Chattel, Defined

“They’re like our children.”

“We see them as members of the family.”

“They’re treated better than you and I.”

“When one dies, we grieve.”

Vulgar lies, all. The racehorse, in truth, is but an asset, a resource to be mined, a means to an end – simple chattel. Although you readers surely don’t need more evidence, here is a posting from the notorious Unadilla Livestock Auction in NY:

To repeat: “If a horse is called ‘as is’ or ‘sold right here in the dust’ there is no guarantee. ALL LEAD-INS, REGARDLESS OF PRICE, ARE SOLD AS-IS!”

Just things.

Then there’s a 2020 BloodHorse article on the “tax benefits for charitable donations of horses.” Here is a sampling:

“A horse owned less than two years does not qualify for capital-gain treatment, so a donation of such a horse would be deductible only to the extent of the lesser of (i) the horse’s fair market value or (ii) its cost basis—ordinarily none, if a homebred. For an appreciated horse held more than two years, the owner must consider depreciation recapture rules. If a horse that would have produced a gain if sold has been depreciated, the recapture rules treat the gain as ordinary to the extent of depreciation taken while held by the owner.”

So many more wonderful tips follow, including info on “donating annual breeding rights,” and a reminder to get “written acknowledgment from the charity [with] a description of the donated property.” At once repugnant and so profoundly sad.


  1. Money is god to so-called horse people! It’s sickening that people can be so two-faced.

  2. I’m no fan of Facebook, that being said, many YOUNG ex race horses end up in kill pens across the U.S. Just check out the kill pen posts on Facebook. It is a scandal and these race horse people know what they are doing. It breaks my heart.

    • A few years ago there were certain types of people that were making it very difficult for people to post horses on Facebook to be rescued. Anyway, they have to be careful about not listing the price on Facebook. It’s a big can of worms in several ways, but I think it is better to try to save a horse from going to slaughter. Not everyone has the ways or the means and you have to be careful about who you are donating money to, obviously.

    • And,Karen it makes me SICK for those poor babies. Those horse babies did NOT ask to be born into this shitshow

  3. We have such a sick and contradictory attitude toward horses in this country. On the one hand, they are held up as icons of beauty and grace, our partners in settling this country, heros of war, legends of the old West, subjects of literature, etc…..And then they are treated like inanimate objects, things with no feelings, completely disposable when they do not live up to human expectations or dreams of glory. Horses, for many, are simply ego inflators or money makers. One problem is that they are still catagorized as livestock instead of companion animals. This is because those that profit from the buying and selling of horses want to be able to dispose of them as they please, which you can do with livestock, not companion animals. Can you imagine the outcry if we suddenly decided to ship unwanted dogs to slaughter? What is the difference people???

    • Teresa, I hear what you are saying, I believe, because I have thought through the same thing about dogs and cats compared to horses as livestock. The truth is dogs and cats are exploited, abused, neglected and tortured in many ways in the USA, not to mention other countries.
      In the USA, Beagles are bred for horrible and barbaric experiments and the stuff I have read indicates that most, if not all, of these animal abusing experiments are unnecessary. Then the so-called scientific research community of animal abusers have another classification for dogs that are not purebred Beagles. The class (category) of dogs that are not Beagles were used to experiment on for the development of the false teeth for human beings known as “implants” and even if I could afford them, I wouldn’t want implants!!!! It was just horrific to see the videos of the dogs and the looks on their faces and in the dog’s eyes the pain he/she was forced to endure. It is ghastly disturbing to learn about how they’re abused and some dogs killed for their certain body parts. Certain parts of the jaw bone were cut out and then the rest of the dog’s whole body was discarded. It was horrific and very disturbing. This was in undercover videos and this horror took place in a University; I forget which state. It seems like it was Maryland or Massachusetts.
      The American Kennel Club lobbied to block legislation to crack down on puppy mills. It’s like the horse breed registries and in particular the Jockey Club (Thoroughbreds), the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Paint Horse Association (color patterns of horses with Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse parentage), etc. The registries make more money the more animals that are registered so indiscriminate breeding, especially overbreeding and inbreeding, is not a problem with these people. It’s just disgusting and demented, but that’s the way it is. If the owners and breeders have no scruples and all they care about is making money, the animals are easily victimized.
      Yesterday and today in the local news, they reported on a case of a woman in the local area breeding and hoarding Poodles and keeping them in filthy, disgusting conditions. Their hair was grown out long and matted. It’s like you couldn’t even tell they were dogs in some of the “before” pictures. The police were called by the woman’s neighbors and the dogs were taken out of her house. She “surrendered” the dogs. The dogs were taken to a local veterinary hospital and given long overdue care.
      These are examples of how it appears to me that, as a category of animals, companion animals don’t really have it that much better than some livestock animals in the USA.

  4. When it comes to treating racehorses like chattels look no further than the claiming ranks.
    There are hundreds of racehorses running for their lives after earning more than enough money for their retirement, but that will not come.
    Instead, they get dumped like CHRIS AND DAVE. This 9 y.o stakes winning gelding was very good to everybody raking in over $848.361, but everybody is not good to him because this is horse racing.
    He’s now on his way down, way down, now running for a price tag of $20,000, but will probably end up running for bottoms getting claimed over and over with countless needles to keep him going.
    His misery in the claiming ranks knows no bounds and when it comes to abuse there are no boundaries.
    He’s there to be used, abused, and beaten time and time again to flip bets and bucks for all the usual claiming parasites like Linda Rice and now Jeffrey Englehart and lots in between too numerous to list.
    He goes under the whip tomorrow at Saratoga to be whipped and beaten for the 80th time.
    That’s the thanks he gets from an industry that doesn’t give a damn about their chattels.

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