6 starving T-bred mares saved in Fla. sweep

Laurie Waggoner of the South Florida SPCA with one of six starving Thoroughbred mares rescued last night.

Laurie Waggoner of the South Florida SPCA with one of six starving Thoroughbred mares rescued last night.

The South Florida SPCA, working in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Agricultural Patrol, seized eight severely malnourished horses June 1, including six Thoroughbred mares.

As of last night, only one horse identification had been made, and another mare had died.

According to her lip tattoo, Florida-bred  Thoroughbred Maggie’s Shamrock was among the group of severely malnourished horses.

“It’s rare that we get a group that is this skinny,” says Laurie Waggoner, director of South Florida SPCA ranch operations. “Usually there’s one who is worst, the skinniest, and then there are others who seem to survive off of air. But this time, they’re all just skeletons.”


Starving mares, with no grass to eat, tried to eat weeds. This mare died last night after her rescue.

The band of mares, all between ages 10 and 12, were ranked between 1 and 2 on the Henneke Horse Body Score System, the SPCA says, noting that the animals were eating weeds in their struggle to find food. “There was absolutely no grass on the property,” Waggoner adds.

One Quarter Horse mare is suspected of being pregnant, and the SPCA is awaiting confirmation of veterinary tests.

The animals were discovered Sunday after the Miami-Dade Agricultural Patrol received a tip by a private citizen, the SPCA says. After assessing the situation, the SPCA was contacted, and the animals were handed over.

With the arrival of eight new horses, the South Florida SPCA now has 70 horses in its care.

With the arrival of eight new horses, the South Florida SPCA now has 70 horses in its care.

The addition of the horses brings to 70 the total number of rescue horses under care at the South Florida SPCA, according to a press release.

Police arrested property owner Nivardo Beaton and charged him with cruelty to animals, according to a statement from the Miami-Dade Agricultural Patrol.

As police continue to investigate the matter, Waggoner says the South Florida SPCA will do its best to restore the health of these horses. “The horses are all doing OK,” she says. “And we’re coping as best we can. We don’t dwell on it. We do what needs doing and get it done.”

Donations to help pay for the care of the rescued mares may be made by clicking this hyperlink.

10 responses to “6 starving T-bred mares saved in Fla. sweep”

  1. maria

    Disgusted with Nivardo’s lack of love for these beautiful animals. Karma…yes karma will prevail.

  2. Joyce

    I prefer to send a check.. Address of South Florida SPCA? Thank you!

  3. Susan Crane-Sundell

    Hi Susan;
    If as they are identified, Laurie could send you their names. we could update the Florida horseplayers as to the identity of these mares. We can at least start with Fla-bred Maggie’Shamrock- we could maybe designate a potential fund in her name.

  4. jon

    This is another case that infuriates me. I have sent a donation to help.I know it is not much, but I have my 4 OTTB’s to look after too.

  5. Susan Crane-Sundell

    It is just terrible to think about the one mare who hung on just long enough to be rescued and then succumbed to starvation.As for the others, it is comforting to know that their time in hell is over and that they will now have food and security and the chance at a better life once they recover.

    Will raise awareness as to these mares and very grateful that the South Florida SPCA could take them in.For an SPCA seventy is a great number of horses to have to provide care for. My own SPCA gets maxed out with 10 horses. Thank you Susan for being the voice for these mares. Perhaps we can get some Gulfstream handicappers involved to help these TBs out.

  6. Michelle

    Thank you Susan for highlighting this story. As Victoria said, whatever you can spare, please donate to the South Florida SPCA. A huge thanks to Laurie Waggoner and the SPCA for what they do. I do hope Nivardo Beaton gets his comeuppance.


    Heart breaking. What ever few dollars one can donate to this particular South FL SPCA, (forego the extra Starbucks Latte, etc.) and help them. Through no fault of their own, these horses met a cruel, unkind and UNNECESSARY fate. With help, their lives can be turned around. Thanks Susan for shining a light.

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