Horse News

Texas Prison Horse Auction Nets $31,155

Story and photo by Steven Long ~ Publisher/Editor of Horseback Magazine

Is Prison Catering to Kill Buyers?

Texas Prison Horses

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – In documents obtained by the animal advocacy group, Animals Angels, and provided to Horseback Magazine,61 Texas prison horses sold for between $102 – $852 each at a Huntsville, Texas auction.

One buyer and his son bought 37 of the horses and took them to his holding pasture near Waco. It is unknown if the horses have been transported to Mexico for disposal. The buyer has served time in a Texas prison operated by TDCJ, a prison official confirmed. Other horses were bought by a handful of other indiciduals and some are being advertised for sale on the open market.

The horses sold for a total of $31,155, with an average sale price of $510 each.

Last year the TDCJ equine program had an annual budget of almost $1.5 million managing at least $1,600 horses to serve their mounted guards who oversee prisoners in the fields and take part in manhunts. The horses are a majority three quarter Quarter Horse mix crossed with Percheron draft horses. The horses are bred stout to eaily support 300 pound prison guards during an eight hour shift in the fields.

In a 2004 story in Texas Horse Talk, prison officials said the 1,600 horses serve 76 mounted corrections officers. Asked last week to confirm that figure, a TDCJ spokesman said he was unable to provide Horseback Magazine with the exact number of uniformed prison guards routinely mounted on TDCJ horses for guard duty.

Horseback has asked for a detailed budget summery of the prison horse program but only totals for 2009, 2010, and part of 2011 have been provided. Those numbers include only salaries, the cost of feed and forage, and “other operating expenses.”

Forty of 61 horses owned and bred by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s tightly controlled equine breeding program were sold to two longtime kill buyers for the slaughter industry. The sale took place July 11, at the Huntsville Livestock Auction near a TDCJ concentration of prisons near the East Texas college town of Huntsville.

Click (HERE) to download sales receipt

20 replies »

  1. They’re playing with Dynamite:
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011
    Texas prison system budget cuts stir up concerns
    Prison experts are warning that only so much fat can be cut before a relatively peaceful prison system boils up into a dangerous stew of discontent.
    State officials are carving as many dollars as possible from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice budget as they fight to close a $23 billion two-year state shortfall without raising taxes.

    Diane Jennings:


  2. There are approx. 60 news sources listed on this website. Steven Long’s report should go out to as many of them as possible:

    12,372 And Counting. Teaching Jobs Lost In Texas
    AUSTIN—More than 12,000 Texas public school teachers, librarians, administrators, and support staff have left their school job in the roughly three months since the Texas Legislature released proposed budget figures for the 2012-2013 biennium, according to data released Tuesday by the Texas Progressive Alliance.
    The Texas Cloverleaf
    Email us at


  3. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    KTAL 6
    Austin American-Statesman
    The Tribune
    The Monitor
    Dallas Morning News
    e Bay Area Citizen
    New Braunfels Herald Zeitung
    Dallas Morning News
    Denton Chronicle
    Community Impact


  4. What can I say? They probably know that this is easy money. What a shame,
    it really makes me sick to my stomach. Our beautiful horses are paying the price for this SICK economy BIG TIME!


  5. Well just as in our National Debt crisis and the senseless funding of roundups and longterm holding, TX can start reducing it’s debt by stopping it’s horsemeat prison program. What a waste!


  6. Any way you look at it, their “prison guard horse” breeding program is a sham. They have 75 guards but they cull 90-100 horses per year from reports I have read. Since the working life of a horse that WALKS around carrying a prison guard must be at least 12-15 years, how does it make sense that they BREED enough horses to cull that number? Good grief, how many remounts does each guard need? The sleezy math, couple with the fact that a former prisoner is buying such a large number of horses, suggests to me that they began to see what may have been a legitimate program as a cover for breeding slaughter horses. Why do they sell them all at once? Doesn’t it make sense that if you have 61 horses to sell, you would be better off selling them a few at a time instead of flooding the market? The whole thing sounds like a complete set-up and should be investigated by the state.


  7. Wow..this pisses me off so bad! I fought to rid this state of Horse Slaughter in 2006-2007. then the State sells wonderfully trained horses that could have been donated to the many “riding for the handicapped” programs that dot our state, to kill buyers to be taken to Mexico. Can those buyers be identified???
    Can we make those sales publicly announced???. Can I shoot someone???
    Not really, but sometimes my frustration is beyond limits.


  8. This shows us how user friendly slaughtering horses is. Use them for work and then turn them over for an incentive. I hate to think how many have benefitted from this over the decades.


  9. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can by judged by the way its animals are treated” quote by Mahatma Gandi A very wise if not a SAVED man, God pray for us and the animals we so brutally torture…….


  10. The sale of these horses should be made public and stopped. There are so many programs that can use trained horses. For a horse to be slaughtered just to make money is a crime and should be stopped.


  11. via Ray Field: Updated info on 1500 horses and 600 cattle, read clip below but this is the update so get you email and phones ready,,,
    Inter Meats S. A. de C.V., Av. Universidad No. 602 Int 19, Aquascalientes Ags. CP 20130. European Meat Co. Chevideco (chevideco owned dallas crown slaughter plant) Owner Olivier Kemeske email: olivier.kemseke@chevideco.​be and now the lease owner of the Pens in Presidio: Alvarado Cattle Pens Leased by C4 Cattle Company Jim Crenan address 4149 CR133, Burlington, Texas 76519 phone numbers 254-869-0080 or 432-229-3247 and now for the surprise. Over 100 of these horses are Texas Department of Correction State Prison trained and fed horses. Pictures will show they went in around 1200 – 1400 pounds each and now there downto 800 – 900 pounds. I don’t know how to begin to ask. I don’t know of any horse group that can handle horses right now. The ones I use to use are financially screaminglike us all but they almost getting ready to fold and that will flood the market with more horses that need help. Call give Jim a peice of your mind, let him know what a sorry trash he is and excuse of a human he is.


  12. you know this just makes me sick to know that the prison system is breeding horses to send to slaughter. If they are going to do something put the damn prisoners to work cultivating crops and selling them to the market place. they use up millions of tax payers dollars because of the stupid deadly decisions they make then the least that could be done is make them work for every cent the tax payers are busting the asses off to keep a roof over their own heads and care for their own families. stop breeding horses and put them to work growing, helping the community or manufacturing things for the tax dollars we bust our asses for everyday.


  13. Many people have been using our equines as a cash crop… This prison and BLM and their contractors, in my humble opinion, have gotten away with this long enough. This recent ‘glut’ of slaughter bound and feedlot horses shows us this is a very inhumane and cruel handling of some very good and useful horses.


  14. Before people start posting peoples phone numbers and emails and calling people to let them know what a piece of trash they are…maybe the facts should be understood and the sensationalism should stop. Of course no one wants to think of any animal being mistreated…but the problem is where the horses come from not the pens where they are held for a limited time period. This is the real problem. There are also two other facilities that recieve horses in Presidio and why is no one focusing on these facilities. The court precedings that happened Friday in Marfa Texas were in regards to payments between a horse seller and the meat company. The precedings had nothing to do with MISTREATMENT OF ANIMALS.

    Additionally, Mr Ray Fields is asking for donations to his non-profit organization to feed these horses saying he has moved these horses. These horses have not been shipped anywhere and remain at the pens. According to law enforcement, the horses are being feed and watered. There is an interview on the local public radio station out of Marfa Texas that is available…but of course no one wants to listen to any of this and would rather jump on the sensationlistic band wagon of Mr. Fields. Before someone donates money to his non-profit please check the facts. I will be notify the IRS about his 501(c)(3) status due to he is misrepresenting were his donations will be used.


  15. I think prison horses should be sold to the public and monitored closely for at least a year me being a horse lover would love to own one i recently replied to an ad on south east there was a lady selling a couple of prison horses asking crazy money I asked how she acquired them she responded that only her and hand full of people could get them I was out raged that this people are making a profit on these animals that we the taxpayers have already paid for I’m going to continue searching for a couple of these beautiful horses my kids and myself are big in to trail riding if you know i could buy two of these horses please contact me at 4098539734 thanks for your story and time


  16. These horses are all broke and trained by prisoners. The horses are great stock. The mares put out great foals. The breeding and training program is a great program. These horses are worked with from the day they are born. Their feet and teeth are maintained and receive vet care from Texas A&M. A lot of the horses are used to work cattle. It’s a shame that so many of these quality horses go to Mexico for slaughter, they would make great trail horses. A lot of these horses are registered, there will be an “R” brand before the number on their hip. I worked the program will being a guest of the state.


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