The equine ambulance was busy yesterday at Delta Downs, with three racehorses unable to walk off the track under their own power: Karl Broberg-trained My Debit Card in the 2nd, Don Stemmans-trained This Way Jane in the 9th, and Jarvis Vincent-trained Hopefromthegitgo in the 10th.
This was 5-year-old My Debit Card’s 16th time under the whip, but first in over a year. In 3-year-old This Way Jane’s four most recent starts (Aug-Nov), she finished a combined 86+ lengths back; since May (the beginning of her “career”), she has endured three different trainers. 3-year-old Hopefromthegitgo has been raced four times, all this year, all claiming – 9th of 10, 7th of 11, 7th of 12, and yesterday’s DNF.
There is no legitimate defense when it comes to horseracing. It is animal abuse, plain and simple. I sincerely hope that the pro-racing folks, who defend this horrific “sport”, take immediate action to make sure these three horses land in a good spot. For those that continually babble that they want to “clean up” horseracing, I would like to know how that is working out for you. Have things changed for the better? Nope, I don’t think so. If racing could be “cleaned up”, don’t you think it would have happened by now? Oh, and for those that post publicly that former connections, including breeders and owners, will step up for the horses destroyed by racing, here is your chance to PROVE that those connections are as wonderful as you say they are.
I totally agree with you.
On the subject of horse abuse, I just got an email from my friend who is the President over at Equine Welfare Alliance. He sums up what I feel this Christmas after finding out 6 months ago (after the watching the Show Heartland that is filmed in Canada and has been on for 8 years) that horses are being slaughtered and that horses are abused, drugged, beaten and killed at the race track, drugged and abused as Tennessee Walkers,
round up and slaughtered on the open range (the wild horses) and shocked, drugged and abused and killed
at the rodeo. He has been fighting this battle to end slaughter for over 10 years.
Holiday Message From my Friend John Holland at Equine Welfare Alliance
Wishing you a
Joyous Holiday Season!
I will be sending you a New Year letter letting you know what we might expect in the coming months. But for now, I wish to offer you my feelings about this very special Christmas.
We all wish that Christmas could be a simple time of peace and joy, but we also know the reality is much more complicated. As we grow older, the season becomes associated with many emotions and memories. It may remind us of a magical Christmas as a child, but can also remind us of more somber things like the death of a loved one.
My memories run the full gambit. But it has been a very long time since I have felt any real peace and joy at Christmas. Once one is aware of the true evil like the horse slaughter trade, and sets out to end it, Christmas reminds you that another year of failure is coming to an end and that the endless stream of horses will go on riding to their hellish deaths. Myself, I am always haunted by the scenes of horses being driven into the kill chute during my visit to Kaufman a decade ago.
As hard as we have all worked to bring this evil to an end, one might have expected that the recent announcement from the EU would have been greeted with excited chatter, even cheers. Just the opposite was true, and I think I understand why. None of us dare to believe it may really be over. We have had our hopes dashed so many times that we don’t want to open ourselves for more of that pain.
I am writing you to tell you that I, for one, am going to believe it is finally coming to an end for our American horses. Yes, it is a risk to believe, but if we don’t, we will have missed collecting a wonderful memory of the happiest Christmas of them all.
So when all the hubbub and shopping is done, I ask you to join me. Sit down in your favorite chair, or walk out among your horses. Ignore the voices of doubt and let relief and joy flood over you. Believe with me that it is coming to an end and know that we will never, ever, allow it to return to our country.
I will agree that EWA has done quite a bit, however EWA and John in particular, were fervent supporters of AC4H, Christy Sheidy, they just now recently removed them from their membership list. As a former board memeber, this was a bone of contention in that they removed other rescues based upon rumors which had no backing, yet defended AC4H. Even after the FBI raided them, even after the IRS won a lawsuit against them, John continued to support them. This is why I am no longer a board member. So, needless to say, anyone who supports a scammer and abuser of animals like Sheidy, really should be questioned.
Kathleen, I totally agree with Jo-Claire. I know Jo-Claire personally and can vouch for her strong ethics and morals. John Holland, and his colleague, Ms. Tobin, supported Christy Sheidy for years and years in spite of the fact that the evidence was overwhelming in regards to Sheidy (AC4H) being part of the slaughter pipeline. Sheidy and her husband, Ricky Sheidy, are horse dealers/brokers who scammed many people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their “rescue” was raided by the FBI almost two years ago. I know Tobin and Holland wouldn’t speak out publicly, or privately, against Sheidy but, as Joy Aten has stated many, many times….silence never helps the oppressed…it helps the oppressor. That is not to say that Holland and Tobin haven’t helped horses because they have, but, through their silence, they have supported a “rescue” that will go down as one of the biggest scams of all time. I am delighted that Holand is your friend, but he wasn’t a friend to the horses that crossed Sheidy’s path.
John and I are not close friends.
I know him through the anti slaughter movement.
He has been my friend in that he has shared with me a lot of indepth information about horse slaughter I did not know about and he has connected me with various people that are rescuing horses and that are helping horses. His friend, VIctoria McCullough along with Joe Biden helped turn around the vote in Congress and helped stop Horse slaughter from coming back to America this year.
People do make serious mistakes and if he knew what AC4H was doing and he and Vickie did not speak out that was terribly wrong. He does personally rescue horses and burros and he does love horses and burros. People do get blinded by their friendships with others and he may not have believed that these people were doing the bad things they were doing
As you know, John brings in speakers to conferences about the horse slaughter movement . I have sent friends to his conferences and they have benefited from going there.
It is my understanding that he has done a lot of good over the years for horses. Has he made serious mistakes in his life ? I am sure he has. If he knew the truth and did not speak out about it, then that was a serious mistake.
I do not know VIckie Tobin except to know that she writes articles and lost her job at Forbes because of an article she wrote defending wild horses.
I have never heard of AC4H or Christy Sheidy. but there are a lot of groups I know nothing about
I liked his Holiday greeting much better than all the other Holiday Greetings I received because he was talking about the plight of horses. He has a lot of research on his website that is used by various other groups so he does work on trying to help horses more than a lot of others do in this world..
I will email John and ask him why he did not speak out against them. Perhaps he took their word and did not believe they could do such a thing,. Friendship and loyalty can blind people and cause them to do things they may later seriously regret.
Kathleen, Google AC4H. Holland has known about this so called “rescue” for years (I use the word “rescue” loosely). I personally believe that Sheidy started out as a decent person in rescue and then quickly realized that she couldn’t make any money doing it the right way. It is a “good cop gone bad” scenario. There is no doubt that Holland, as well as Tobin, were fiercely loyal to Sheidy and her family. However, as I’ve stated before…silence never helps the oppressed….it helps the oppressor. If you are truly ignorant as to the atrocities committed by a person, a rescue, or an industry, you get a free pass. If you have knowledge of those atrocities, and choose to do nothing, the free pass is denied and you should be held accountable.
I do believe that Holland has helped horses and his research of slaughter statistics is used by many in the world of rescue. I am not debating that issue. However, sometimes people are not as they appear on the surface. When Holland stood by Sheidy for all those years, he betrayed the horses who have no voice. What makes this even more egregious is that Holland is looked up to and respected by many. He could have made a real difference if he had chosen to explore the truth.
Thank you for the information. I did Google AC4H. i found an article from 2013. The ending was confusing.
Are they shut down now or do they continue ??? here are excerpts of the article.
Article was June 2013 from the Pennsylvania Equestrian
FBI Raids Berks County Horse Rescue
After an April 30 raid at the offices of Another Chance 4 Horses, a Bernville, PA equine rescue organization, questions and controversy have fed on each other. It has not been pretty. News of the raid seemed to open an enormous vein of antipathy–on equine-related blogs, on Facebook and across the internet; anonymous posters have called Another Chance 4 Horses a scam, evil, immoral and worse. Christy Sheidy, the owner of Another Chance 4 Horses, has said little. The day of the raid, Sheidy told a reporter from WFMZ that the FBI’s chief interest was related to health certificates for the horses under her care.
The documentation Another Chance 4 Horses requires prospective owners to provide states that “brokers buy and sell horses to earn a living. Kill buyers make a living by sending a horse to a slaughter plant.” Although Sheidy calls this a Broker Program, the distinction between broker and kill buyer is not clear, given that certain horses are listed as “not scheduled to ship to slaughter.” Presumably other horses will be shipped to the abattoirs.
Critics of programs such as this one contend that they are essentially subterfuges intended to raise money from prospective donors through highly-charged emotional stories about what might happen to the horses if donors don’t come through.
Clarke says that during his search for Munition’s trail, he was contacted by Deborah Jones, who works on identification, protection and rescue of thoroughbreds. “She was the one who actually called me and told me that Munition had gone through the New Holland auction,” he says. Although the connection between Munition and Another Chance 4 Horses has never been proved, Clarke says that Feld always believed Sheidy’s organization was somehow involved in whatever happened to Munition.
“It’s no secret what she was doing,” he says. “She was working with a kill buyer.” The brokers involved in programs such as Sheidy’s are often buyers for the abattoirs in Canada or Mexico. They purchase the horses at auction, hold them for a period of time to try to re-sell them, or, as in the Broker Program operated by Another Chance 4 Horses, the rescue organization tries to find donors willing to either adopt or support the horses.
Even though Munition was swallowed up by this hazy network of buyers and sellers nearly three years ago, it still hurts Clarke to think about the loss. “It’s just really, really tragic. He was a lovely horse.”
Double the Love Nearly Lost
Larry Ensor, who owns Gum Tree Stables in Pennsylvania, breeds Thoroughbreds. He has been surrounded by horses and the equine industry his whole life. One day in 2011 he got an email from a woman who had seen a young mare “sitting in a kill pen in New Holland,” and listed in Another Chance 4 Horses’ Broker Program. The woman checked the mare’s tattoo, and was able to locate Ensor, who had bred the mare. He paid Another Chance 4 Horses $550 for the mare, but was stunned by her condition. “I wish I had had my phone with me when I went up to get her,” he says. “I was crushed. Driving back I felt so guilty.” The mare was severely underweight, had sores all over, and a very large, painful abscess.
He questioned Sheidy about how she acquired the mare, but got few answers. “I’ve been around the block a lot,” he says. “Nobody was going to be shipping this horse to Canada. This (her condition) was deliberately done.” Sheidy told him that anyone could run a horse through an auction, without any paperwork at all; thus she had no documentation about where the mare came from. “My question to her is ‘why are you protecting this person?’” She said that the mare was getting food, water and shelter at the place they saw her, Ensor said.
Ensor believes that horses like Double the Love are pictured on websites for a cynical purpose. On his farm’s website, he recounts the events that led to the mare’s rescue from New Holland, and the frustrating lack of answers to his questions about how she wound up there. “A pitiful looking horse has a far better chance of being adopted for money then a fat and happy looking one. My research seems to show that there are many ‘rescue, adoption’ people out there utilizing this method. I would like to believe that many are worthy but I have a feeling many are not. And if you do the math they can make a very good living at this.
“I have not passed judgment on this organization. But my communications with its co-founder and the numerous derogatory information that can be found has made me highly suspicious. So, the question is; are these sort of organizations really doing “good” in the end or are they just “enablers” for those who did this to this filly in only 4 months? Conversely are we doing the same by paying “blood” money?”
Another Chance 4 Horses seems to have been unaffected by the FBI raid. On the organization’s Facebook page, Sheidy mentions the raid only briefly. “Another Chance 4 Horses, Inc. continues without restriction to rescue and save the lives of horses.” The controversy stirred up by news of the FBI’s actions, though, will likely continue. Ensor believes that the horse industry needs to get in front of this issue. “As a breeder, are we contributing to this?” he asks. As conscientious as he believes most people are, there are still far too many horses bred every year. “You can’t save them all. I’ve never looked at them as a commodity, but in fact they are.”
Kathleen, AC4H had their 501c3 status pulled recently. Also, Sheidy said that the FBI raid was due to a “misunderstanding” due to health certificates. The FBI does NOT raid any rescue organization, with their guns drawn, because of a problem with health certificates. I sincerely hope that Sheidy does jail time. Only time will tell as the case against her proceeds forward.
Again, what is so egregious about this situation is that Holland has worked diligently to end horses shipping across our borders to slaughter in foreign countries yet supported Sheidy who is a horse dealer/broker. Just another example of someone talking out of both sides of their mouth.
Mary, you said it!…there was a recent post by someone on the board of a TB-rescue and placement program in which she sang the praises of breeders!…nearly everyone of the breeders she contacted stepped up for their horse, she reported!…maybe we should supply her with a weekly list of horses’ names! With all of those responsible breeders and all of those “good folks” in racing, I’m a bit confused about the constant funding pleas from rescues and the waiting lists to get discarded racehorses into their programs!! Something is NOT adding up…could it be they are betraying the horses, wearing the muzzle insisted upon by the TAA if you want their money??
Joy, there are a handful of breeders that step up for their horses…not many, but a few. Anyone who says differently is living in the enchanted forest. Also, for those who say that there are “many” good people in racing, they are lying. Again, there are a few, but not many. There are thousands of horses looking for a soft place to land when their racing days are over, and there simply aren’t enough “good” homes….”good” being the operative word. Anyone who understands basic math should be able to grasp that concept.
Those who support racing, either by words or actions, betray the horses on a regular basis. If you are truly ignorant as to the atrocities committed against the horses, you get a free pass. Once you know of the atrocities, and still support racing, the free pass is denied.
Remember…racing is a marketing machine. Dirty secrets MUST be kept behind closed doors because racing wants the public to view their industry through rose colored glasses. The TAA (Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance) needs to keep up its pretentious exterior. The only way to do that is by forcing those who accept money from them muzzled.
Exactly, Mary. The racing business could never be cleaned up. I would love to hear how racing can be cleaned up. I never hear any specifics. Further, it is amazing how any rational individual could even entertain the idea that cleaning up is remotely possible. The business is built on horse abuse and corruption. Clean it up means shut it down !!)
And just who approved these horses as “competitive” and sound to race? I bet NONE of these poor beings would have passed a pre-race lameness exam performed by my farm vet on a horse I only intend to walk down the road yet they somehow make it to the track as sound and “competitive”. Where are you, track veterinarians, racing secretary and racing stewards?
Now on topic…. the racing industry, for the most part, throws away their useless products…the horses. They train too young, they breed for speed and not stamina, and they race on drugs, legal and unknown. Untill all of these things change, (I dont ever see that happening) horses will continue to be vanned off dead, injured or to die afterwards.
I bet you are right, Jo Anne. Too many scratches and the vet. will not be working !!
Precisely, Rose. The industry is too “inbred”. Those whose jobs are to protect the horses that race and the bettors from being duped receive their salaries from the wagers on the horses they let race. Less horses racing = less bets = less money available to pay the racetrack, set aside purse money for owners and trainers, breeder incentive awards, and to pay employees of the jurisidiction’s racing commission like the stewards and track veterinarians whose very job is the SCRATCH horses unsound or no longer competitive. It’s a circle that ends in injury and death for the majority of the horses that race so the very people who are paid (by the horses no less!!!) to protect them can continue to NOT do their jobs.
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