could go out of the racing orbit into the show horse or pleasure horse worlds. This is a way we can save a lot of lives.

Biles reports that available Thoroughbreds will be listed on the website of the Blood-Horse‘s sister publication, The Horse (

The site will allow Thoroughbred owners to list information about horses they are willing to give away free to good homes in the United States.

Uh, oh. That does not sound so good. First they are adopting them out, then offering no Sale Thoroughbreds for sale, now they are giving them away. How many times are people warned never to advertise any animal, “free to a good home?” And of course is an AAEP affiliated site. The AAEP (American Association of Equine Practioners), along with the AVMA, are pro horse slaughter and lobby against legislation prohibiting it. Of course, that is their creepy Boards, and not all of their members, who have courageously broken from the pack and come out against horse slaughter.

Read >> Rescue Highlights Danger of Free Horse Offers from

Biles informs us that:

More than 5,800 Thoroughbreds are cataloged to the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland mixed sales in November in Central Kentucky. All but 189 of that total (including one late addition) are in the Keeneland auction.

According to Keeneland’s director of sales, Geoffrey Russell, his company is taking a “wait and see” approach to the situation, but he praised Beck for seeking a solution to what could become a very big problem.

“We commend Mr. Beck for trying to find alternative markets for these Thoroughbreds (that aren’t considered commercially viable), and we think it’s a great idea,” Russell said.

Here comes the money part of it, but it would be totally out of the question for it not to:

During previous Thoroughbred market downturns, people buying horses for slaughter and broodmares to join nurse mare herds shopped at the lower end of the Kentucky mixed sales. But the $1,000 minimum bid at both Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton was designed to make horses too expensive for slaughter buyers, and it also probably will shut out nurse mare owners as well.

>> The Blood-Horse

For the minimum bid we can thank the late and sainted John Hettinger.

Ah, the cruelties of nurse mares. That is another story for another day.