Horse News

TPWD Releases Photos of “Executed” Horses

Story by Steven Long ~ Publisher/Editor of Horseback Magazine

“One of the horses clearly was not an easy keeper or was underfed…”

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Texas Parks and Wildlife, the state agency charged with the welfare of animals in their natural habitat didn’t have enough respect for 11 domestic horses to give them a quick and painless death. Instead, on the orders of  park superintendent Barrett Darst of Big Bend Ranch State Park, the horses, mares and foals, were sent to a painful slaughter, Mexico style.

Friday a TPWD lawyer complied with a Horseback Magazine open records request and released documents already provided to by an animal cruelty investigator. But the state parks department went a step further and released photos of some of the condemned animals.

One of the horses clearly was not an easy keeper or was underfed, its ribs showing; yet the horse was  ridden on the ranch as evidenced by saddle marks near its withers.

TPWD could easily have dispatched  the horse with one of the guns used to kill 70 wild burros it considers a non native species earlier this year. Critics claim the park is ridding the donkeys to make room for big horn sheep, a big game animal coveted by hunters who will pay mega bucks for a permit to hunt them.

Despite the extensive documentation provided to Horseback Online regarding the slaughter sale, State Parks Director Brent Leisure denied park officials knew they were selling horses to known killer buyer Ruben Brito.

Big Bend Ranch is the states largest park. It is 70 miles across and lays on the banks of the Rio Grande near Presidio.

During the past year the Texas Department of Criminal Justice sold about 60 prison horses to longtime killer buyer Trent Saulters who took them directly to the slaughter pens of Presidio.

Click (HERE) to visit Horseback and to Comment

26 replies »

  1. Even foals!!!! State Officials, clear up to GovernorPerry, are guilty of extreme cruelty!! They have no compassion for life…. period!!!!! The equine organizations will, hopefully, find a clause under which to sue the State of Texas. May the souls of the deceased horses and burrows, find peace, away from cruelty!!!!!


    • Hi Jane, you bet the Governor is just as guilty as Brent Leisure, Barret Durst and the others who sent babies and mothers to die cruelly with a patella knife in Mexico. We delivered a petition to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Gov. Perry January 18th 2012 with 103,000 signatures protesting the shooting of our protected wild burros at Big Bend Ranch State Park. All of the same players involved with that slaughter of innocence are involved with the murder of these majestic horses. To date, we have not gotten a response. Not one indication that anyone in Austin thinks the will of the people is important. The petition is ongoing and can be found at We are up to 110,000 signatures now. Eye witnesses have told me that they never stopped shooting our rare wild burros. They claimed to have suspended shooting in April a week before our March for Mercy, so that they could conduct an aerial population survey, but they really didn’t. R.T. Fitch and his sweet wife Terry attended that march. R.T. proudly walked our white donkey throughout. She was a symbolic reference to the white donkey Jesus rode into Jerusalem in peace on Palm Sunday. They KNEW this march would have huge impact, so they partnered with HSUS to take off the heat. They are liars. HSUS who partnered with them for the survey, was no longer involved a few weeks later. TPWD simply used their organization’s name for cover, and as soon as the cameras were gone, simply started shooting again.

      Have any of you visited Big Bend Ranch State Park? Please do. They also stated in FOIA documents that they will not shoot if people are around as witnesses. They also don’t like to shoot in the winter because the vulture activity is low. Take your camera. Although stunningly beautiful and vast, you will find that very little lives there anymore. They have been gunning down all of the elk, aoudad, cougar, bobcat, wild longhorn cattle and wild burros with each unobserved opportunity. By the way, to keep the record straight. I spoke with Luis Armendariz and Robert Garcia who broke the burro massacre story. There were over 200 wild burros shot and left to rot in 2007. I have the photographs of mothers shot in their belly and the babies they shot too. It was horrific carnage, a true blood bath where these peaceful animals were shot anywhere on their bodies and many wondered off to die in agony after weeks of suffering. The story wrote 71 because that is all that Don Sholly and Mike Hill wrote down. How many sales of ranch horses sold do you think they wrote down? Food for thought; they are corrupt.

      The focus and mindset of these officials is the high dollar big game trophy hunters who will pay in excess of $150,000 for a permit to shoot a bighorn sheep. People like TPWD David Riskind who lives in Terlingua feel this park belongs to them exclusively. Gov. Perry another blood lusting hunter is another who believes it is perfectly alright to launder money through the permit program to kill the people’s wildlife without remorse or thought of the ecological damage, or the people’s rights to protect them on OUR land. The stink goes all the way to the top, and Austin has crap all over its face. Get rid of all of them, and make it hard for them to kill anymore. Please, go to the park and bring your long range lenses. I have been informed that in October there will be a new aerial shooting spree aimed at killing the feral longhorn who they cannot gather. I assure you longhorn will not be their only targets. Any loose horses, wild burros, or other wildlife they deem “unworthy” will be shot too. If you can go please do. The animals need all of you.


  2. This is a really sad story. It is heartless and cruel to say the least. Brent Leisure stated that he did not know that the condemned horses were going to slaugther. Leisure probably knew ever aspect to what took place with these horses sent to slaughter. It was the most horrific ordeal and death these poor horses could of received. That is the thank you these horses received from the State of Texas. Big Bend Ranch should come under the scruity of the law. The people need to know what is really happening to these poor horses. Instead of sending them to slaughter they could of made some type of effort to find them homes. What is wrong with this picture? Someone that worked for the Big Bend Ranch should of known exactly what was happening with these horses going to slaughter and intervened. The power at the top must of gave the order to let these horses be sold to the kill buyer Trent Slaughters….oh ..Slauthers.


  3. This truly disgusting display of human cruelty to horses, this man is a disgrace to every human being, he should be Jailed and fired !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. So when DO you sell horses by the pound? They sold the horses for 25 cents per pound. They knew what the deal was–slaughter. Disgusting. Hope they reap what they sow.


  5. It keeps getting worse and worse for our poor innocent horses! Where is justice for our animals and all the people who care for their protection?! It’s disgusting what’s being allowed to happen and someone must be held accountable! We are destroying our wildlife and our public lands.


    • You are right Denise !!!! What can we do , this sickens me to the core, beautiful horses slaughtered cruelly, i can not believe their are human beings this EVIL…………………


  6. I don’t know what to say. These are supposed to be government regulated areas. I live in the Adirondack Park. It is the only state park that has human population. You can’t fart here without asking the APA (Adirondack Park Ass.) for permission. Who is supervising this debacle? If the Governor is just as corrupt then we need the next step, and the next, and the next. If that doesn’t work well maybe a shot go awry might be the only solution.


  7. As I sit here with tears rolling, I can only say it’s another day of being ashamed of the human race that can produce such unemotional automans such as these government officials – from the bottom of the chain to the top officials – they have all gone over to the dark side of humanity! I need to go out and hug my 2 adopted/rescued burros and tell them how ashamed I am of MY species – knowing that they will forgive me – cause that’s who THEY are. The coming shift on 12-21-12 will not get here fast enough for me.


  8. Miss Abby above, says: “Not one indication that anyone in Austin thinks the will of the people is important.” Its not only Austin, its governments and Big Money Interests everywhere. We all know the statistics that 70%+ of the American people do not want horse slaughter. But Big Money continues to do whatever it wants.

    Then there’s the Keystone Pipeline. Great article in Sept. Esquire about it, including disgusting photos. People will never clean that Big Money mess up once it spreads. Until more people realize Life is NOT only about money, these events will continue. Worship the Almighty Dollar!


  9. They couldn’t be bothered to find homes for 11 horses? There were 11 horses starving in Ohio last week. Within 48 hours of posting on Facebook, officials had removed all 11 and all 11 were placed in safe foster care. Within 48 hours. But he chose to spend his time arranging slaughter. What a piece of s..t.


  10. Karma——- This is a case of animal abuse for Big Bend Ranch State Park and Gov Rick Perry just like them shooting all the burros it is so disgusting and cruel. What is wrong with those people:((((((


    • Big Bend Ranch State Park has proven that they are nothing but cold blooded killers. A bunch of heartless son of a bit…. The Big Bend Ranch State Park needs a management overhaul get rid of the equine killers and find someone in charge that will have true compassion towards all of the animals that live in the park.


      • Yes !!! Isnt a park there for people to see some Wildlife !!!! Overhaul Needed , Horses and burros belong to the people , and the people love to see them…………………Get rid of the Heartless Killers of them !!!!!!


  11. Hmmm, the TPWD certainly does have a creative explaination… Too bad for them it involved the use of our tax dollars. Id say a complete investigation is in order. Wonder what else they did when the public was not looking.


  12. Alot of people slammed them but people with no moral values could care less. And I would say that these hooligans fall into that category..the kind of people I’d just as soon see dead than alive..Don’t worry, I’m not a murderer but they have certainly made my shit list.


  13. I know what I would like to do to these disgusting people. A thousand times worse than what these beautiful horses and foals received, and then, it would be too good for them. These people are weasels of the worst kind, with no compassion of love for God’s animals. They can rot in “hell” with fire so hot that they will take eternity to be gone and still it is too good for them. No one of this caliber deserves to breathe another breath. These all, from the top on down, are worse than the worse and don’t deserve to be on this earth. If this is what human beings are coming to, God help us all. THey are the worst of the worst and don’t deserve one ioota of clean air to breathe. May cancer and all bad ailments with suffering so severe come their way.


  14. Texas Officials should all rot in hell!!!! They have no conscience, morals… From all of the comments, it appears tha fighting these shootings, is useless. I will sign the Petition. Never give up. For the sake of all of the animals who have suffered. The description of who the female burrows were shot, is enough to make one ill.. Ashamed to be part of the human race. I am thankful that I live in Ohio.


  15. This is so disgusting. Boy, are these officials earning themselves a heavy karma! I met Barrett and gave him a copy of my earlier book on the wild horses: Wild Horses: Living Symbols of Freedom. My most recent one is The Wild Horse Conspiracy. Hope some of you can read this. If enough people would and the right ones it would make a big positive difference for them. I put in my professional input to USFWS re: why the burro should be considered a native and the same species as the African Wild Ass. Boy, some of the Texans are obstinate! Or just like cruelty! Not that Texas has any monopoly there, however!


Care to make a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.