Horse News

Beau Jacques Case Not Only Sad, But Worrying

Commentary by Laurie Dixon from

Race Horse Sent to Retirement, Instead Goes to Slaughter

Beau Jaques

The sad demise of former racehorse Beau Jacques will upset any horse lover.

Here was a thoroughbred gelding who, at five, was at the end of his racing career.

Owner Kevin Patterson had spent $US1000 in veterinary care to help Beau Jacques over a tendon injury suffered on March 29 last year, in the first step in getting him right for a new career after racing.

Kelsey Elva Lefever, 24, met with Patterson in May and held out the promise of a bright future for Beau Jacques.

Patterson gave Lefever Beau Jacques on the understanding she would find him a new home and he was not to be sold for meat under any circumstances, according to a probable-cause affidavit signed by Trooper Colleen Shelly, of the Pennsylvania State Police Department.

Patterson also gave her $US200 and 10 bags of horse feed to help Beau Jacques on his way.

He said if she needed any more money to help with Beau Jacques, she should get in touch. If things didn’t work out for his horse, he would take him back, he added.

Lefever asked if Beau Jacques had been medicated recently. Patterson confirmed the horse had received penicillin, naproxen and phenylbutazone.

In little more a week, through checks made by a volunteer with the charity, Animal Angels, it was established that Beau Jacques was in the trailer of a known kill buyer who sends horses to a Canadian plant.

The court will obviously decide the outcome in this case, with Lefever facing five charges – one of deceptive business practices and four counts of theft by deception over the sale of four horses, including Beau Jacques.

One wonders, however, whether the authorities will choose to pursue another interesting aspect that arises out of this case.

The affidavit indicates that the kill buyer in question paid, in total, $US1661 for four horses, including Beau Jacques, who were shipped from Pennsylvania to a Canadian slaughter plant.

Given that Lefever asked about medications, and Patterson made it clear that Beau Jacques had received three different drugs within the preceding two months, including phenylbutazone, it is interesting that Beau Jacques made it to slaughter at all.

There is no legal withholding period for phenylbutazone. Once a horse has received the so-called “horse’s aspirin”, it is no longer suitable for human consumption.

What became of Beau Jacques? Did his paperwork indicate he had received phenylbutazone and he was rejected at the plant? Did the paperwork show he had received phenylbutazone and went for petfood instead? Or did his paperwork show no known medication record and he was processed for human consumption?

Anti-slaughter advocates argue that horse slaughter is cruel and unnecessary. They also argue that horses are not raised as food animals in the United States and the wide use of medications such as phenylbutazone make them unsuitable for the human food chain.

The head of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, describes the horse slaughter industry as disreputable and predatory.

The circumstances outlined in Officer Shelly’s affidavit lend weight to that argument.

In this case, Beau Jacques had an owner clearly determined to ensure his retired racehorse had a future. He helped with money and feed, and made it clear he would take the horse back if things didn’t work out.

That Beau Jacques never got that chance is distressing.

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17 replies »

  1. That this horse went to slaughter at all is disturbing. Clearly, this woman participated in FRAUD and deception to the previous owner! Are there no laws to prosecute her for that? I would be livid if I were the previous owner! And, besides, horse slaughter is just wrong, wrong, wrong!!!


  2. This is the filthy, immoral underbelly of the equine biz in the US.

    I am not optimistic about the possible conviction and penalties.

    In the end, it won’t help the equines or owners involved; it might send a message to the other scum that perpetrate this evil on decent people and the noble horse.


  3. Yes Disgusting and a mar on this cold hearted wench\s soul……………….. to deceive another human is despicable…………………… to do this to the innocent is a disgrace……………………………


    • This creature should be put in jail for at least 10 years (no parole) then forced into community service at a rescue or a Vet hospita for the rest of her life..
      What a scumbag.


      • She needs a stiff prison sentence, but working for a vet is way too good for her. I wouldn’t trust her anywhere near animals. She needs to work in a Mexican slaughterhouse for a few years.


  4. Betrayal to a loving, caring human being and betrayal to an innocent, beautiful life.

    This is sadder than sad. Despicable excuses of humanity just keep on popping up and adding to the list of those with no conscious, no morals and nothing that makes them the least bit worthy to be allowed life and freedom, or to be in the midst of trusting humans or animals or even in this world!


  5. Again, until these people receive the max and jail time, we still will have prosecutors who will look at these cases and plead out deals. Finally, the truth is coming out. If I were in this position, I would not have my lawyer accept any type of plea deal. They would face a jury so that the average person could hear the lies that are perpatrated by this illmoral folks. Like I said before, the face of the Killer Buyers is changing because in the past, you knew the Dregs. However, now many of these people (many women) have taken up this role. Some look like they just stepped out of a country magazine or an upscale horse show. We now must be more vigilant than ever and relate these stories to all our friends and the horse clubs that we belong to. I say throw the book at this immoral women and I hope she gets many months (if not years) of jail, high fines and the inability to ever own horses again. Someone should be keeping a list of these criminals.


  6. Fraud and deception may be difficult to prove, and even harder to avoid. It’s human nature that people want to believe that their horse is truly going to a responsible new owner. I’ve got three words for that: TRUST NO ONE. As hard-hearted as it sounds, put the horse down if you can’t achieve confidence in where your horse is going to be after he leaves your care.


  7. R.T. Thank you for showing this horrid story. It just shows the lack of compassion and respect for horses once they are turned over to people who will only think of them as the amount of meat they can produce.


  8. We have to understand that Kelsey is the daughter of a kill-buyer. She was fed, sheltered, clothed and schooled all on the blood and guts of her father’s business. She was likely the little child that kill-buyers bring with them to convince the horse re-homer that the horse is going to a good family.
    She currently has a young daughter that goes with her to the auctions, and rides the ponies.
    Kelsey and her family know nothing about life that is NOT deceitful and immoral.
    Not many horse owners will knowingly send their horse to the horrors of slaughter, so deception is a major part of the kill-buyer’s trade. without it, they wouldn’t be able to acquire enough horses to make a living.
    The fact that she was able to do this to 120 horses and owners, (and brag about it) just tells us that she was pretty good at her trade. Daddy would be proud.
    If horse slaughter returns to USA, how are the slaughterhouses going to stay busy without dozens of Kelseys, lying to the horse owners?


  9. Such a terrible outcome for this poor horse but the fact that he ended up where he did, does not surprise me,isn’t it true too many of these beautiful young equines retired early from racing due to injury end up with the same fate?! I do not like the horse racing industry,it is full of greed and disregard for the magnificent horse.




  11. Canada turns a blind eye to the banned drugs. Kill buyers are allowed to fill out “short” forms and where they sign it says” To the best of my knowledge” the documents are are not worth the paper they are written on. This info needs to be shared in the countries that are eating our horses so that they know the companies that operate these plants are knowingly selling drug tainted meat. Here is a link to the Canadian requirements for anyone who would like to know more


  12. I know that the only way this will stop is to pass both bills H.R.2966/S.1176. i also have a good idea that if horse slaughter is shut down here it will shut down at least 2 to 3 of the Canadian plants as well as most of the plants in Mexico. The reason being that the horses from the US is what is keeping the plants in both countries going strong. Without US horses they won’t be able to fill the large horse meat orders that they have now. Neither country has the needed horses to keep this business going to be profitable.

    Up here in Washington state there is five Reps that have signed on to cosponsor H.R.2966. Half of these people had never cosponsored any of the anti-slaughter bills before including my rep for my district. He only signed on to the bill from last year because I sent him a copy of a video taken at Bouvry slaughter plant in Canada that is at

    It changed his outlook on horse slaughter so much that he cosponsored the new bill as did the other reps. In his email to me he said the a lot of his constituents were asking for him to help stop horse slaughter. So there must be a a lot more people in all of the states that want this cruelty stopped than what anyone knows about. My suggestion is to go the the website and do what I did, send a copy of the video to your rep and senator to their offices in DC. Because of the security checks it will take at least two weeks to be delivered but send it you should. If you can change one persons mind you can change others as well.


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