Share Your Love for Wild Horses and Burros at Christmas this Year

…and help save them at the same time

An Open letter from Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s President, R.T. Fitch Logo-yellowbkgd

Fellow Equine Advocates;

Click on image for more information

Click on image for more information

We are greatly honored and pleased to have our own Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s Director of Field Documentation, Carol Walker, host and produce a stunning calendar for us this year. (2016)

Carol’s work is acclaimed internationally and her artistry printed in this calendar speaks volumes to her talent, love and dedication for the last of our wild horses and burros.

We don’t spend much time soliciting funds from hard working advocates because like you, we know that every penny counts. But if you want to help the wild equines, inexpensively clean up your Christmas shopping list AND share your love and commitment to our wild horses and burros with your family and friends then please, look to our calendar to do all of the above and more.

Over 60 award winning photos of the Adobe Town Herd adorn the pages of this dynamic calendar and with every passing day it will remind you of why we do what we do in an effort to save these majestic creatures.

Click on image for more information

Click on image for more information

50% (not 5, 10 or 20) of the proceeds will go directly into the war chest of Wild Horse Freedom Federation so that we can continue our outreach, education and legal battles with those who wish to brush the wild ones off from their rightful range.

Share a piece of us with your family and friends and I assure you that next year will have the potential to sincerely make a difference for those who cannot speak for themselves.

I would like to personally thank all of you for the sacrifices that you have made and for standing with us shoulder to shoulder in this most worthy fight. Together, we can change the future for our beloved wild horses and burros.

Keep the Faith my Friends.

R.T. Fitch
President and Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Second FL Horse Stolen and Slaughtered

By as published on The Herald-Tribune

“This wasn’t some horse on a farm,…This was someone’s pet.”

Thunder was stolen from his home in South Florida over the past weekend and slaughtered for his meat, according to a story in the Miami Herald. (Provided by Miami-Dade Police Department)

Thunder was stolen from his home in South Florida over the past weekend and slaughtered for his meat, according to a story in the Miami Herald. (Provided by Miami-Dade Police Department)

SARASOTA, FL — The second slaughter of a horse in less than a month has only strengthened the resolve of Florida horse owners to protect their farms from rustlers.

Thunder, a 23-year-old bay gelding, was stolen from Sandra and Jeffrey Fobb’s Homestead property in Homestead and found butchered Monday night, Miami-Dade Detective Marjorie Eloi told the Miami Herald. Thieves killed the horse for meat, Eloi said.

“This wasn’t some horse on a farm,” the detective told the Herald. “This was someone’s pet.”

Thunder disappeared sometime between 8 p.m. Saturday and 7:45 a.m. Sunday. Police say the fence was damaged on the east side of the property and fresh tire tracks were found nearby.

“How do you have comfort in an area where people don’t have any care for people’s pets?” Jeffrey Fob said. “It’s sad.”

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow said his agency is aware of the Homestead slaughter case, but isn’t sure if the incident is connected to the similar death of a champion show horse at Imperial farms in Palmetto.

The 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Phedras de Blondel, which had been recently purchased by Debbie Stephens of Imperial Farms, was taken from its stall and butchered in a nearby stable on the property in the 10000 block of Gillett Road in Parrish.

According to websites about equestrian competitions, the horse was a Grand Prix winner in Europe and being prepared to compete in the U.S.

Bristow said there are no suspects in the Palmetto case.

“We’re still investigating,” he said. “No arrests have been made. We are still looking at (the case) but at this point it is still an active investigation.

“We still need help from the public.”

More than 391 donations have been made to a reward fund at, totaling $52,715, in the last 29 days. An update on the site says $30,000 will be set aside, “to help bring justice for Phedras de Blondel’s death.”

The rest of the funds will go to the a non-profit foundation called “The Phedras Fund,” created to “eradicate” the theft and slaughter of horses for human consumption, according to the Centennial Equestrian Reward Fund page on

Banding together

A close-knit horse community is determined to deter thieves with added security and neighborhood watch, said local dressage training and horse riding instructor Karen Abbattista.

“We are just banding together and being neighborly,” said Abbattista, who is a U.S. Dressage Federation silver and bronze medalist recipient. “That’s really all you can do.”

Some local farms such as Fox Lea have installed state of the art security systems to combat bandits who may try to take their horses.

But Abbattista said neighbors in rural communities whose farms are not as well protected need to start reaching out to each other.

“I’m lucky enough to live in an equestrian community and we look out for one another,” she said. “We are all aware of the dangers posed that have come up from the recent incidents.

“We are a pretty close-knit community. We do look out for each other. We are in it for the horses and we love the horses. Nobody wants anything to happen to them.”

Legislative action

Meanwhile, legislative action already was underway even before the most recent horse slaughtering cases.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, is one of the lead sponsors of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, a proposed law introduced in April that would permanently ban the killing of horses for human consumption in America.

The law also would bans the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses, where animals are killed and shipped overseas.

“The theft and slaughter of horses in Homestead and Parrish is a sickening crime that should not go unpunished,” Buchanan said. “As the sponsor of federal legislation aimed at ending the slaughter of horses for human consumption, I have worked closely with the Humane Society to protect these iconic animals from abuse.”

More than 150,000 American horses were butchered in Canada and Mexico and transported to Japan, Italy and other countries, the majority of them healthy animals.

The SAFE Act is supported by the Humane Society of the United States, and the lead sponsors are Buchanan, Reps. Frank Guinta, R-New Hampshire; Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois; and Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-New Mexico. The bill has 179 sponsors in the House, and 28 Senators have vowed to support legislation.

Florida passed legislation in 2010 that toughened the state’s restrictions on the sale of horse meat. New Jersey is the latest state to outlaw the slaughter of horses…(CONTINUED)

For the Rest of the Story:

Lawmakers Call for Action in Wake of Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses

Source: Michael Markarian as published on Animals & Politics

“The agency not only ignored its own rules, but also flouted congressional mandates that horses not be sent to slaughter…”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are weighing in on the recent damning investigative report by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General, about the Bureau of Land Management’s mismanagement of our nation’s iconic wild horses.

The report concluded that the agency, under then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, failed to prevent a notorious livestock hauler named Tom Davis, with connections to kill buyers, from acquiring 1,794 wild horses and burros between 2008 and 2012. Davis subsequently funneled these horses to Mexico where they were slaughtered for human consumption, all under the nose of the BLM, which failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered.

The agency not only ignored its own rules, but also flouted congressional mandates that horses not be sent to slaughter. The Interior spending bill passed by Congress in 2009 included a provision stating that none of the BLM’s funding could be used “for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of [BLM] or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.” This prohibition was renewed in appropriations bills for subsequent fiscal years, covering the period that BLM was selling horses to Davis, and is still in place in the current budget.

It’s now come to light that the BLM did not heed this appropriations language. Indeed, the investigative report found that while Tom Davis purchased each horse for $10, for a total of $17,490, the BLM spent approximately $140,000 in taxpayer funds transporting those horses to Davis. Talk about government waste—for every dollar the BLM took in, it gave back nearly 19, with the net loss associated with conduct that was inhumane and criminal.

Several members of Congress are rightly calling for answers from the BLM. Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., sent a strong letter to the Secretary of the Interior demanding an explanation for why the agency ignored congressional directives. He noted, “It is unacceptable that BLM’s disregard of the law resulted in the use of taxpayer funds to facilitate the inhumane slaughter of iconic American wildlife.” We couldn’t agree more.

Congressman Sam Farr, D-Calif., and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., also weighed in, requesting information on how the agency plans to recover the approximately $140,000 it spent in taxpayer funding transporting horses to Tom Davis. They also demanded a detailed explanation on what steps the BLM is taking to ensure that America’s iconic wild horses are not sent to slaughter again. They rightly observed that “BLM actions, which led to the slaughter of horses, are completely unacceptable and while BLM cannot reverse these serious errors made in the past, it is essential that the Bureau act expeditiously to prevent them from happening again.”

We are grateful to Representatives Buchanan, Farr, and Lujan Grisham for speaking out for wild horses and burros and holding the BLM to task for its actions, as well as for their leadership on H.R. 1942, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, a bill to prohibit the transport and export of U.S. horses to slaughter for human consumption. We are hopeful that their advocacy on this issue, and the spotlight on BLM’s actions in previous years, will help ensure these iconic and majestic animals are protected from similar mismanagement and government failures in the future.

If you have a moment, please contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators and ask them to support H.R. 1942/S. 1214 to protect horses and consumers.

Thanksgiving: A Personal Thank You

by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

An open letter:

"Happy Thanksgiving" from Terry and R.T. Fitch

“Happy Thanksgiving” from Terry and R.T. Fitch

“It has been a while since I have penned a word or two and shared my thoughts with my best of friends. Sitting in front of my computer in the wee hours of Thanksgiving 2015’s dawn I reflect on just what it is that I, and/or others, should be thankful for.

Thankfulness is about as personal as it gets; what I might feel blessed for could be another’s bane. So putting all of my personal, and perhaps even selfish, thankful feelings aside I can distill the essence of the emotion down to one singular fact, feeling or emotion; I am thankful for you.

Over the years each and every one of you advocates and partners has been a blessing that has buoyed my spirits and sharpened my resolve. There is no amount of giving or concern that is too small in the record book of Wild Equine Advocacy; every effort counts and all of you have signed your name to the big book in the sky with your compassion, love and concern for those who cannot speak for themselves. For that one singular passion, I am unabashedly thankful this day.

Thanks to all of you for being…you. Each and every one of you is a very special ray of light in the darkness of our quest, each of you guide me and give me strength, for knowing you I am a better person and on this day, I honor you.

Thank you, my friends; you are all special in so many different ways that I give thanks for the blessing of knowing you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours be they two or four legged, we are all family and should never discount the positive impact that we have upon one another.

Keep the faith and enjoy life to it’s fullest.”


Can wild horses co-exist with ranchers and their grazing cows?

Story by James McWilliams ~co-founder of The Daily Pitchfork ~ as published on The Pacific Standard

“Anytime a self-actualized journalist turns an inquisitive eye to the plight of our nation’s wild horses and burros it is time to celebrate as they are the ones who cannot speak for themselves.  But when editors, mostly unaware of the facts surrounding a story, cast a headline with skewed numbers/counts of said equine it instantly slants the story into the favor of the adversaries of the wild one before the first word of the article is ever read by John Q Public.  So is the case with the story below, written by animal journalist and co-founder of the Daily Pitchfork, James McWilliams.  James and Vickery Eckhoff have been champions for and of the truth regarding not only horse slaughter and the wild equines but animal agriculture in general.  We highly recommend the Daily Pitchfork and likewise ask you to read and visit the article below which features quotes from our own Debbie Coffey and a photo of our Carol Walker in the field documenting the disaster of mismanagement that goes by the name of BLM.  A very good read.” ~ R.T.

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at Palomino Valley

Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation at Palomino Valley

Twenty miles north of Reno, after casinos and strip malls yield to the high desert, the Bureau of Land Management holds 1,100 wild horses in a series of corrals. From the highway, the federal facility—the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley—looks like a dusty feedlot, the kind of place you might smell before you see passing through some forlorn corner of Texas or Oklahoma.

But walk down the hill from Route 445 and stand alone among the pens as the sun rises in late July, and you’ll find that the place smells fine, sort of earthy and clean. Instead, what concentrates the mind is something altogether unexpected: silence. Somehow, amid 1,100 wild animals held in confinement, the only sound I hear is the wind whistling across the plastic lid of my coffee cup.

These horses and burros are a mere fraction of the roughly 45,000 kept in BLM holding facilities across the country. The primary reason they’re confined is the nearly 18,000 ranchers grazing an estimated 747,963 “animal units”—a bureaucratic term that can represent either a horse, a cow/calf pair, or five sheep—on 155 million acres of land. The horses might be silent, but lately these cattlemen have been quite loud indeed...(CONTINUED)

The Rest of the Story:

BLM moves to remedy shortcomings over 2014 Wyoming roundup

Source: HorseTalk, photography by Carol Walker, music by Opus Moon

“The court vindicated our concerns with BLM’s complete failure to analyze the impacts of this action on wild horses and the natural environment, as well as the agency’s failure to engage the public before pressing forward with this ill-advised decision.”

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed an environmental assessment as part of its moves to remedy shortcomings pinpointed by a judge over its 2014 roundup of nearly 1300 wild horses from Wyoming’s Checkerboard lands.

It has published a 41-page environmental assessment, together with a finding of No Significant Impact, for which it is now seeking public feedback. The BLM opened a 30-day comment period last Friday.

The documents were issued after horse advocates successfully challenged aspects of the roundup through the courts, with a judge ruling in March this year that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in its preparations for the Checkerboard muster.

A total of 1263 wild horses were permanently removed during the operation from public and private lands in the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas (HMAs).

The three HMAs total about 2,427,220 acres, with 1,242,176 acres falling within the Checkerboard region – so-named because of its alternating public and private land parcels.

US District Court of Wyoming Chief Judge Nancy Freudenthal issued an order stating that the BLM violated the environmental act when it conducted the operation in the southwest of the state. He remanded the violation back to the BLM to “remedy the deficiencies”…(CONTINUED)

Read more:

Feel Good Sunday: Hoof Prints on our Hearts

by R.T. Fitch ~ President/Co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

"Terry and Apache" ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

“Terry and Apache” ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

“The other day I caught a glimpse of a little video that was circulating around the web and put a bookmark on it to share with ya’all today. It is short, sweet and speaks, I hope, to many of us at several different levels but I don’t want to give the main point away in a preamble but instead let you experience it for yourself as most of us would be guilty of responding in a like matter.

Please be advised that we are not promoting any product, here, simply sharing a message that many of us relate to.

Included to the right is a still shot of someone else that would fit into that category if he could; Terry’s equine soul mate Apache. We flew him out of Brazil 16 years ago and to date, no one has ever told him that he is a horse. Keep the faith my very special and dear friends.” ~ R.T.

Despite Slaughter of Wild Horses, No Prosecution of BLM or Rancher Involved

H. Sterling Burnett as published on The Heartlander

“…he became the largest buyer of wild horses in the United States…”

BLM Captives; Freedom Lost ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

BLM Captives; Freedom Lost ~ by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Just two weeks after Ken Salazar was selected by President Barack Obama to become the 50th Secretary of the Interior in 2009, the Bureau of Land Managment (BLM), an agency within the Department of Interior (DOI) sold and began shipping horses to rancher, and reported Salazar associate, Tom Davis, who in turn, in violation of the law resold them to slaughter houses in Mexico for horse meat.

A report released by the DOI’s Office of the Inspector General in late October, concluded the BLM did not follow the law in selling 1,794 horses to rancher Tom Davis. The sales were conducted through the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Program – the program established to protect, manage and control the wild horse population.

The BLM sold horses to Davis between 2008 and 2012 for roughly $10 a horse. The agency lost money on the transactions since they spent tens of thousands of dollars on transport. By contrast, according to Davis he resold “loads” of 35 horses for as much as $4,000, making $2,500-$3,000 profit on each sale, despite signing a contract with the BLM agreeing not to send the horses to slaughter. With the volume of horses Davis purchases he became the largest buyer of wild horses in the United States.

The Inspector General’s report states, “During our investigation, Davis admitted that most of the horses that he purchased through WH&B ultimately went to slaughter. We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B. According to the report, the BLM did not follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring horses sold were not slaughtered.

The slaughter of horses for meat violated a congressional ban on the practice as well as BLM policy.

Despite the Davis’s reported ties to Secretary Salazar, the IG’s office “determined that this matter did not warrant further investigation.” The IG did refer Davis’ conduct to both the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office. Neither office chose to bring either civil or criminal charges.

According to the report, WH&B marketing specialist who approved the sales to Davis received “exceptional or superior” reviews, complete with bonuses between 2008 and 2012…(continued)

Prologue by R.T. Fitch ~ president/co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Sorry, not to sound jaded, but the above information is nothing new and we volunteers at Wild Horse Freedom Federation are making a sincere effort in not slipping into “We Told You So” mode.

Back in 2013 our own Vice President and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Debbie Coffey, uncovered rock solid evidence, in the way of paperwork, receipts, etc.. of the BLM selling wild horses to known kill buyers (Click HERE to read report) and the entire story was just swept under the carpet by the Feds.

Terry and I, along with many other equine advocates, made a point to be present at the very next BLM Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board meeting to speak on and to present said evidence to the board and the BLM, see video below, and again…nada.

What does it take to get the members of Congress to wake up and smell the BLM’s BS, collusion and criminal activity?  The time for a Congressional Investigation is long past due.

If you are not emailing and writing your Congressional representative on this topic, please begin to do so.

If you are writing and politely prodding, continue with your efforts.

We are not just cheerleaders, here at SFTHH or at WHFF, but instead we are the gatherers of information and the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves.

If ever there was a time to ‘KEEP THE FAITH” and continue to plow forward, this is it…don’t give up; you are not alone and every little effort matters .

Feel free to utilize the reports and documentation supplied on this site, we are a storehouse of information on this topic.

Keep after it, my friends, we need to make this happen.” ~ R.T.

For More Stories and Information on the BLM selling wild horses and burros to slaughter click (HERE)

Action Alert: Vote to help Equine Advocates

We’re asking for your votes!

Our friends at Equine Advocates fight against some of the worst atrocities against horses – equine slaughter and the PMU Industry – and they are featured in the article below by reporter Chris Bragg in the award-winning Times Union newspaper entitled, “Equine Advocates Focuses on Care and Education.”   This is a special section dedicated to giving and philanthropy.   Please take the time to read the article and then vote to help Equine Advocates continue to get its message out to the public with regard to some of the most vital issues facing wild and domestic equines.

Go to THE BIG TIMES UNION $100,000 GIVEAWAY and vote for EQUINE ADVOCATES!  You can do so once per day, per device, through December 14th.  This will award $10,000 in free newspaper advertising in the Times Union in 2016 to the top ten winning non-profit organizations.  With so many issues at stake, this would be an excellent way for Equine Advocates to reach many more people about these very important issues.



Equine Advocates focus on care and education


Nonprofit works to save equines from slaughter and change public policy

By Chris Bragg


Pensacola Pete, a Standard Donkey is Equine Advocates newest resident. He arrived here on August 14th 2015. He had been abandoned and found by police wandering on the road in Pensacola, Florida along with three other donkeys. According to law enforcement, ranchers often use donkeys to protect their herds of cattle and sheep, but then will turn them loose and abandon them when they sell off their herds. Pete would have ended up at auction and could have been sold for slaughter had he not been rescued. He is definitely one of the lucky ones. Since his arrival here at the sanctuary, Pete has rapidly become one of our most popular equines with a growing fan base and lots of visitors. (Betsy Cotton)

The first horse Susan Wagner ever saved was Gandalf, an equine who had lived at a zoology institute where Wagner worked in the 1990s. The horse “didn’t fit in” at the children’s zoo there, Wagner recalled.

“They said, ‘He’s probably just going to go for meat.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?'” Wagner said. “They were just going to get rid of him, which meant slaughter. I decided at that point I was going to do something about horse slaughter.”

Shocked by the revelation of horse slaughter, in 1996 Wagner founded Equine Advocates, an award-winning nonprofit with a national footprint that has saved thousands of equines, including horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, from slaughter and abuse. In 2004, the nonprofit established the Equine Advocates Rescue and Sanctuary, a 140-acre facility on Route 66 in Chatham.

Wagner — who spent 15 years in the horse racing industry — is not against racing per se. She is against the overbreeding of horses in the industry, which creates a glut and a market in which horses are sold in Mexico and Canada for meat, despite the fact that it’s often toxic to humans and animals.

“Horses should be removed from the food chain,” Wagner said. “We don’t eat them and never will.”

Wagner’s nonprofit has become deeply involved in education and public policy-changing efforts. For nearly a decade, the nonprofit has educated visitors to the Chatham property at its Humane Education Center, offering tours and lectures. The nonprofit has also focused on preventing horse slaughter by helping news organizations with undercover investigations.

Equine Advocates has also fought against the pregnant mares’ urine (PMU) industry, which produces estrogen and hormone-replacement drugs by keeping mares constantly pregnant and collecting their urine.

The practice is not only inhumane but dangerous for consumers, Wagner said, as the product can increase the risks of breast cancer, heart disease and other maladies.

“This is a very old industry that just shouldn’t be around anymore,” Wagner said. “There are many other alternatives that are better and safer.”



Wild horses in Eastern Kentucky face threats

Horses should not be “at fault” for trying to survive wherever they are.  Special interest/human actions endanger horses, and these actions are the bigger “problem.”  –  Debbie

SOURCE: Lexington Herald Leader


Horses roam free on old surface mines in several Eastern Kentucky counties. Here, a mare and foal stand near a road. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Humane Society.

By Bill Estep
Horses have roamed free for decades on old surface mines in Eastern Kentucky, but with unchecked breeding and owners apparently turning out more mares and stallions in recent years, the population has increased to the point of concern, according to animal-welfare advocates.
The horses can endanger themselves and drivers by wandering onto hilly roads, and face untreated health problems and potential food shortages in the winter.
“There’s a problem that is growing,” said Lori Redmon, head of the Kentucky Humane Society. “There are some sites that are currently not able to sustain the horse population.”
The horses roam on mined, unfenced areas in several counties, including Knott, Breathitt, Leslie, Martin, Magoffin, Perry, Floyd, Harlan and Bell.
In surface mining, companies blast the tops or sides off mountains to uncover coal seams, then plant vegetation in reclaiming the sites. That has created tens of thousands of acres of relatively level land where horses can graze.
It’s not clear how many horses there are on mined sites in the state’s eastern coalfield.  David Ledford, head of the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation, said he’d heard an estimate of 3,000 to 5,000, but noted there have been no formal surveys.  People working with the Kentucky Humane Society saw more than 500 horses in five counties during a count in March 2014, according to its website.
Some of the horses have owners who see to their needs and collect them to ride. Some are tame and readily approach strangers.
In other cases, however, owners are taking advantage of free grazing, with no agreements to let their horses run on reclaimed land, animal advocates say.
Some of the horses were turned out by owners who could not afford to care for them or no longer wanted them. Many younger ones were born on the mines and have never been handled by humans.
Frank Clemons, a deputy sheriff in Breathitt County, said there is a misconception that all the horses on mined sites are abandoned.
Clemons said horses on a large reclaimed mine near his home have owners who take care of their animals and have agreements with landowners to let the horses roam the site, Clemons said.  “The horses back there are as fat as mine,” Clemons said.
It’s true that many of the free-roaming horses are healthy, but some suffer from malnutrition and untreated health problems.
Karen Gustin, head of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Jessamine County, estimated 30 percent of the horses she has seen on reclaimed mines don’t look to be in good shape.  And even some of the ones that look good could have damaging parasites, Gustin said.
The center cares for abandoned or surrendered horses and tries to find homes for them. It has taken in more than a dozen horses from Eastern Kentucky the last three years, Gustin said.  Gustin said some of the free-roaming horses are emaciated, and many lack vaccinations and proper care for their teeth and feet.  “They can be in horrible physical condition,” she said.
Many of the mined sites have adequate grass for the horses in the summer, and year-round in cases, but there are concerns about shortages in the winter at some sites.

Court Sides With AQHA in Cloning Case

veneklasen_abraham  Horse cloners Gregg Veneklasen and Jason Abraham


by Pat Raia

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) in a long-running case involving the registration of cloned Quarter Horses.

Some owners have used the cloning process—which was first performed on horses in 2003—to preserve their animals’ bloodlines, particularly those of high-performance equines. In response to cloning as a way to preserve bloodlines, some breed associations ruled on whether or not cloned horses can be included in their breed registries.

In 2004 the AQHA board of directors approved Rule 227(a), which prohibits cloned horses or their offspring from being included in the organization’s breed registry. The AQHA opposed the registry of cloned animals on several grounds including that cloning does not improve the breed and that only the most elite horses may be cloned over and over again for use in breeding programs.

Subsequently Jason Abraham and two of his related companies, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture and Abraham Equine Inc., filed suit against the AQHA asking the court to order the AQHA to remove Rule 227(a) on grounds that the ban on registering cloned horses and their offspring violates antitrust laws.

A federal district court jury later found that the rule preventing the registration of cloned Quarter Horses violated state and federal antitrust rules, and a judge signed an order requiring the AQHA to allow cloned animals to be registered. In response, the AQHA filed another federal lawsuit asking that the ruling be overturned.

In January 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the District Court’s decision. Subsequently, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture and Abraham Equine Inc. asked the appeals court to rehear the case.

On Oct. 26, the Court of Appeals denied the petition for a rehearing, according to a written statement on the AQHA website. Specifically, the court ruled that the appeals court opinion held that the plaintiffs’ evidence did not prove a conspiracy to restrain trade and that “AQHA is not a competitor in the allegedly relevant market for elite Quarter Horses.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.