Minn. Horse of the Year rescued from kill pen

Canterbury Park's 2011 Horse of the Year, Tubby Time, stands in a Pennsylvania before his rescue May 7.

Canterbury Park’s 2011 Horse of the Year, Tubby Time, stands in a Pennsylvania kill pen before his rescue May 7.

In the end it didn’t matter how many titles Tubby Time earned, or how many fans were charmed by his endearing flourish to finish his turf races, win or lose, with his tail flared out like a champ.

But after the cheers had faded and the trophies grown dusty, the racehorse immortalized as the 2011 Canterbury Park Horse of the Year had lost the fine trappings of an earlier life to wind up discarded like trash into the slaughter pipeline.

Looking bewildered and unrecognizable from the horse he’d once been, the multiple stakes winner from Minnesota, named for popular basketball coach Tubby Smith, and once so adored by all who knew him—owner, fans and racetrack officials— was discovered in early May in a Pennsylvania kill lot.

Steps away from taking the final ride to the slaughterhouse alongside other frightened horses, it wasn’t his wins, or his fans that mattered. It was a random phone call made by the meat buyer himself, who contacted a Thoroughbred charity volunteer with the words, “I’ve got some Thoroughbreds.”

The news spread fast on social media channels, hitting his former owner Dorene Larsen like a body blow, as her beloved chestnut, now 875 pounds, was rescued by charity Beyond the Roses.

Tubby Time
Sire: Devil His Due
Dam: Gentle Princess, by Tejano
Foal date: April 23, 2006
Earnings: $263,515 in 35 starts;
Multiple stakes winner
As Tubby was put into quarantine and monitored for disease, Larsen grappled with the aftermath. “If this can happen to us, this can happen to anyone,” she says.

“My sister used to say to me that in life we have to face our worst fears. What happened to Tubby was my greatest fear realized.”

Larsen fought tears, recalling the good days when she and her husband Jim reared Tubby from birth. “We took such great care of him. We loved him. And the only reason we let him go was because we were told he was going to a 14-year-old girl who would ride him in the hunter/jumpers. I never would have let him go for something like barrels, because it’s so taxing. But, when I heard that the manager of the farm where we sent him to layup after his last race had found a hunter/jumper family for him, I thought, ‘Oh my God, Tubby would love doing something like that!’ ”

Though it’s still unclear how Tubby wound up emaciated and battered in the kill lot—Jeff Larsen has been making calls to try to get a answers— his old family and racetrack are rallying to his aid.

Tubby Time reveled in his time on the turf, according to his former owner who says he often flared his tail.

Tubby Time reveled in his time on the turf, according to his former owner who says he often flared his tail.

Canterbury Park Vice President of Racing Eric Halstrom was among the first to reach out and offer financial support for Tubby’s recovery.

“We found out through a fan of Tubby’s what had happened, and after we confirmed that it was Tubby, we knew that the time was right to do what’s right: We paid for 60 days of care, Halstrom says.

“This was a really good horse. He wasn’t necessarily bred for turf, but he just took to it, and in his prime, he was unbeatable. The horse has so many endearing qualities and the fact that he ended up this way … shows that things can go astray through no fault of the people who owned him.”

As Tubby regains his health at Beyond the Roses, Larsen is working closely with founder Gail Hirt to create a soft landing for him. She is weighing the possibility of taking him to her sister’s farm, to retire alongside Tubby’s brother Taconite. But, Hirt has also been in touch with a well-regarded equine attorney, who has also made inquiries about adopting him.

Tubby strolls in his quarantine paddock late last week.

Tubby strolls in his quarantine paddock late last week.

Hirt says Tubby is in no shape to travel quite yet, given his emaciation. However, so far he has remained in relative good health, neither spiking a fever nor showing other serious symptoms.

When she rescued Tubby on May 7 with other Thoroughbreds, Hirt had no idea just how special he was.

“When I found out who he was after researching his tattoo, I just about fell over,” Hirt says. “All of horses are special, but Tubby became a very big deal when his owners and the racetrack starting contacting us to help and tell us about him.”

And there were so many stories, says Larsen, who notes that the spirited chestnut had some real racing glory days.

“Tubby truly had his happiest days on the track. For some reason, he just loved to run,” Larsen says. “It didn’t matter where he finished in a race, he could be mid-pack, and he’d flair his tail out like he’d won the race.”

And in the end, Tubby did win; and one day will flare his tail with pride.

50 responses to “Minn. Horse of the Year rescued from kill pen”

  1. amacker

    I’m getting a bit suspicious as to how many times commenters are leaving the same comments praising the KILL vultures for making that call…which upped their financial gain on the horse!! A lot of people aren’t reading either the article or the comment thread. I think the article’s writer should have made it clearer that this was no kindly gesture. And they can still edit it to that effect.

    In North California, we have a particular stable just south of San Francisco on the shore that is notorious for treating its rental string abominably. If a horse gets sick, they are sent to auction.
    There are Kill Buyers there too.

    There’s also an unofficial network of people who collectively chip in to rescue horses they know, or horses that look like they’re down but not out, and worth the effort to bring back to rehabilitate, recondition, rehome. These aren’t thoroughbreds off the track, usually… but a friend of mine did just rescue a gorgeous black gelding off the track. He didn’t race for long. But he was on the Kill Truck when she showed up and bought him off it.

    I’d post a pic here but can’t.

  2. Cathy Trope

    People always want to know how this happens. Here is how it happens. Did the owner get a name, address and e-mail for this 14 year old hunter/jumper rider? Did they do a CONTRACT forbidding resale and requiring return? Did they go VISIT him at his new wonderful hunter/jumper home?

    Yeah right.

    Everybody wants a good outcome but few want to put in the effort that it takes to ensure one.

    1. CJohnson

      I so agree. I am so tired of hearing stories of horses in kill pens or just rescued the second before slaughter or whatever bad situation happened-and then at the end of the article ( and this is not a fault of the writer of the story) we hear that the last racing owner/breeder/ trainer ect. “thought” they were giving horse to a good home. If these racing connections are smart enough to run a business- they are smart enough to follow up and ensure a soft landing. If following up on your “loved horse” is really too much to ask of a racing owner, then at least reach out to a thoroughbred organization to help with your horse’s placement.

    2. Andrea holden

      Exactly!!!Well said. All of the rescues in the animal world were someones problems left to be taken care of by someone who can give them a GOOD HOME. We got our TB from a wonderful responsible breeder. We signed a contract saying what never could happen to him. No problem holding up our end of that bargain!!

  3. Cheryl Bowe

    There is an attempt being made to stop the slaughter of United States horses….Currently our horses are transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter and processing of their meat for human consumption in other countries…….United States horses are not raised for human consumption. They are frequently given drugs, as race horses, sport horses and pleasure horses, that are prohibited for use in food animals……Please contact your legislators and encourage them to pass the Safe Act.
    Thank you.


  4. Judith lynch.

    Europe has banned all horsemeat from Mexico due to the American penchant for drugs in their horsemeat, personally I would not eat anything that I even thought might be horse burgers, disgusting ! I’m not a sentimental person but when the time comes for a horse to be put down it should be done with kindness in a place where the animal is relaxed. Sadly I have had to do this myself on a number of occasions, I would be the person to be there, I couldn’t let them be taken anywhere for the job to be done. It is a terrible thing to have to do but I have to live with myself , the animal deserves to be treated with respect and ideally in familiar surroundings.

  5. Makala

    I don’t think most of the people on this cite have a clue that you’ve actually written a book and been through so much and helped race horses so much, but you are so amazing! You just don’t quit fighting for what’s right! I love Saving Baby and it’s one of my favorites. It made me cry so many times. It made me think about what was really happening. Thank you. (Jo Anne Normile)
    It’s completely disgusting that horses who have put so much effort into what they do for humans get treated like this. They don’t get to spend the rest of their life in pasture and just have time to relax. If it were me and if I actually cared about that horse like Tubby Time’s owners said they did, he would have a permanent home. As for the other horses going into the slaughter houses, why are they there in the first place? Maybe somebody didn’t have the time or the money to spend on them or maybe they just “grew out” of that “horse stage”. Honestly if you’re a horse person there’s no going back. You have to be fully committed and actually love the animal. Non horse people should NEVER own a horse, but that’s just my opinion. Non horse people would include, kill buyers, people who buy for looks, or just to say they have a horse and they’re a cowgirl. If it’s not what your heart wants them it isn’t for you. Say if you get a job at target, but you’ve been dreaming of a job at a salon. When that opportunity comes along for the salon it’s going to be snatched up leaving target down a worker, but there’s actually people that need jobs and there’s a lot of people who don’t need or want horses. Target won’t have a problem with it, but the horse will. The horse is a treasure to some, but not to all. It isn’t a toy that you can just leave there in its box. It needs love. If you aren’t truly in love with horses don’t get one just for the fun of it. If you aren’t able to care for one, but want one so badly, wait. The opportunity will come.

  6. MaryAlice Nelson

    If you want a safe home for a horse try a lease not a sale- then you can take him back if the lease is broken.. Forget the 14 year old kid – that is this weeks idea not a long term commitment.. If a horse makes you a third of a million YOU can afford keep him

  7. Kat

    I grew up in the racing busines. My father was a breeder and I have taken great offense to what Some of you have been saying. Not everyone in the “Racing Industry” are bad horse owners. We took great pride in our horses. They didn’t even run until they were three years old unless they had exceptional heart and Kentucky Derby in the future. Each and every one of our horses came back home to recover from any stress or injuries. They later became sport horses and sold to appropriate homes or I personally kept the. Because I couldn’t part with them. I did keep in contact with ALL the people who bought our horses. If the horses were in claiming races and claimed, we 95% of the time claimed them back. At the end of my dads life we had 5 horses under 10 and 12 broodmares all in their 30’s. I now only have three horses. My point we personally took exceptional care of all our guys. Whether they made money or not. The racing industry isn’t that bad with the right people. We can say that about any or the horse business out there.

  8. Gina Powell

    So the Owners claim that he was going to a good home. As far as I’m concerned he was dumped by the very people who bred him and made almost $300,000 for them. This is unacceptable. It was their responsibility to keep him and let him live his life. Did you not read that they have his brother in a paddock? Then they had no business giving him away whether they thought it was a good home or not. Further, there are such things as phones to call or a car to drive to the location and visit Tubby Time. They sure visited him at the winners circle when he was making all that money – didn’t they? Let’s call it out for what it is Owners who intentionally washed their hands of the horse and now their upset?’ Give me a break. All these comments that refer to racehorses being well looked after meaning good hay, bedding, feed, grooming, farrier and vet. Well guess what? That’s basic horsemanship. If you own a horse this is how you take care of them so I’m fed up with people hijacking the concept of horsemanship just for racehorses. Another poster talked about how other breeds are dumped. No doubt, but they didn’t run their butt off for a racetrack and wagering company to get rich while breaking their bones or losing their lives. The racing industry collectively does little or nothing for these horses when their careers are over. They are disposable once they are no longer profitable. It’s a disgusting business hat exploits horses and it needs to end.

    1. Colleen

      I agree wholeheartedly. Have you read how race horses are drugged not to feel the pain…. causing them to breakdown? If money is involved, cruel actions continue. Tennessee Walkers live continuous hell also from being sored, shocked, beaten (soring is applying chemicals to pasterns so the horse will lift legs higher during shows – the horses are beaten if they show pain when sore ankles are examined prior to shows).

  9. Karla de jesus

    So this horse went down the path that many I know one that I owed myself also. Many of these race horses are taken care of far superior than most horses.they are loved and treated like kings and queens. They get into situations like this because people that buy them don’t understand what it takes to feed ,care and retrain these beautiful horses. So they go from that home you approved of, to just anyone. Then they bring them to auction. I think people need to wake up and stop putting the blame on the racing industry. I’ve gone out of my way to make sure my retired horses get a good home. But it is hard to keep track of them when they get resold again because the home couldnt handle them. This is not the race industries doing. This is the buyers. Step up take care of your horse. Like it’s supposed to be. If you can’t handle feeding them double then what the average horse eats then don’t take one on.

  10. Slave2thePaint

    Kill buyers and slaughter houses exist because we keep producing and supporting the industries that CRANK out the horses and burn them.

    Not to mention all of the back yard breeders, and every person who wants that “Life time” horse they squeeze out of their mare.

  11. Tina Kupka

    I am a horse owner, but know nothing about how these horses are dump after they have not useful on the racetrack. Is it the owners just dumping these horses or it it just meat market doing this. All the money that is passed through the racetrack and on the horses. If they would require a percentage of the winning, and entry fees to take care of the forgotten ones. Would that solve the issue to some degree. Just a thought.

  12. Brandy

    Jo Anne Normile, I can tell you what happened to the other horses in that ” I’ve got some thoroughbreds” call, THEY WERE SAVED! All of them are doing QT. And Beyond the Roses is accepting adoption applications for them. As far as microchipping, it’s a great idea, and BTRE does have a scanner.
    I didn’t see anyone here praising the kill buyer, I myself think it’s disgusting that the kill buyer make one cent off these horses, it’s been my feeling that there be a fund to purchase theses horses at sale before the KB buys them, but as a rescue we don’t not have the funds to walk in and buy 5 to 10 horses before the KB snatches them up.
    Going forward, if anyone has the answers, please share, in till then, it’s one horse at a time..I’m glad Tubby Time is safe and his people came through for him.

    1. Tami

      As I was reading through this I noticed what you had, the kill buyer is the one who made the call. Thank goodness!

      1. ShopForPuppy

        Tami, read Bev Dee’s comments about kill buyers. They do not make calls to Rescues because they care for horses.

        “Kill buyers are not being “good samaritans” by making the call to a rescue about Thoroughbreds. They are making the call because they know rescues will buy from them. Here are some facts:

        1. The kill buyer knows the rescue will pay more for the horse than the slaughter plant will.
        2. The kill buyer sells to the rescue at a premium price and makes room on his truck for another horse with a lower public profile.”

      2. mommamammal@gmail.com

        The kill buyer a hero? Think again… He made money selling this thoroughbred… and then filled the spot with another horse to go to slaughter.

  13. Gail Hirt

    Donations to help these and the other thoroughbreds we help can be made through Paypal at main@beyondtherosesequine.org or by snail mail to: Beyond The Roses Equine, 11621 Bryce Road, Emmett, MI 48022. Any size donation is very much appreciated and will help with bail, quarantine, farrier and vet bills for them.

  14. Gina Powell

    The blame lies squarely with the horse racing industry. This industry exploits the racehorse for profit and then dumps them when they are no longer profitable. They make it easy for Owners to dump their horse either in Claiming Races ( where they are running for their lives), or Kill Auctions on the way to the slaughterhouse. It’s a horrific business. For every horse running in the Derby there are thousands running for their lives. This industry sets up an impossible dream that one day you will get that Derby horse which is absolute BS. Every year the same Trainers are running in the Derby and it’s no coincidence. This is a corrupt business that supervises itself with little oversight because the majority of Racing Commissiins are not neutral as they should be. This us a multi billion dollar industry that leaves a highway of dead horses whether they die on the track or in the slaughterhouse. They leave everybody else to clean up their mess. The wagering companies make billions while giving little or nothing to the racehorse that usually dies for their profit. This business needs are BREED BREED BREED & DUMP DUMP DUMP. It’s the only way that they can fill races for racetrack CEO’s and wagering companies to get rich. Despite this image of richness the majority of ?Owners/Trainers starve while chasing the impossible dream. When all is said and done it’s the racehorse that pays with their life. Now ask yourself: is this something you want to support? I certainly don’t. BAN HORSE RACING.

    1. Kelli

      Did you even read the article? He was owned by his breeders for the entirety of his racing career and then he was retired to a home where he was supposed to be ridden in the hunter/jumpers by a teenager. He wasn’t dumped, he was sent to what the owner believed was a good home – they made the effort to place him where he would be able to have a second career off the track. They tried to do right by the horse. This is what happened. He did not wind up in a kill pen because of his RACING connections.

      You think thoroughbred racehorses are the only ones that wind up in slaughterhouses? You don’t think LOTS of quarter horses wind up there? The AQHA registers more foals per year than any other breed registry and they are on top by a wide margin.. and they are openly pro-slaughter. Stock halter horses are so poorly built that they are usually not useful for any riding discipline at all, what d’you think happens to the ones who are neither show nor breeding quality – not just for the halter bred ones, but especially for them? Have you ever seen a pen full of young QH, paint, and appy culls?

      What about the lesson, trail, and camp horses? You know how many perfectly sound, well broke horses wind up there from easygoing non-competition homes? A lot.

      Should we just ban horse ownership? Since, you know, it doesn’t matter ONE BIT what breed or discipline a horse is.

  15. Carla

    This guy has Man o War and Native Dancer in his blood lines.

    1. Kelli

      Two of the most popular sires in the breed, this is neither surprising nor indicative of quality. Especially since Native Dancer is 5gen back and Man O’ War even further.

  16. Tisha Mcgraw

    Kill buyers deserve no praise. My horse hates the trail and I am a trail rider. I was going to sell her the kill buyers use a lot of trickery to get there horses. You think your horse is going to a good home, in reality she’s on the slaughter truck. Fortunately a rescue contacted me through the sale ad. I was advised of the kill buyers names. Two of them were attempting to purchase her. Now even though she is difficult on trail I will keep her. I am to fearful of her fate if I don’t

  17. Laurie Nunnally

    Cover story for this Spring/Summer 2015 ASPCA Action magazine is “HORSE SLAUGHTER, Separating Fact From Fiction” a must read if you really want to be informed, this article finally from a recognized organization exposes the myth that Horse Slaughter is somehow a form of euthanasia for suffering starving neglected horses. From the out of control large scale puppy mill type breeding farms and yes AQHA Breeders that’s you, as much as 30% of your “product” will end up a horrific end slaughtered for food in a country where it’s still illegal! How does this happen?!! So everyone who profit$ has a part in this, your ALL culpable! From the breeders to the racing owners and trainers, to the “Show Barn” Hunter/Jumper trainers, your making money on them!! That makes you culpable ! Even if it means “outing” every last one of your names, it’s up to all of us, we owe at least this to these animals. What’s has been going on for too long while we all go along minding our merry old business (and profiting) is pathetic. This is the United States of America, we are so much better than this!

  18. Una jean

    Too bad horses don’t get 401k’s out of their earnings. He should have had a nice retirement.

  19. Bev Dee

    One person said, “You really have to appreciate the kill buyers who know who to call.” No you DON’T APPRECIATE THEM!!! Please become educated about this situation. Kill buyers are not being “good samaritans” by making the call to a rescue about Thoroughbreds. They are making the call because they know rescues will buy from them. Here are some facts:

    1. The kill buyer knows the rescue will pay more for the horse than the slaughter plant will.
    2. The kill buyer sells to the rescue at a premium price and makes room on his truck for another horse with a lower public profile.
    He makes a large profit on the racehorse, and he gets to add another less popular horse to the load and still makes his quota at the slaughter plant and some extra money to boot from rescues.

    The Kill buyer is NOT a good person in any sense of the word.

    Now, Joanne Normille has a solution that just may work. Maybe we all need to focus on that and legislation. Only legislation is going to stop the cycle, and put the kill buyers out of the horse meat business. Call your senators and representatives and ask them if they have sponsored the SAFE ACT. If they haven’t, ask them why and tell them why they should. Do something productive that you can be proud of to help stop this “business.”

    1. Mrs. H.B. Willis

      This is so true, bev Dee. Kill buyers only care about the MONEY they will get.

    2. Colleen Gratton

      Thank you Bev Dee for stating the truth!!!! Please, please, please contact senators and representatives to sponsor the SAFE ACT!!!

  20. Zig Pope

    Well one thing you won’t hear is a kb calling AQHA people saying, “I’ve got some…” That the AQHA actively supports slaughter for their equine “puppy mill” agenda, as made me turn completely away from those torturers.

    Over the past several years, I have been so impressed with the TB rescue networking that is done on behalf of the horses. Well done to those who stand on the front lines of saving these marvelous creatures!

  21. Angela S

    Gotta give the “meat man” credit on this one, (as much as I hate to say that), he stepped up and did the right thing by making that phone call. Glad he’s going to have a soft landing. He deserves it.

    1. SG

      Making that call is simply another way for kill buyers and brokers to make money. They pull on heart strings and get people to pay them more than they would get for slaughter and keep themselves in business – giving them more money to go to auctions with to buy the horses that they will ship to slaughter. They still have contracts and quotas to keep. As the number of horses being shipped into Mexico slows down, it’s harder for KBs to make money. A sad truth is that the people buying the KB’s horses are actually helping to make up that difference and aiding in keeping them in business. There will be more of this and we need to be careful that we don’t end up supporting the kill buyer’s business as we try to save horses. It’s an all around bad situation – damned if you do, damned if you don’t. We need to work hard to get the SAFE Act passed and close our borders!

  22. Jo Anne Normile

    We can all rejoice over the fact that ONE horse was saved after a phone call “I’ve got some Thoroughbreds” but we and the racing industry MUST start facing reality. What happened to those others? Do they feel less pain and fear because they were not famous? Will they suffer less in transport and at the slaughterhouse? This would be a real PR story for racing if they stepped up and rescued every single horse the man was calling about instead of taking PR bows for assisting only one horse. Why don’t they start using microchips (like the rest of the world) so their horses can be easily scanned BEFORE they leave the track with a form signed by the trainer as to WHERE the horse is going and it better be going where the trainer or whomever is leaving with the horse signs. The scanners are only about $300. Horses in feed lots and kill pens could be found easily if the industry really wanted to stop their horses from entering the slaughter pipeline. How about this novel idea? If the racing industry wanted to stop the slaughter of its horses, why don’t they have a person at the nearest livestock auction the one day a week that it auctions horses to search for ANY tattooed Thoroughbreds? It is bizarre that they have a no slaughter policy and then expect non-racing individuals to police it. Rather like your city installing a traffic signal at a very busy intersection with no policemen EVER in the area to find offenders but if the public sees someone run a red light, follows them, stops them, identifies them and then contacts the police, only then will they MAYBE act if the person is famous. Other red light violators? A constant stream “running that red light” just like the 15,000 – 20,000 plus racehorses that are part of the 146,548 horses sent to slaughter last year and continuing this year. The real story here is what happened to the OTHER Thoroughbreds from that call “I’ve got some Thoroughbreds”? Please do a follow up. Thank you!

    1. Michelle Y.

      I think from this part of the story “When she rescued Tubby on May 7 with other Thoroughbreds, Hirt had no idea just how special he was” that the other TB’s from that KB call were also rescued by Gail.

      I also have to hand it to the KB. If not for him, Tubby and the other TB’s would not be alive today.

    2. Jen G

      Jo Anne, without addressing most of your post, note the line in the article: “When she rescued Tubby on May 7 ***with other Thoroughbreds***, Hirt had no idea just how special he was.” She didn’t rescue him because he was famous, she just pulled a load of TBs out of the meat lot, and he happened to be among them. Most of the TBs bailed from feed lots are “no names”, and the rescue orgs work just as hard (or harder) for them as for the ones that end up being “famous”. Granted the famous ones attract more attention from the outside world, but to the people who do the hard work, EVERY horse is special.

    3. ShopForPuppy

      Jo Anne brought up an excellent question, “If the racing industry wanted to stop the slaughter of its horses, why don’t they have a person at the nearest livestock auction the one day a week that it auctions horses to search for ANY tattooed Thoroughbreds?”

      I think we need to start lobbying for this. Once Thoroughbreds are identified through their lip tattoo, the last owner of record should be notified. If they don’t take their horse back or work to help get it a new home, then there should be some type of repercussion.

      Let’s also not forget to be productive and contact our legislators and ask them if they have sponsored the SAFE Act. If they haven’t, encourage them to get involved. They want to hear from their constituents, and don’t forget that they work for us. Please get involved! We can all do our part.


      1. Rebecca

        I think the owners in this case tried their best to place him in a good home but unfortunately, that didn’t work out. What you’re suggesting would prevent people from seeking placements for their TB’s. It would actually encourage owners to send the horse to slaughter instead of taking the chance of placing them and not having it work out. Why should the owners be faced with a “repercussion” when they did what any caring owner would do? You can’t legislate compassion or responsibility for horses. Follow the money. There needs to be a racing tax specifically for the retirement of OTTB’s.

    4. Gail Hirt

      I wish there was a solution for these horses not going to slaughter. The only help for them that I see is the SAFE Act. It is a double edge sword getting these horses from the kill buyers and yes we are giving them their “fees” to get these horses into safety. Damned if you do….Damned if you don’t. There have been many that we could not touch and have not been saved because he needed to fill his load for his quota and had to use them to do this. When we get a call that there are TB’s in the pen, not knowing who any of them are, we take pictures of their tattoos and immediately start fundraising to raise their bale and quarantine money needed. In Tubby Time’s group there were 6 horses. They were all no names at the time we committed to taking them. We didn’t learn who Tubby was until we pulled them all from the pen. Rarely do we come across a horse like Tubby. There was also a horse in that group named Senita Lane who was the 1996 Breeders Cup Lassie Stakes winner at Hasting Race Track. She was used for breeding since 1999 and when the farm she was at closed, she got dumped. Her breeders sent a small amount when contacted but it didn’t come near what is needed for her. Then there were the other 4 that no one stepped up for. They ALL got pulled and saved together, not leaving any of them behind. I just thank God that we were allowed to get them ALL and they were not used to fill a load and I thank the supporters out there that help us get these horses into safety.

      1. ShopForPuppy

        Thank you for saving them, Gail. And thanks to all of the wonderful donors who care about the welfare of all horses.

  23. Suzanne Hitz

    You have to really appreciate the kill buyers who know who to call. Give credit where credit is due. Good man. We had a kill buyer in this area who knew all the trainers and what they liked. Didn’t matter what the breed, a trainer would get a call, and end up with a horse in the barn who more often than not, that ended up on the show circuit, doing well.

    So grateful Tubby and his friends ended up safe.

  24. Sandy Dolan

    Can’t trust anyone these days. Once a horse is out of your hands beware as it gets sold down the line yoiu don’t know who it will end up with….

  25. Neil

    Is there a fund people can donate to for his support? Thanks, Neil

  26. Don Martello

    Cloth frayed lead line, cheap halter and hip # and three hundred pounds under weight, thank you champ. I always said if you do not have the resources don’t adopt. Please find out who is responsible for his ending up this way, they need to be exposed and embarrassed for their actions.

  27. Michele Hartmann

    Too many of these stories where horses supposedly going into “good” placements, some with contract provisions prohibiting kill pens etc end up like this. When are people going to start legally going after the contract violators and at the very least PUBLICLY naming those who are responsible for throwing these horses away like they’re trash? Maybe then others won’t place horses with them any longer. And that includes the “middleman”. Why are people trusting someone else to make the judgment on a good placement?

  28. Nicki Wheeler

    and I meant to add how wonderful this guy got saved ! he looks like the one I adopted ! in his good days ! 😉

  29. Nicki Wheeler

    when is this going to stop ?, this is a kill pen out in the open, so how are they allowed to transport across the borders ? surely border controls can stop they exporting of these poor animals, it breaks my heart knowing the stress and abuse they go through before even ending up in this situation, And now a backyard slaughter house exposed in Miami Florida how many more of these places ??? people MUST see these large areas hoarding animals in such bad states, we had one situation out here in Vandalia a horse starved to death in A DOG PEN !! with neighbors overlooking ? what the hell is wrong with people ?

    1. ccmso12

      Nikki wheeler . . . it seems you are disillusioned . . . there is no law against kill pens and feed lots nor transporting them to kill pens across the borders. Most common is to ship to Ontario for the good looking horses, what would be the Ontario ‘rejects’ then get shipped to the MX plant as well as the feed lots and KP’s that are of closer proximity to MX. Canada pays more, but has slightly tighter regulations on what they deem is exceptable as far as horse condition. on average around 100-200 horses every week get shipped out from each feed lot/kill pen to the processing plants.

  30. Jeanne Mirabito

    Sigh. Poor Tubby. Somebody betrayed this horse terribly. I hope his former owners find out who it was so we can close that access to the slaughter pipeline.
    Thank you Gail Hirt and Beyond the Roses for saving Tubby and the other horses who have passed through your program.

Leave a Reply