Big winner nearly dies on the way to slaughter

Press Exclusive earned $400,000 on the track and foaled 9 babies before she was a "downer horse" on slaughter truck

Press Exclusive earned $400,000 on the track and foaled 9 babies before she was a “downer horse” on slaughter truck

All that money, nearly a half million dollars worth of racetrack winnings, couldn’t help her as she thrashed in panic and fear.

Flailing beneath the hooves of 30 other terrified horses, last December in a tractor-trailer heading for a Canadian slaughterhouse, once-winning race mare Press Exclusive had lost her balance on the truck, and her place in the world.

No longer valuable as a racehorse or a broodmare — she gave birth to nine foals—she fell down among the legs and hooves of the other slaughter-bound horses, and was pummeled as she struggled beneath them, writhing in the shavings and manure.

“By the time she made it to Ottawa, where the kill buyer off-loaded her to do paperwork before proceeding to the slaughterhouse, a sale-barn vet wanted to kill her immediately because she was in such bad shape,” says Mindy Lovell, longtime Thoroughbred rescuer, owner of Spring Hill Farm and operator of Transitions Thoroughbred Program.

Press Exclusive
Sire: Press Guard
Dam: Gosh
Foal date: May 5, 1996
Earnings: $436,810

Covered from head to toe with deep cuts and abrasions, Press Exclusive sustained four fractured ribs and blows to the face that caused grotesque swelling.

Of all the horses Lovell has pulled from the junk heap of discarded horses, the mere mention of Press Exclusive brings her to tears.

“She made $436,000 on the track and produced nine foals, one after the other, as soon as she retired. The last foal that was weaned off her just ran through the Select Yearling Sale at Woodbine and sold for $16,000!” Lovell says. “With a horse like that, with high earnings and nine foals, Jesus, God, that’s not what she deserves at the end of the day.”

And so on a fateful day in December of 2012, as a veterinarian hovered near, insisting the sorry animal be euthanized on the spot, her poor condition making her unfit even for slaughter, Lovell and her personal horse-shipper intervened.

The veterinarian who manned the Ottawa holding facility where the truckload of slaughter horses had stopped and temporarily unloaded, agreed to send the mare on to Lovell, despite deep skepticism. Already labeled “condemned” for meat sale, the once flourishing horse wobbled on weak legs to a transport waiting to carry her off to Lovell’s Ottawa farm.

Her eyes were swollen shut from blunt trauma sustained enroute to the slaugherhouse

Her eyes were swollen shut from blunt trauma sustained enroute to the slaugherhouse

And when she arrived, a few days before Christmas, and Lovell saw her for the first time, fear clawed her heart.

“I’d seen a lot of emaciated horses before, but there was something really wrong here,” she recalls. “I asked my vet if it was necessary to euthanize her, and she said it was worth giving her a chance. She said the next 48 to 72 hours would tell us if she would make it. If she stopped eating, or she got down in the stall, it would be ‘game over.’ ”

Lovell had agreed to purchase the animal, sight unseen, after receiving word from her network of horse-rescue associates of the animal’s need. She’d raised the necessary funds to purchase the mare from the meat buyer, and when she finally saw the animal’s condition, she couldn’t give up. Not yet.

Even after Lovell’s veterinarian judged the mare’s body to be a 0 on a scale of 1-5, and the horse’s fate seemed hopeless, Lovell started in immediately trying to get proper nourishment and medication to the injured animal.

The mare was given antibiotics and Bute, and coaxed to keep eating, even when it seemed all hope was lost.

“The biggest worries I had with Press was her reluctance to eat,” she says. “So I started feeding her peppermints.”

The peppermints led to a healthy, fattening diet of hay, hay pellets, 18 pounds of daily grain, beet pulp and nutrients to aid digestion.

Now restored to health, Press Exclusive is welcomed to the Equine Advocates sanctuary for permanent retirement

Now restored to health, Press Exclusive is welcomed to the Equine Advocates sanctuary for permanent retirement

Gradually, signs of defeat were replaced with a reawakening of spunk.

“The day I walked into the barn in the morning and found her pawing for her breakfast, I was absolutely ecstatic, which is the opposite reaction I’d usually have to a horse pawing for feed,” Lovell says.

For months she kept vigil over the horse, and it took even longer before she was able to slow her hurried step to the barn to double check, one more time, on the fragile animal’s wellbeing.

By late winter, Press Exclusive was well enough to take a walk outdoors.

Her eyes were no longer swollen, and the cuts and other signs of trauma had also healed sufficiently for the mare to eagerly walk on the lead line, tentatively at first, and with increasing vigor.

“When I began to notice shavings on her coat, I knew she was able to lie down at night” and this reassured Lovell that she was out of the woods.

As she recovered, many fans and interested parties, shocked by the horse’s condition, had their eyes opened to the horrible fate that can befall a racehorse, she says.

Fans, as well as those who had been touched by the once great mare, opened their hearts and wallets to aid her recovery. An owner of one of her offspring even paid the “bail” money to make the initial purchase that rescued her from the slaughter pipeline and an executive at Purina paid for six months worth of feed, Lovell says.

Press Exclusive enjoys the green, green grass of home

Press Exclusive enjoys the green, green grass of home

“A lot of people came through to help Press,” she says. They included Susan Wagner, executive director of New York-based Thoroughbred charity Equine Advocates, who offered the biggest gift of all: sanctuary.

On Sept. 10, fully restored of her strength, her swagger, and her Alpha Mare personality, Press Exclusive was relocated to her permanent new home, where she won’t be asked to do anything except to enjoy a romp in green paddocks with other horses.

In a transfer facilitated by Marlene Murray of the Race Fund, Wagner and Lovell agreed that the best thing for the fine mare was R&R, with no possibility of being bred or sold.

“Everybody followed her story. I remember waiting for her to arrive, and we were all waiting to see what she looked like, and what her condition was. We’d never seen a picture until she arrived right before Christmas,” Lovell recalls. “It was so bad that I had to warn people that it wasn’t pretty. She actually fell when she stepped off the van for the first time.”

She adds, “People were so shocked. She was such a great horse, and my hope now is that if her story can help make a difference, and inspire people to find other options for their horses, then she’s done her job. Press Exclusive was not an isolated incident, so I hope she will help a lot of people think twice about where their horses are winding up.”

—Author’s note: Stories like these are made possible through the sponsorship of the nation’s largest and oldest Thoroughbred Charity, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Please read more about this charity, which cares for more than 900 ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds by clicking through to this link:

383 responses to “Big winner nearly dies on the way to slaughter”

  1. Anne Watkins

    To me one of the Curliest Laws ever passed in America is the Anti Horse Slaughter Bill here. There was NO reason we couldn’t have inspectors at slaughter houses here. To put these animals on those terrible crowded trucks is in humane.
    The transporting of all slaughter animals needs a great deal of fixing so as not to be handled & transported in cruel & in-humane ways. There is no reason there can’t be inspected slaughter facilities throughout the US!!!! That goes for all animals, Horses, cows, pigs, sheep goats & anything else. Nothing should be as cruelty treated the ways they are now. The double deckers need to go also. These animals have dignity, feel pain & are terrified. LET’S FIX It PLEASE.

  2. Linda Bennett

    While I am very happy that there was a happy ending for Press I feel sorry for the other poor horses in the same transporter that were not rescued. They had to suffer a cruel end to their life because they were not famous. They were still sentient and feeling creatures that were packed in and probably terrified.
    R.i.P. all slaughtered horses that aren’t worth rescuing.

  3. Jim Noth

    Stories like this make me want to spend 5 minutes alone with the person who allowed this to happen.
    Just today, we picked up our 11th rescue. It’s amazing what these animals do to one’s soul.
    If you are one who believes that horse slaughter is ok, then your as screwed up as they are. And your opinion doesn’t count so shut the f—k up.

    1. Lisa

      I applaud but efforts but if not for slaughter where would you suggest all these horses go?? I have 24 and several rescues. 1 person can only do so much. You may not like it but it has unfortunately become a necessary evil.
      I would like to see better laws and regulations at the plant.

      1. Kathleen Werginz

        Maybe just humane euthanasia if a home can’t be found. Slaughter is the most evil and vile end!!!

        1. Donna Hayes

          Kathleen Werginz, I couldn’t agree with you more. There is ZERO reason to slaughter any animal. If humans continue to claim that we have evolved, then by God, we need to start acting like it.

      2. Sherry

        Humane euthanasia thru a vet is owed to every horse you own when their time comes. Not a bolt to the head and then bring butchered while still clinging to life. How can you think this is necessary. If you can’t give then a humane ending you shouldn’t own the horse.

        1. Tabby Thunder

          Because they are worth more money as meat slaughtered. The whole racing industry is built around money, not welfare..

      3. Beth Hall

        Animals are a luxury if you can’t afford the food and care for them you should never own a animal as for these owners they bred this poor mare and made all of money from her babies and this is the thanks she gets. These people can choke on their money for all I care the horse deserves better than they do.

      4. Karin

        You own a horse, you take care of it til the end. Especially if they made you a fortune in their life time. They are not a sport machine to make a person rich. If you have any humanity and dignity, you will never let that happen.
        You don’t make those excuses for the dogs and cats you own – why would one even think about such a fate for a horse who served you, in whatever way. Just a convenient excuse, and gut wrenching greed? To make a few hundred bucks instead of paying a small fee to have the horse euthanized

        1. Roberta Horton

          There is also the cost to bury or have the carcass hauled off. Nothing is ever as simple as “just put him down”. I hate the slaughter house, also hate seeing old horses turned out because they are not usable and their health needs don’t get tended to but the.owner would never be so cruel as to send them to slaughter.

        2. Sharon L Pruitt

          I agree with you Karin I love animals

  4. kay loughnane

    Well done! Is press still alive and happy?

  5. lexi63


    1. Sherry

      No one but god knows what I want to do to every scum sucking pig of the earth that has done these horrible things to god’s most beautiful creation the horse above all humans in every way.
      But I do not want to see these lower than the dirt on the belly of a snake creeps after i die In hell. So I will just pray god Is just with them ver very just!!!
      Amen. My beauties of love forever In my heart.

      1. jamie mclean

        Hi sherry that was from the heart girl bless you .my brother has a x race course Eric and as much as he look as scary he is massive but my brother loves him .You should come down to the stables if near Swindon x

      2. Cheryl Gehrke

        Sherry I agree so much with what you said and I agree about not wanting to see these craphead horse owners and killers in hell, but what I do is say” May God reward them according to their works” God sees their works and the hell they bring to these horses. Revenge is mine saith the Lord and He will bring hell down on these people if they don’t repent. God loves His creatures, all of them and He told us to take care of them and have stewardship over them. The people who are so cruel will suffer for what they did and are doing. But the horses will all be in Heaven because they have souls. All the creatures that God created have souls and will live forever. I know animals have souls but this next sentence is my own personal feelings about this but I think that at the judgement day, the actual animals will testify against the people who hurt and killed them and God will judge those people.

        1. Marlene Hintz

          The sad thing is these people use these horses until they decide they aren’t bringing in anymore money and then they dump them for slaughter without a second thought. The only way to stop it is to let the public know what is going on and they might mention also that most of the mares don’t raise their own foals. They take foals away from other horses that had them and replace them with the thoroughbred babies and the other foals are left to die or be rescued by a foal rescue. These owners have no conscience they live and breath for money. It isn’t just the racehorse industry that does this. Horses are over bred and that creates a glut in the market and they dump them at auction. If you see the ads for horses that are at the kill pens a lot of them were never handled just bred over and over and they don’t even know what a halter is. Very sad.

        2. Monique

          I pray This too happen… my eyes are tearing up as I write this ..
          May all these horses one day live a peaceful and happy life.. filled with unlimited hay sand carrots!

        3. Wanda Boutwell

          Cheryl, I agree with this wholeheartedly!

          1. Cheryl

            Thank you Wanda. I had forgotten about writing my post. It was written last March. I do truly believe everything I wrote and think that it is very true. God does love His creatures that He has created and has told us to take good care of them. I think He would be doubly angry with the horse racers because they not only are cruel to His creatures but they cause people to bet money on them to get gain. I noticed in the Bible several places Jesus does not like people who take advantage of other people to get gain.

  6. Annette Murphy

    Well saved!

  7. julie ivory

    so sad to see such beauty abused, but it happens all the time in many equestrian field’s. I am the owner of a 25 year old show jumper who wone alot of money, preduced 9 top class foals and was on her way to be slaughtered because she is no more use to make money and she’s passed being ridden. I felt so angree that she had been used over and over again for financial gain and then because she grew old she became good for nothing and her reward for all the money she made was a death sentance. I am not rich, I dont have acres of land but I do have a heart that could’nt let this sweet horse be distroyed. She lives in my paddock at the back of my house, where she can live out her life for the rest of her days, safe in the knowleage she has a home with me and I will ask nothing of her other than she’s well and happy.

    1. Ashley

      Wow that’s so sad. It’s good you found her and gave her a home to peacefully retire.

    2. Valerie Sumner(Miss)

      Bless your sweet Heart it is so full of indignity for these old or young horses once admired, for winnings or foals, the love soon faded, I also have saved many horses,cows,sheep etc from slaughter.People forget DEATH IS FOREVER.Huh wonder if they will be so brave when they are dying?

      1. Cheryl Gehrke

        No death is not forever. Death is just for now, the horses will live forever. All the animals that God created will live forever and a lot of these evil people who hurt and killed these animals will be very surprised to see that the animals they killed are not only alive but that God will judge the people who hurt them. animals have souls just like we do and they all have their place in heaven. Animals have no need of baptism or repentance because they have no sin. Only humans have sin. animals have magnified their sphere of creation and have done everything God told them to do. Humans have to prove themselves. I have said this because I know that loving hearts are sad because of the death of animals. I am for saving them all, but if they cannot be saved, then know without a doubt that they are in Heaven enjoying the beautiful forever.

        1. Cheryl

          I agree with you wholeheartedly, Cheryl.

  8. C L Smith

    First of all, I’d like to say I don’t approve of sending these horses to slaughter and I certainly don’t condone treating any animal badly in any way. However, I wonder why it is that this horse was so lucky. How long after she was unloaded from the horse killer’s truck was she identified as Press Exclusive, and why is it she, among all the others, was singled out to be saved? Were the others unworthy of being saved because they hadn’t earned as much at the track and produced foals? Sure, you can’t save them all, but I guess the story wouldn’t have hit home so easily if she had barely won at the track and been barren. Hmmmmm. I’d also like to point out that many people who race horses find good homes for them or send them to a retirement facility after their careers as racers are over. I point out the story of Zippy Chippy–the world’s losingest racer (he ran more than 80 times and NEVER won!) who was placed in an equine retirement home in Kentucky to live out his life.

    1. Barbra

      Just go to any kill pen website and view all the horses available. You will find every kind of horse imaginable but there are probably more than their share of TB horses there.

    2. Ashley

      Zippy had good owners to put him in retirement, this mare did not. Most of these rich ppl only raise these horses for money then throw them to the curb when they don’t win; this is why I hate horse racing. Most horses taken to slaughter auctions are racehorses. The trainers and handlers are horrible to them. I worked with an old racehorse that was missing half his teeth be cause the owner hit him in the face with a crowbar because he didn’t win. Oh and he also broke his knee in the race as a 2yr old never to race again or even walk properly.
      You wonder why this horse got saved and not a losing horse? A Budweiser Clydesdale that I trained was found at new Holland Slaughter house emaciated, mange, and dead to life. The spark was gone from his eyes. How could this happen to him? He was horse royalty. Thank God he was saved, I had been searching for him for 6 years and finding him this way at a rescue made me want to hurt someone badly. There are ppl out there in the horse world that only care about money and stature. They could give a monkeys ass about the well fare of these horses.

      1. Another Country 2

        Ashley, Wrong!! Most horses taken to slaughter auctions are not race horses. They are Quarter horses or Quarter horse crosses. Then probably draft and draft crosses. Thoroughbreds are way down the list. You should check your facts before trying make a point.
        There is not a horse slaughterhouse in New Holland Pa. Something else you should of looked up. Why is a “Budweiser” Clydesdale YOU trained at the New Holland sale?? Why did you let that happen?? If it wasn’t your doing maybe the same thing can happen to Thoroughbred owners as well.Take that into account before putting all race people in to one basket.
        It is people like you that fabricate stories because they have no idea what they are talking about that makes this issue 10 times worse….

        1. Ashley

          Actually you ignorant twat there is a slaughter auction house in New Holland PA, look it up. He was sold to a couple that broke the contract and sold him off to make money then somehow ended up there. No one knew where he was, what had happened to him and etc. Ya, this can happen to any horse not just famous ones is the point. And no I didn’t sell him he was sold out from under me. Also, maybe I misspoke about thoroughbreds being a majority, “mybad”. No horse should ever have to go through that hell. I’m happy this rescue took the mare, put her through rehab and gave her another chance. Lastly, Im not fabricating any stories, I’m speaking from personal experience and my own research. Have a nice day being a miserable twat waffle.

          1. Another Country 2

            “A Budweiser Clydesdale that I trained was found at New Holland Slaughter HOUSE”. Your words not mine. No where in that statement did you say AUCTION. Again making thing sound worse than they really are. Just like claiming most horses taken to the slaughter auction are race horses. That is a HUGE misspoke or what most people call a FABRICATION.
            Judging by your comments you have very little personal experience and your research is not that extensive. You also resort to name calling when you figure out others know you are full of crap.
            As for me being miserable. You could not be more wrong. Actually having a wonderful laugh reading your uneducated comments aloud to the crowd of horseman. Your idiocy is keeping everyone entertained.
            Also just because a horse may be a Clydesdale does not mean it is a Budweiser Clydesdale. There is a difference….

          2. Ashley

            That’s actually kindof funny because the same thing is going on over here. I’m sorry I’ve hurt your feelings some how by expressing that it angers me when horses end up in this situation. Also, I tell ppl the same thing that not all clydesdales are Budweiser. I worked for anheuser busch with the famous clydes for many years, best job I ever had. So with that being said I do know the difference. There’s no point arguing back in forth when we both agree that it is wrong for ANY horse to end up at the auction.

          3. Another Country 2

            Don’t worry about my feelings they are far from hurt. My issue was not about you expressing your anger about horses ending up in this situation. You have that right. My whole reason for commenting was the false statement about which breed is most popular at the slaughterhouse. People reading this might think it was a true statement. Also I am not totally against horses going to auction or horse slaughter. My stand on that has been documented on this thread. I am not a fan of the treatment some receive prior to slaughter or having to ship horses to other counties to have them processed with little to no regulations. So again you have perjured yourself… So I guess we can agree to disagree…

          4. Chris

            Country girl 2 and ashley. Your both right to a point. But country your not right for some of your information. Im a ex cattle hauler. But we also hauled a lot of horses that went to slaughter all over the united states from auction yards to valley proteins to Mexico even hauling wild horses off preserves to slaughter for the goverment. I will tell you this we hauled alot of race horses out of Kentucky and Florida and other states. To slaughter to NC. And mostly we would go in at night and pick them up in a bull wagon instead of a vet transporter. The ones that came out of Florida would go to Atlanta GA. It made me sick to know what was going on and we quit doing. And lot of the owners of the race horses didnt want there horses going to auction in fear of them breeding them. So they sent them to be destroyed. but you know its all live stock animals are inhumanely treated. From cattle, hogs, horses, chickens you name it its mistreated. Especially during transport

          5. Another Country 2

            Chris, if that is a response to me I am not sure what you are trying to say. What wrong information did I give??

    3. Kim Cumming

      To answer you question from 2 yrs ago. Lol. She was singled out because she was deemed unfit for slaughter due to her injuries (which happened during transport ). Most kill pens advertise the horses and identify any racehorses they can thru the tattoo in their upper lip (because they can ask more money for horses like this one). She was probably advertised for sale and not bought. Kill pens don’t allow much time before loading them onto a truck AND it is the same people over and over on their sites who advocate and rescue. And let’s face it, there is only so much room on a farm for horses and often times they are full to capacity. There are literally hundreds of kill pens and there is no way to check them all. Some race horse owners mutilate the tattoo to prevent being “harrassed” for dumping their horses at auction.
      So, she was selected because she was refused at the border and this rescue happened to be at the right place at the right time. Many thousands have been served up as dinner to humans, dog food etc.

  9. Fran

    Sadly many great horses end up this way at the end of the line in all fields. This was one lucky one so many others have met with a terrifying death not being able to understand what they did to end up on a truck destined for a savage slaughter filled with fear. Life behind the track is not always what people think. It can be a very cruel place. It is a different world behind the track before they come out. Many do not spend their final days in green pastures as we would like to believe. Many end up slaughtered.

  10. nohorseslaughter ortiz

    I repost this over & over on my FB page & the two pages I admin. TY from the bottom of my heart to all responsible for her unbelievable recovery. I worked with a Triple Crown winner intimately & my chihuahua is named after Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand who ended up as sushi in Japan.

    1. Joan Frazier

      What happened to Ferdinand was absolutely disgusting. He was supposed to be returned to his original owners.

  11. Melody Pittman

    Wow! I’m not even a horse fan but yet here I sit with tears rolling down my face that anyone can treat an animal like this. It has certainly opened my eyes and I praise all of you involved in saving this sweet momma’s life. May your blessings be tenfold.

  12. linda mcdowell

    Great Story!!

  13. Carylann

    I’m crying over this. I’ve lost 2 in the last 10 years and they are here on my place buried. I don’t understand why people can be so bad. I can just don’t want too. I worry every time I sold one of my babies. But I do check on them. I pray to God he can help the ones that are trying so hard to help the horses put into this bad end.

  14. Judith

    My dad rescued a Tennessee Walker out of a truck on the way to the killer pens. We nursed him back to health and he, once again, strutted his stuff in the show ring. He was a lovely, gentle giant.

  15. The WiZaRd

    Horses are family, NOT FOOD!!!
    Horse racing and rodeos are outdated, barbaric, and cruel,
    and should be done away with with FOREVER!!!

    1. Sherrie

      Wow! You really have no clue. I bet you have never even owned a horse. They love to race, cut, barrel race, sort, ECT. That’s like telling people they should never train or go to the gym. The slaughter market is a necessary evil due to the large number of unwanted horses from backyard breeders and irresponsible owners who throw their old horses away after they think they are no longer useful.

      1. valerie sumner


      2. Deirdre

        Sherrie, slaughter is NOT euthenasia. If thinkthat, you are so wrong.
        S L A U G H T E R is exactly what it is. Look it up in a dictionary. It’s brutal, violent, and not a way to end the life of anything that gave years of itself for our pleasure or income. Look at it this way. . . There are too many unwanted children, orphans running the streets in some countries. Should we capture them, cram them into containers as they kick and scream? Should we force them through narrow passageways as they hear the blood curdling screams of those that went before them? Imagine the fear! Then as they approach the kill box they can watch as the child before them has a nail/bolt shot into his or her head. . . just to stun them, mind you . . . their legs are then shackled and they are hoisted up and hung upside down by chains. The one waiting next in line, with no way out of this nightmare, is watching in horror as that child’s throat is slit and the life drains out onto the floor. The tall children are breathing bubbles in their own blood as they hang, their noses haven’t quite cleared the floor. Some of those unwanted children are skinned alive if they happen to have a strong constitution and don’t die fast enough.
        THAT Sherrie is SLAUGHTER! It’s NOT kind. It’s NOT euthenasia. It’s NOT humane. Its NOT NECESSARY. It’s not anything but brutal and violent. It IS disgusting.
        Why aren’t there breeding limits imposed and substantial fines given to those who exceed those limits without receiving proper extensions? Wouldn’t THAT be a better, kinder way to go? It’s not backyard breeders. It’s primarily Thoroughbred and Quarter horse breeders that are the biggest offenders. Last time I looked, about 80% of horses slaughtered were Quarter horses. Why? There’s some kind of reward system for every foal that hits the ground in the Quarter Horse world. No my friends, SLAUGHTER is NOT a good solution.

        1. nanci00

          DITTO!! And everytime I hear someone say…. ‘but cows are slaughtered’…. I answer, ‘Yes, and the way it is done these days because of factory farming it is horrendous!’ BUT horses are taught to trust us from the moment they are born, and we have to TRUST them because any one of them could kill any one of us at any time. Slaughter is betrayal of that trust and any God that anyone prays to has to HATE that betrayal of the Creation that He sent to humanity because no progress would ever have been made towards stable civilizations withOUT horses! When a cow takes my grandkids out into the woods to see nature, or into the show ring while his family claps and applauds their performance, or dances to the music in free style dressage, or snuggles my neck when I am down and crying to comfort me… then I will speak up for cows every bit as passionately as I speak up for horses deserving to be treated as COMPANION ANIMALS, and NOT MEAT!

        2. Lori

          Deirdre I agree 1000% with you!!! Well said. Thankful to all involved who helped save Press Exclusive. I pray more can be saved. I also think we should stop shipping our horses to outside countries for money so they can slaughter them for food. Horses are NOT FOOD! They are loving animals that work for people they trust. The breeding needs to be regulated. Maybe owners who dispose of their horses to kill buyers should watch with their family what actually happens to their horses in a kill box. I cried reading this story, & at Deirdre’s description of how the horses are slaughtered. 🙁 It breaks my heart. I don’t understand how owners could be so cold, like their horse was an old toy or car, just discarded.

          1. Chris

            I posted to diedra post and meant to post to yours. But im glad her post explaining slaughter opened your eyes how its done. Sad but so true. You have a true kindered heart. I wished there were more people like you left in this country.

      3. Karen Sweatman

        I was “born” into racing. I started going to the track with my father at the age of 5. Not all horse owners are horse advocates. That neccessary evil you speak of is called greed and irresponsibility. Running the ponies on the top level is big business, and thoroughbred owners need to take care of their own. This mare made a half million dollars and was a dam to 9 foals that I’m sure were sold for good money. She earned her keep. She never should’ve been left to die a horrible death in a slaughter house. No horse deserves that. I don’t care what your take is on it. People are cheap and irresponsible. Horse racing isn’t evil, people are. Too damn many horses are used and thrown out like an old newspaper, it’s shameful.

    2. Betty

      I’ve been in rodeo all my life, and people who make such remarks as these are grossly misinformed. No one takes better care of their animals than we do!

      1. gaynor henry

        People just glom onto things and start spouting off without knowing diddly-squat about what they are talking about. Love horses, absolutely adore them, but to say everyone associated with rodeo is evil, is ridiculous. and the opposite is also true, there is abuse in every “sport” or industry involving animals. This was a nasty case, but far from the first – or the last.

      2. Rebel

        Some probably do, but eventually even rodeo people move on and sell their horse and get the next one. Never knowing what happens.

    3. Jennifer smith

      Yes let’s just trail ride, bareback in the mountains and enjoy our cool horse buddies, learn from them and let them make us better people, they are amazing sensitive creatures with the power to heal, maybe if people stop breeding horses and trying to make millions off them, there wouldn’t be such an over population, some people have the ability and common sense to breed, and show without damaging there horse, but unfortunately a lot of people don’t care about anything but winning, trying to look cool and making money off there horses,

  16. taelir

    I’ve rescued 2 ex-racehorses in the past 4 years and they’ve become my best friends and are in tip top shape now. Our gelding was in a condition worse than this mare was but he survived and is thriving in his home. Keep up the good work all of you that rescue ex-racehorses. They deserve long happy lives; not to be sent to slaughter. They’ve worked way too hard to just be thrown out like trash.

  17. Marygay Chaples

    i believe that every horse that has raced there should be a certain amount of money that goes into a retirement fund for them,,,,,,,

    1. Michele T

      100 percent! The Belmont track just earned over $300,000 from un-cashed $2.00 souvenir tickets from American Pharoah’s run to glory. That money should definitely go to rescue horses!

      1. Marky

        Excellent idea. But unfortunately, Belmont doesn’t get to keep that money. It doesn’t even stay in racing. It goes to the New York State general fund.

        1. Robyn Roeschley

          Marky you stated,”Excellent idea. But unfortunately, Belmont doesn’t get to keep that money. It doesn’t even stay in racing. It goes to the New York State general fund.” So why can’t you suggest it to the New York State and get them thinking about it. It may actually come to pass. Saving our horses would be a great gesture from New York. I’m sure there are a lot of New Yorkers who would love to help save a race horse or any other horse as far as that goes.

    2. Linda

      You could start a petition on and get many people to sign it.

  18. History in the making! - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

    […] Yes sad, all for $$$ and fame & human entertainment Just read this one horse's story today, it has a happy ending, but too many don't Big winner nearly dies on the way to slaughter […]

  19. Ellen McC

    I love & support Equine Advocates! This story is so uplifting & beautiful.Horse slaughter is intolerable & all the abuse of horses, including our wild horses & burros.

    1. Deirdre

      Ellen, I totally agree! I’ve been fighting for over a decade to stop horse slaughter. There is a group on Yahoo called Against Slaughter that fights like crazy for the horses. I was there when Senator Conrad Burns covertly gutted the federal law that was in place some 1972, to protect our Wild horses and burros. He is the worst of the worst. It opened the flood gates to hell for our American Mustangs and Burros.

      1. Chris

        Only people like you have a kind understanding heart. And im glad it opened up your eyes to what happens. Only if there were more people like you. who accepts and understands the reality of it.

  20. Janet Thurston

    This is ongoing for all horses. Some have been saved and have gone on to be champions, beloved pets, etc. The unlucky ones have meet a terrific ride with an awful death at the end. Because of the abuse these horses receive on the way to slaughter their spirits are crushed and they give up hope. Such a tragedy. Not just horses but so many feeling intelligent animals are thrown away or mistreated.

    1. Nina

      I know it’s altruistic, but I, too would like all things to live the lives they enjoy and die at least a gentle, quick death. Research, slaughtering, ‘entertainment’, even people who ‘spoil’ their pets to a fault… saddens me.

      1. Woodcutter52

        And when you say “spoil” their pets saddens you, what are you referring to? Give me an example of what you would call “spoiling” my pets? I’m a bit confused on that comment. I do not now never have, nor never will support the slaughter of ANY animal, whether it gave the sorry ass owner millions or not. I’ve had horses and I know for a FACT, that barrel racing, cutting, and most of the rest of that “entertainment sport” can and WILL cause serious problems with their knees, and joints. It happened to one of my quarter horse geldings, and I stopped all participation in the rodeo sham. We nursed him back to health, and kept him as a pet. He thrived and was a magnificent animal until the day it was time for him to pass. And yes, we DID spoil him with treats from time to time, and paid special attention to him. If our house would have been big enough, he would have been an inside horse. So, what are you referring to when you say “spoiling” pets saddens you?

        1. lolamcgee

          My guess is that it’s the well-intentioned spoiling, like someone who is giving their dog chocolate because they think the pooch loves the stuff, when in fact it’s not good for them in the least.

          I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the show “All Creatures Great and Small” (1980s, from the BBC), but there is a character named Mrs. Pompfrey and she has a little dog named Tricki Wu who keeps on getting sick because she overfeeds the dog sweets, pâtés, pastries, etc.etc. In her mind she’s spoiling the dog, when in fact she’s making him sick. She’s spoiling him to a fault and causing harm, albeit unintentionally.

          I may be misinterpreting though, so I don’t want to put words into Nancy’s mouth.

  21. Blanche Martin

    Ms. Lovell, you are an angel and so are the other humans involved in the rescue of this beautiful horse!

  22. Tish

    This amazing story and the people who posted from reading it reveal the good and the evil within humanity. For everything that draws the breath of life is a life worthy to be saved! I commend the heroes within this story who cared enough to put their concern to action – beginning with the “Vet” in the Ottawa holding facility, and “Ms. Lovell” for demonstrating God’s mercy for a defenseless animal, who gave to her owners all that she had – who then; when she couldn’t give anymore – sold her to a slaughter house.

    Organizations like Ms. Lovell’s need to be supported, along with laws passed in each state and nationally that protect animals used for “Profit” and LAWS made that limit breeding, and the exploitation of these animals after their use is over. So I encourage the passion in the outrage seen from the cruelty done to this horse to rally a movement of compassionate people who will put their outcry to action and create the laws of protection and regulation for these defenseless animals. Those who do not want to get involved to that degree need to support charities like Ms. Lovell’s, or equine advocates. But do something!

    God will always work with the heart who is moved to take action!

    I commend all the heroes within this story who took action to save an amazing horse! Your will to do so gives great encouragement which led the process of a positive end for a defenseless animal. Thank you! You are the minority that God can use to give hope by your acts of mercy. May your efforts move into action the many more who represent God’s love to fight for the defenseless and abused in our nation.

    God Bless!!!!!

    1. Deirdre

      Tish! Your post is a beautiful, positive, uplifting one! Thank you for it. I needed to read something like that. Horse slaughter always brings me to a dark, ugly place. It’s such a dark, ugly issue. Rescue is at the opposite end of that, but somehow I get pulled into the darkness of what needed to be rescued and why. Thanks for brightening my mind and my heart with your words and thoughts!

  23. shane

    To say peopl have issues with horse sslaughter because they don’t eat horses is as idiotic a statement as they come. For one this is a discussion on horse slaughter not every other animal. Certainly some animals are more prone to suffering inhumane deaths due to the difficulty in dispatching them. I highly doubt many folks commenting would be happy to see a cow suffer either. The biggest lie I’ve read so far is the person claiming to have witnessed 250 horse deaths and everyone fell perfectly dead before hitting the floor. That’s a crock and everyone knows it. Just because people eat meat doesn’tmmean they support inhumane deaths of that species by turning a blind eye. There is more to it than claiming you know a person’s beliefs due to their eating habits. The article is pertaining to race horses being thrown out like garbage after fattening the wallets of the wealthy. I’ve seen various animals killed for food and some are humane and most are not very humane. Many years ago I witnessed an old black lady kill around 50 chickens in a way I could only describe as being supernatural and/or voodoo. She would draw a circle on the ground, wring their necks and throw them in the circle and not one would run outside the circle. I will never understand it but it appeared very humane despite being gross and very strange. I’ve seen animals hunted and some die instantly while others do not. I personally do not kill animals. I also doubt any animal killed in large numbers is going to be humanely killed every time.
    Saying you know a person’s beliefs on slaughtering animals solely by their eating habits is ridiculous.

    1. Cheryl Gehrke

      I agree with all you have said Shane. If an animal is killed humanely, then I have no problem with it, but these awful people who just torture the animal while killing it really makes me mad. I am not a vegan either but my dad used to have a ranch and when he had to kill a cow he did it humanely and the animals lived on the ranch and ate grass and had a great life until their death. That is how it should be. I love your last sentence. I don’t know how many times I have complained about factory farms or some other animal abuse and some idiot is always saying Do you wear leather shoes? Do you eat meat. Do you have any kind of animal product in your home. I say what in the heck does it matter. What matters is how the animals are treated at slaughter and before. I have a leather sofa which is old and I have had it a long time. I am not getting rid of my sofa just because it is leather. It is not going to do whatever animal was used to make my sofa come back to life if I get rid of my sofa. I don’t kill animals either nor have I ever and if there was no meat or dairy in the supermarket, I would be a vegan because I would rather starve than kill an animal myself. I have 9 rabbits and I would rather eat grass than eat one of my bunnies or any bunny. My rabbits get all the choice veggies and are highly spoiled.

      1. nanci00

        Well said!

  24. David Layton

    THIS IS DEPLORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!


  25. Kista Abelsen

    So great work she does – thank you God for her – and I know a great woman who as well rescue race track horses : Cait Sullivan In New York, USA – she as well could use economical help in her work of rescuing racetrack horses. The sweet horse she rescue, stays for retirement wih her. You can find her on facebook: Cait sullivan, New Your :

    The more people who will do it, the better and maybe even more people will open their eyes for this possibility in stead of the horrible travel to slaughterhouses there is today.

    1. valerie sumner

      I personally know people who breed TB’s for racing, a foal EVERY YEAR just foaled and 1st heat back in foal every bloody year, offspring sold @ Magic Milions, mare’s CASLICKED every bloody time in foal, torn and bleeding butg still put back in foal. COME ON PEOPLE WHAT ARE YOU DOING i have TB’s, and yes I have bred from some of my mares 8 years ago, but i give my mares many years apart from another foal, and I KEEP EVERYONE OF THOSE HORSES i do notown any land have no property agisyt. and im on an age pension.

  26. Rosa

    You’ve done such a good job with Press Exclusive! And well done for bringing awareness to the plight of ex-racehorses, and slaughter bound animals in general.

    I have to say, all you (those in power) are doing by closing slaughter-houses in the US is burying your heads in the sand. 150k+ American horses are slaughtered every year. Only now they are shuffled off on horrifically long, traumatic journeys to foreign slaughterhouses with even lower welfare standards. The ethical answer would be to open highly regulated slaughterhouses at various points within the US, to minimize transportation. Until the equine wastage issue is addressed, these horses need to be dispatched humanely and there really is no other option that I can see. The alternative for these animals is in all likeliness starving to death or being dumped by the side of the road.

    I have to say I agree with Perch on this one – you are naive if you think other animals don’t suffer equally – the sole reason people find equine slaughter abhorrent is because they don’t eat horse. Cattle are equally as intelligent as horses, pigs much more so. In an ideal world, no animal would go through that, but as it is, we need to make it as humane a process as possible, and shipping to Mexico simply does not play into that.

    Ex racehorses are only part of the problem. There are not enough homes – rescues and retirement centres included – to house the equine surplus. American Quarter Horses make up 70% of US horses slaughtered. In reality people need to stop breeding. If you are breeding foals in this day and age that are anything less than Olympic prospects (and even that might not help, Press Exclusive was obviously extremely talented and had a successful career) you need to take a long hard look at yourself. I know that won’t be a popular opinion! And of course everyone seems to think they are the exception, their mare is ‘special’, they will keep the foal forever, it will be super-talented etc etc etc. Problem is, that simply cannot be the case, or we wouldn’t be seeing the numbers that we are. I beg, if you are thinking of breeding, go to an auction and look at the perfectly decent foals that are going for $50, and maybe pick one up there instead.

    People (myself included, I have a small number of rescues) do what we can, rescuing a slaughter horse here and there, taking in a hill pony, retraining ex racehorses when possible etc, but at this stage it’s like a band aid on an axe wound. It’s wonderful what these organizations do, and I do my best to donate and support my local rescue centre. But to get to the root of the problem we need to look at where these horses are coming from, and why we are seeing them in theses quantities.

    1. nanci00

      I WILL REPEAT: Everytime I hear someone say…. ‘but cows are slaughtered’…. I answer, ‘Yes, and the way it is done these days because of factory farming it is horrendous!’ BUT horses are taught to trust us from the moment they are born, and we have to TRUST them because any one of them could kill any one of us at any time. Slaughter is betrayal of that trust and any God that anyone prays to has to HATE that betrayal of the Creation that He sent to humanity because no progress would ever have been made towards stable civilizations withOUT horses! When a cow takes my grandkids out into the woods to see nature, or into the show ring while his family claps and applauds their performance, or dances to the music in free style dressage, or snuggles my neck when I am down and crying to comfort me… then I will speak up for cows every bit as passionately as I speak up for horses deserving to be treated as COMPANION ANIMALS, and NOT MEAT!

  27. MS

    Thank you — deepest thank you — to all of you who intercepted, who intervened and saved Press’ life — you did good! — really good! —

    By the way, Press looks beautiful — healthy and happy — THANK YOU a million-fold!

    If only this could be done for all of the horses who, like Press, so desperately need their lives to be saved! My heart aches for them!

  28. MS

    I can’t believe my eyes — I can’t believe my ears — how can ANYONE, ANY HUMAN, treat animals in this way?

    It’s as if “monster-zombies” are in charge. There should be NO slaughter of horses, EVER!

    PLEASE, do not give your horses to the kill-buyers — PLEASE, search out a sanctuary, reach out to people, all people, who can and will donate (e.g., “gofundme”).



    People who abuse horses (and animals in general) should be arrested and held for psychiatric evaluation BECAUSE trust me — these people are mentally deficient! They should be no where near animals or other innocent and vulnerable living beings, for that matter, who are at the mercy of human beings.



    1. Another Country 2

      MS, should they ban all slaughter or just Equine slaughter? Is it possible that you do not support any type of livestock slaughter. Do you not use meat, leather, paint, make-up, cleaners, soap, or any other animal by products??
      To some horses are simply livestock. USDA, IRS, DNR, and practically every other institute you can think of. Like any livestock there is slaughter. Immorality only goes for horse slaughter all other animal slaughter is not abuse to you??? Grab your mirror and take a look before judging others…

      1. Rogg

        interesting statement “Another Country”. It sounds as if slaughter is acceptable to you because it happens on a mass scale. As someone who does not use any animal products or consider any slaughter as purposeful in this era I surely have a right therefore to object to any animal abuse?

        USDA, IRS, DNR are not morally conscious beings. They are organizations. The people behind them are often corrupted or too driven by greed to care. Typically, they are not able to make a living elsewhere, and so subject themselves to abusing and defending the abuse of animals to protect their bottom line or sick preferences.

        Should MS have also made it clear that we do not believe in slaughtering children? It is a very asinine statement from you Another World, as you believe people only care about 1 cause. This is a forum to discuss the slaughter of horses, not other animals. Should we also state our desire for world peace?

        Also, make up etc. as animal by products? – do you mean testing on animals? that wouldnt be a by product. Torture, abuse and misery are the by products of the process. There are makeups that dont require animals tortured.

        You have a serious lack of education and perhaps open forum debates are not the place to showcase your ignorance and stupidity.

        1. Another Country 2

          Wrong. The scale of the operation has little to do with my views on equine slaughter. A horse is livestock and you should be able to process livestock in the manner you see fit.
          Horses are a commodity and slaughter is a viable means in disbursing said commodity. Harsh to many yet still better then some other options. Starvation as an example.

          Many cosmetic companies use dyes made from various parts of different animals. Fish scales, insects, or even bile taken from rendered animals can be the coloring agent for lip stick, nail polish, and the card board used for packaging of everyday items. So for someone to claim they use NO animal products either does not know what they are talking about or they live in the woods and eat nothing but roots and grass.

          When responding to the last comment I was unaware that so many readers lived off the grid and in no way used any animal products in their daily life. I guess you can claim to walk on water when you live behind a cloak of anonymity.

          As for my education. No form of higher learning is necessary when mincing words with the likes of you.

          1. Gaynor Henry

            I find your remarks quite interesting. I am an animal advocate but that doesn’t mean I am not aware of the hypocrisy of it. I am NOT a vegan, something many of my friends find unpalatable. I am also a realist and we will never be a vegan society for a myriad of reasons ot the least of which is money. We criticize China and other countries for eating dog meat, yet we have foie gras (vile), veal calves, battery hens and sow crates. Many people I know abhor hunting; I see nothing wrong with hunting what you eat and feel a fast, clean death is much better than the terror of the slaughterhouse. One of teh great tragedies of the 20th centur is the demise of the family farm and the rise of the factory farm, where the only thing that really matters is $$$$$. My motehr was a British bookie for decades and I am only too familiar with the miserable live of many racehorses, there are very, very few among us (as you point out), who truly have clean hands.

          2. Cheryl Gehrke

            I am absolutely horrified that horses go to slaughter. I cannot imagine anyone eating a horse or a dog or a cat or a rabbit. I am not a vegan either but I don’t consider myself a hypocrite either. My parents owned a cattle ranch and I grew up on one. I only knew the animals that we had were very humanely treated all their lives and when it was time to kill a cow, that animal was humanely killed. It was not shot haphazardly with a captive bolt gun. It was not electrocuted. My dad never even owned a cattle prod. He was a real cowboy. He knew how to get the cattle or horses to do what he wanted. Factory farms should disappear and so should all rabbit slaughterhouses. These stupid workers at the Rogers Arkansas Pel-Freeze slaughterhouse were hitting the rabbits on the head with the dull edge of the knife blade. Who in the heck taught them how to slaughter rabbits. Rabbit skulls are hard as a rock so the rabbits were not unconscious when their legs were broken so they would fit into the shackles on the conveyer belt. Screaming rabbits all down the line. That is evil and disgusting. If your going to kill an animal do it right, for Petes sake. THat is what we owe to the poor animals that we kill. We owe them a happy life in a field grazing and a humane instantaneous death. Anything else is cruelty and wicked and these people will be held accountable by the God who made all of these creatures and told us to take care of them. WHat most of us are so upset about is that horses and cattle and sheep and even pigs and how about chickens are transported in huge livestock trucks which should be banned for all animals. Horses should never ever be put in a cattle livestock truck for transportation. Why must a horse be starved and beaten and mistreated when it is older and then carted off for slaughter. Especially race horses. That horse won so much money for their pathetic owners and gave them her offspring which gave more money to the pathetic owners. The owners should be ashamed of themselves and I for one hope that they are never happy with all that money they make off these poor horses. If I had my way there would be no horse racing or dog racing. It is an awful sport that promotes gambling and more evil

          3. Another Country 2

            You are a walking contradiction. You have this hallucination that because your family lets your cows eat grass that it is humane to kill them. There is NO humane slaughter. Your cows are shoved onto a trailer taken to a feed lot for a week or two then pushed into a slaughter house and a bolt is shot into their head. Their throats are slit and they are hung upside down. How freaking humane is that???

            You are obviously one of those people that figure since “You” do something it is better then if someone else does it. At the end of the day it is all the same. You take the bull calves put a rubber band on them to make them steers, you fatten them up and kill them!!

            I personally don’t care that your family slaughters cows and probably rabbits, but don’t come into a blog trying to belittle someone when you are doing the same thing. That is called being a Hypocrite.

          4. Deirdre

            Did you comprehend ANYTHING she wrote? Doesn’t sound like it from your response.

          5. Dane

            “another country”,you must have been raised in another country-“livestock” is only a “commodity” to greedy,soulless businessmen-I have raised lots of animals,pets and livestock-they all happen to be living,breathing,sentient creatures with feelings(nerves)and there is NEVER any need to kill them cruelly-I have killed many animals in my life,some for slaughter,some for meat(hunting) and some to put them out of their misery and I’ll be damned if I ever once had to kill in a cruel manner-only a weak and cowardly man cannot kill an animal without making it suffer-killing humanely is a big part of being a MAN,not a whiny,spoiled boy-with your logic,working men are also a commodity-hey,when they can’t work anymore,let’s pack them into the “showers”,hmmm?it’s over quick,they won’t feel anything-the problem is savage,ignorant fools who have no appreciation or empathy for all life…

          6. Another Country 2

            It is a “Special” kind of person that believes when they do something it is much better than if someone else does the same thing. YOU have the ability to slaughter an animal without being cruel. You sure are a great human being in that demented mind of your’s huh? I guess no one has clued you in on this but you killing an animal is still killing an animal. No matter how much of a narcissistic personality disorder you have, and you obviously have one. Another thing your self important self hasn’t figured out is this site is in place to bring awareness to people like yourself. People who are killing animals. I personally do not kill any animals I am just not totally against slaughter. You on the other hand are killing animals for all sorts of selfish reasons. So thank you for informing everyone about your barbaric lifestyle. “Big Man”…

    2. Deanna GOLDSTON

      I agree totally. I can hardly believe such evil practices exist. The shocking picture of the poor beautiful ‘discarded’ racehorse really upset me I read once a young woman killed herself because she could not take the terrible thought of animal abuse in this world. I know just how she feels. The barbarity of these ugly humans towards these beautifil sentient beings must cease. I find it very hard to live in such a world. May God take care of these poor animals souls now and forever. Let us fight this cruelty and misery with determination and love.


  29. Gaynor Henry

    I can’t believe that this thread is still going! It’s good that people are still talking about the issue. I also simply cannot believe how many naive people are out there; racing is BIG business, anyone who thinks that the vast majority of owners and trainers view it any other way, is foolish. What do you think happens to a horse that no longer wins races? If he or she, is very lucky and has a very good record, they may be used for stud or breeding, if not they could be sent to a retirement home or off to Japan for slaughter. In teh UK horses have a much longer career, the horse that won the Grand National this year was 11, that’s unheard of in the US. Humans are greedy and they don’t care who or what, they have to use to get their almighty dollar – cats, dogs, horses, cows, etc. – it’s a long list. You can protect animals all you want, but it will never be enough.

    1. Cheryl Gehrke

      I know Gaynor Henry, but I will keep fighting them till my dying day. At least when my time on earth is over, I can say that I tried to help the animals and tried to protect them even though you are right, it will never be enough until the human race starts caring for all the animals and not just the ones in our homes. I am working hard to make that happen.

  30. Greg Howes

    Its truly heartwarming to read this story (and others like it) and while it might be a small message, I felt compelled to say THANK YOU for having the kindess to save majestic animals such as these – whether they have earned $0 or $1 million on track. Shame on the owners who dont love and care for the very animals that run for their financial gain. If the world had more people like you it would be a far better place. I hope to get involved and help this cause myself and look forward to doing what I can to rescue these amazing animals.

  31. Anett Schubert

    You are my heroes!

  32. Carmel

    Don’t forget to spare a thought for the other 30 horses on the truck who got slaughtered

    1. Gaynorhenry

      That’s an excellent point. All lives have value whether thoroughbred or not. It’s barbaric whichever way you look at it.

    2. Nina


    3. Nina

      And again AMEN..

  33. Treacherous Trailers | Slaughter Savy

    […] Thankfully, she was saved by the vet checking the horses, and her whole story can be read here. However, not all horses who meet this fate are so […]

  34. Mindy Lovell pleads for help to feed 43 TBs | - Healing Horses Sanctuary

    […] Lovell, the Ontario woman who rescued top-earning racehorse and broodmare Press Exclusive, a Thoroughbred who was as good as dead in a kill pen when she intervened, and who has saved scores […]

  35. Kill Buyers – Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come for You? | heatherclemenceau

    […] This is not how you do end-of-life.  Can’t you give horses “mistreated, skinny” horses a humane death without eating them? And I bet there are no skinny horses on Gold’s trailer.  The USDA reports 92% of horses going to slaughter are in good condition and able to live healthy and productive lives. The existence of horse slaughter actually hinders rescue efforts, as rescuers are routinely outbid at auctions by people like Jeron Gold, seeking healthy animals that bring the best price per pound. […]

  36. Tyler Brightwell

    Great rescue story thankful for people like M.Lovell. After reading some of the comments I really think the solution and problem begins and ends with the breeders of animals. I wish there were more regulations on breeding and animal health care and responsibility. There are so many people trying to make a living on animals. And so many of these breeders can take care of themselves. Others just crank out babies as fast as they can. It’s shamful and horrible how many animals are created and discarded. I appreciate people like M Lovell. They bare the burden created by by all of the unnecessary animal breeders in this country.

  37. shelleyu

    Bless your beautiful heart Ms.Lovell <3

  38. Jana Anderson

    Thank you for your kindness. I too have rescued when able and have nursed them back from the brink of death. Ours is a cruel world indeed and I cannot fathom the greed that disallowed the owners to cast this or any horse to a cruel ending. Again, thank you.

  39. Eileen

    I saved 2 horses in my life so far from slaughter, my first was a 3 year old Arabian gelding named RB Sir Gamal, who I saved in April 2001 and still own to this day, and the other was a 3 year old OTTB named Hemi (Sired by Signal Tap Dam Carr de la Carr). I had Hemi for a year before I was able to bring him back to what would be his best condition given his injuries, and was able to adopt him out to a very loving home. When I saved Hemi he had come off the track and had 2 blown out knees. My vet, who is a race track vet, told me he would do all of Hemi’s vetting for free because he was so happy I saved him. Hemi had a wonderful head on his shoulders, and dealt with his pain the best way he could. He was on medication for his knees, and he had to be shod a certain way since he could not bend his knees AT ALL. Hemi passed away at the age of 8 due to complications that arose form his medication, but in his short life he found love and adoration form his adopters and that makes me very proud and very happy that I saved this boy. It should be noted that when I went to tat auction I had NO plans on buying a horse, but he spoke to me and I had to listen, and boy am I glad I did.

    1. Valerie Sumner(Miss)

      Enlarged knees caused by a kick or fall is a bursitis, ths ca be got rid of by applying a spirit liniment, no internal medications like bute need to be used, as prolonged usage of bute causes internal bleeding from ulceration. There is a wonderful liniment made in UK but exported worldwide called Bone Radiol. this liniment which I have used on totally crippled horses, gets rid of splints,bowed tendons,suspensory strains,ring bone,capped hock,bog spavin, haematomas etc. with impunity/ Crippled horses become 100% sound. Aloe Vera from the plant,the jelly can be given internally in feed for ulcerations, and any mucous membrane problems in fact within 24 hours a new skin is formed. Please get it if you can from horse chandlers,feed stores or wherever, Remember it is CALLED BONE RADIOL.made by Riley Brothers for import.Cabbage leaves also wrapped around tendons damped down and bandaged with a woollen bandage relieve the pain leave on fr 24 hours and rebandage with another cabbage leaf.Aloe Vera applied to melanomas gets rid of same. Use the jelly within the leaf. Stinging nettles for kidney problems and swollen limbs,brew it. Cider vinegar for strengthening the immune system.

  40. Sharon Rey-Barreau

    What a horrific experience for this animal—so glad that she was saved!! Thank you Mindy Lovell and everyone else who pitched in to help.

    (Lexington KY)

  41. Lindsay M

    Thank you and God Bless You to all that saved this beautiful horse.

  42. Mary Adkins-Matthews

    Of course as a horse lover tears ran down my face as I read this story. The thought of her laying in the truck being injured, not able to get up and with no one there to help her. On her way to a death that is nothing short of torture for a horse. As I read through some of the commends I saw one that mentioned how it was a waste of money to save her when it could have saved 20 horses. What this person doesn’t understand is that NOT one horse should be slaughtered .. NO ONE MORE horse should be thrown away from an industry that profits greatly from them regardless of the amount of money that they make on or off the track. They all have value! We owe them more than the back end of a slaughter truck. It is good to see that some connections stepped up and helped but the real hero is Mindy and she should be filled with joy and pride for the life that she has saved which is not her first and I am sure will not be the last. May Press Elusive live a long happy life and run fast through the green grass! SHE HAS EARNED THAT!

    1. Perch

      I wrote that the money could of saved 20 horses. Ok do the math, you save one and spend thousands in recovery or you save 20 that don’t need as much treatment and are easily adoptable. So they can be adopted and more can be saved. Just a terrible theory huh?? No one disputes Mindy did is a good thing. I just wonder if any of us would of heard this story if the mare had been a maiden???

  43. Christianna

    Tears from big-heart and the will to live – tears of pride and joy and inspiration! Tears of deep sadness to see how a noble athlete and broodmare can give sooooo much to her owners (over $400k in winnings and 9 foals…) to be discarded and dumped for meat. Why are people so greedy and heartless…do morals and basic decency not count for something of value anymore? So happy that this one horse was recognized and saved. She will never know heartlessness again.

  44. Good News… | The Catch Pen
  45. Linda Merideth

    Bravo to Dawn for suggesting the race fee for future retirement homes for the horses!!! Everyone needs to get behind this and support it fully…..this is the ONLY solution.

    I live in Mississippi and I can tell you first-hand there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of homeless dogs and cats dying in my state EVERY year! No one cares!! I have volunteered for almost 15 yrs. for the Animal Welfare League ( and I have seen purebred Golden Retrievers, Daschunds, Schnauzers, Labs, Shepherds, you name it………KILLED for no reason. Humans have created this extreme homeless animal problem, and only HUMANS can solve it………we need to STAND UP for God’s creatures!!!

    1. Dan Simpson

      Linda, I have been a dedicated supporter of saving dogs for over 30 years, & it seems that the more you do for them, the more that come behind them from thoughtless, careless owners, At times, I’ve gotten so mad I could have killed a human for the comment they so often like to spew, “It’s only a dog”. NO NO NO, it is NOT just a dog, it’s a loving trusting companion that gives freely of their love & devotion, & their trust in you to feed, & protect them. Animals are NOT f*%@&ing commodities, to be bought and sold for monetary gain!

      My wife & I have always rescued dogs that needed a home, & deserved a better life. Right now we have 2 female Pomeranians, Roxxie & Lapita, & I can tell you that they are pampered, doted on, & treated like my children, which in effect, they are. I’m 54 years old, & was never able to have any children of my own. I adore my girls, & will devote hours to them each day, to see that they are happy & content with their life. I was disabled a few years ago, so I am the stay at home parent now.

      But everyday, I see & hear of people just throwing their dogs away because they got tired of them, or the kid grew up & lost interest. I’ve shed many a tear over dogs, & I often get so upset when I see some of the so called “Pet Rescue” fairs wanting an adoption fee equal to what a breeder would charge for a champion bloodline. It makes me think that alot of these rescues are also in it just for the money.

      Ok, I’ve rambled on enough, & I’d better stop now before I get someone’s hackles raised up. I live in Ohio, & I’ll continue to advocate for the best treatment of dogs, & any other animal until my dying day. Thank you for your post, I enjoyed reading it, and I know where you’re coming from…Take care,

      Daniel Simpson
      Huber Heights, Ohio

  46. Rich Dock

    Who was the owner of this horse prior to when she was sent off to the slaughter house? Just curious. How could a person be so cruel? Typical utilitarian society we live in today. When your usefulness to others is diminished, off to the slaughter house you go. I would think the owner of such an animal would have the ethical conscience to keep her alive and well until her time came to an end naturally. This horse truly deserved to live out a happy and healthy remainder of her life out of moral obligation.

  47. Anne

    As far as I’m concerned, ANY article done on abused animals and TBs that are sent to slaughter needs to put the owner’s name right out there where the general public can see it. Eventually they will be shunned by those who DO care about their own animals and those that treat their horses like this will be forced to straighten up or will leave the poor animals alone.

    DISGUSTED to the bottom of my soul over whoever sent this mare to slaughter in the first place. May God have a special place in hell for them

  48. Maxine Butler

    if ever I wept it was while reading this story , my heart is heavy , so very heavy, my eyes filled with tears as I write my daughter is a qualified horse trainer and would be totally heart broken to see this article . Dear God I pray people learn that these animals are precious too.

  49. zeb

    maybe all of these race tracks should have a parking fee. then that parking fee should go to the rescue of all race horses.

  50. Robyn Mathieson

    Once a brilliant horse earning her Owners quillions of $$ forced to breed some Royal foals,
    They no longer need her. Off to the Nackery with you!!
    I’d call this Cruelty to Animals.
    This practice was investigated after last years Melbourne Cup!
    What a Shameless lot you Horse Owners have become. If it ain’t broke us middle class don’t fix it or kill it!!!!

  51. chapluvshorses

    So do the owners of the horse get paid when they send this horse off/or the transport trucks pull up to the auction/tracks?and for us little people who would want to save one how much would “pulling them off the slaughter truck”cost?And where would one go say in NC where we dont have horse racing?

    1. Beckettnb

      chapluvshorses: the person who sells the horse to the kill buyer is paid roughly by the pound. About 200-300 currently on average. If you want to rescue an ex racer, ask around, check Craig’s list, also check out C.A.N.T.E.R. , Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue, Makers Mark Secretariat Center. I bought a horse from a very wealthy owner, off his estate, that the ‘gentleman’ was planning to ship to a slaughter auction the next day. I paid 350.00. A year later, and I had an amazing athletic horse on my hands who was thrilling to ride and won buckets of ribbons.

      1. B.H.

        So good to hear! Wish that more people would buy horses as you did to let them live. Thank you for what you did. Wonderful!

  52. Amber Stubbs-Aydell

    How horrible that a horse deemed unsuitable for meat had to be bought from the meat buyer.I hate that he lined his pockets through her suffering.

  53. Quester

    There should be a deduction imposed on race winnings of at least 10% of the gross amount to go into a retirement fund for the horses. When you have obscene amounts of money being thrown around in a ‘sport’ like this, there is no excuse for those involved not to put their hand in their pocket and care for the animals that have brought them such wealth.

    What’s more is it’ll probably be classed as a Tax write-off anyway – so what have they got to lose?

  54. Lucy

    These stories have to STOP. Where are the breeders, owners and trainers to come to her rescue when she needed them the most? They all lined their pockets with her purses and breeding fees. Where is her percentage of the purses and breeding fees so that she could have been a candidate for a rescue? Owners and breeders need to take responsibility for their horses from the time they come into their lives until they are placed in a safe home after their racing/breeding careers. They all should be ashamed of themselves for what they allowed to happen to this horse and then accepting public welfare and charity for their horse’s care.

  55. mintti

    Respect from Finland.
    Wishing you all the best.

  56. sandra

    No horse deserves to die like that!I am happy she has been saved but feel very very sorry for the ones that don’t make it just because the aren’t famous……

  57. Sue Smith


  58. Jeanette Jordan

    Thank you for saving this girl. Thank you so very much.

  59. Lorena Mason

    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.


    I think that says alot about the path our country is taking.

  60. Sheila Bullock

    The more I see of the racing industry the more disgusted I become. I thank God you stepped in to help this one. She did not deserve what was done to her, but she proved to have the heart of a thoroughbred and is the beautiful animal she was bred to be and has the future she deserves!! Thank all of you who helped this wonderful mare.

  61. Debbie E

    Thank God that that beautiful horse found a lovely person to save its life. I simply cringe every time when I hear of horses getting mistreated after they leave the race track. Horses are the best gifts given to us from God, and need to be treated as such. They deserve better treatment than what they have been recieving especially from these kill pens. No horse should ever be sent there. We simply do not eat horses. Period. Just as we humanely put down our dogs and cats we should do the same to our horses. May they always have a special place in our hearts.

  62. sharan lloyd

    what a lovely ending for that magnificent horse ,she served her owners with all she had and they just discarded her like that, the leased they could of done is turned her out to grass till the end of her days, after all the money she earned them ,thank goodness for people like you shes a credit to you how you brought her back to good health, I don’t disagree with horse meat but I do disagree with how these people handle them and transport them ,theres no need to abuse animals going for slaughter .

  63. Kristi

    You can try looking on equibase or equiline to find race history, pedigree info, and auction info.

  64. Laureen

    I hope whomever owned her before saw what happened to this beautiful soul and has changed/is changing their ways. They should be extremely ashamed of themselves. Here is this animal who nearly gave up her life and her babies to scum just so they can make a dollar. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon story. Thank goodness there are good people out there. Look how gorgeous she is!!

  65. Terri

    What an incredible story. So glad to see theamazing pics of Press now. What a transformation. What bastards let this poor horse suffer in the first place. They need lining up against a wall to be shot. See how they like it!!

  66. Christine

    I bought a retired race horse which my riding instructor had purchased for the “slaughter price” from the owner. After an accident he didn’t seem to recover properly but my instructor, a former jump jockey, saw something in that horse. He placed him in my care and eventually my parents purchased him for me. Everyone told me we had made a mistake including our veterinarian. He was 10 at the time and he lived to be 20 years old. I took him to jumping events and 3 day competitions until I retired him at the age of 17 to live out the remaining years leisurely with long rides through the woods and lazy days out in the grassy fields.
    It is a travesty what happens to so many race horses, especially to those who run on cheap tracks, such as Suffolk Downs in MA, Rockingham Park in NH, for example.

  67. Natasha

    To all of you crying that this is a crime started by racing horses. Did you not read this article? The opening paragraph stated that this mare was trampled by a trailer Full of other horses. Isn’t it hypocritical to be so worried about the life of this one horse? When all the rest saw their fate on the butchers block? To get to my point, this was not a trailer full of ex race horses. The others were anything from used up backyard pets to young stock deemed to spirted for handling by your average joe. You want to attack something? How about the people who sent their unwanted riding horses? Thoroughbreds have the largest network breed specific rescues then any other breed or discipline. Get educated you hypocrites.

  68. Darlene LaRochelle

    not every racehorse meets this horrid fate. not all racetrackers treat the animals this way. I gallop for a living, have for 30 years. also own my own racers. have 3 retired horses, that cost me hundreds of dollars every month. I drive a crappy little truck and wear clothes from Goodwill… One of these retired horses I galloped for 3 years, he won 15 races in those years. if ever a horse deserved a retirement home, its Cats Gold. He limps, always . but can still go for the occasional ride, or be ponied. Why, I ask, dont you folks that can give these horses a home and future, get to a track and put your name and number out there for the owners who would much rather GIVE THESE HORSES AWAY than sell them to slaughter? Most owners dont have endless fields to retire horses into. Get the horses before they end up in a bad way. not that some wretched people wouldnt still rather get a couple bucks, but most want the horses to go to.a new career. and its not always the race owner that send these horses to the killers. Belive me, plenty of trackers have several.retirees in their wallets. So help us out. Get legitmate organizations to get these horses BEFORE they get to auction. Or get yourself to your local track, and put it out you want to give a good home to a worthy animal! thanks

  69. DJ

    What an amazing story. Kuddos to you from the owner of 2 rescues

  70. Catherine Mackie

    I have read a lot of sad stories in my time when it comes to horses, but this tops the cake. What I would like to know is how the original owners are not accountable for her situation. Its all about money and nothing else. The people who put her on that truck in the first place should be visited by the law and RSPCA people to inspect their goings on at the stud. I know there are people out their that do the right thing, but those who dont should be punished for the cruelty to the animal. Typical race horse stud, breed breed breed, sell sell sell, but people do this in all kinds of discipline and sometimes breed what they cannot sell or have no intention of looking after. What ever happen to breeding quality and not quantity. In the article it only mentioned one of the mares foals that was sold, what happend to the rest of them????? I am really touched and please to see some people still have a heart and use it to help horses in this situation, they all deserve a gold medal in caring. People who are cruel to animals and cannot afford to keep them, SHOULD’NT HAVE THEM. This sort of thing will continue unless authorities grow some balls and start to police it. You can probably tell this stuff makes me angry, but like a lot of others I am sick of it and something has to be done.

  71. Gaynor Henry

    I grew up with horse-racing. My mother was a bookie from before I was born until the early 1960’s. She worked at a betting shop (in the UK), and did track betting at one time too. I love horses, to the point of lunacy really and take pictures of them wherever we travel, but even as a child mum used to tell us about the dark side of racing. (Show jumping too). The jockeys who whipped horses whether they needed to or not, the drugs, the cheating, the races thrown, the cruelty to horses even valuable horses. As I grew up I read more – horses killed for insurance, horses “disappeared” – anyone remember Shergar? And then there were the legal drugs – Lasix which let them run beyond all endurance – and more. It’s a dirty, dirty business and anyone who thinks that a prize-winning horse is guaranteed a long and happy life is incredibly naive. I understand that some horses love to run and jump but in my opinion they should not be used to make money for humans. Bred over and over. Used for stud. Thrown away when they are past their usefulness. It’s sick and shameful, which is exactly how this story made me feel – sick and shameful and dirty and incredibly sad.

  72. Vickie

    I have been working with race horses since 1995, and i have seen some unreal things, i am so glad somebody stepped and gave this beautiful horse the chance to keep enjoying her life, the retired horses deserve a chance to be a horse

  73. beth fornaro

    Sue Salk remove me from this blog. I’m not going to support anyone that uses the horse slaughter subject to make waves but is unwilling to take a firm stand against it. That’s called Hypocrisy.

  74. beth fornaro

    Sorry Sue Salk, name calling and finger pointing is exactly what is needed to stamp this out. But I understand if you are afraid and can’t go 110% for the animals. It’s common. Why write the article in the first place if you won’t call out those responsible? It’s the only way to stop this.

  75. Jan Springtime Farm

    My heart goes out to Ms. Lovell and all of the caring
    people who came to this beloved Mares rescue. I have personally kept every older mare that we have bred. We have open mares who have been allowed to live out their lives with dignity, in a pasture full of friends. We have fully supported them…, so that nothing terrible
    like this could ever happen.

  76. V. Paschke

    Not sure many will read this far down on the comment section, but I must express my opinion here on the subject of slaughter. no one else has brought up this issue and I think it’s at the heart of this problem. First you must know I’ve owned a total of a dozen horses over the past 37 years, all of them trained and ridden for pleasure, not as a business. I love horses, but not to the point that I would be considered a “bleeding heart”. Of the 12, only three were ever sold; I had acquired them only because they were in need of “rescue” and I had no intention keeping them from the outset. I like to think they went to “forever homes”, but that’s why I won’t sell any of “my” horses. There is never a guarantee that they won’t end up in a similar situation as Press did. Having said that, please, EVERYONE – ask yourselves: “what is the alternative for horses that someone cannot keep, for whatever reason? Where I live, it costs $500 to euthanize and dispose of a horse. I am committed to that end result when conditions warrant it, but not everyone can afford that or willing is to pay it. WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE FOR THOSE HORSES? I will always advocate for federally-inspected humane slaughter houses. OF COURSE, killling is not pleasant, but you are not going to stop horses from being killed by refusing to allow legal slaughter houses in the United States. All that happens now is they are sent to Canada -where I HAD thought was a better option than wrong I was, apparently!- or to Mexico, or abandoned someplace to die a slow and painful death where no one can see them. In my opinion, THAT IS NOT AN HUMANE, APPROPRIATE OPTION! I am dismayed that the Humane Society is advocating against slaughter houses. What do they think will happen to all those unwanted, old, ill or injured horses? You’re fooling yourself if you think all horses owners will have a vet out to euthanize their horses. That IS the hard reality, and I will maintain my belief that slaughter houses are a sad necessity. But there must be a means available to offer horses a fear-free humanely-administered end to their lives. Everyone should be supporting laws to require such establishments to carry out that unavoidable reality in the most humane way possible.

    1. Beckette

      Rest assured that with your assertion that slaughter houses are a sad necessity you are A LARGE PART OF THE PROBLEM. In the Puerto Rico, where transport to slaughter is not an option, racehorses and other horses at the end of their useful lives are shot or euthanized on the spot. I highly advocate this practice as an alternative to the absolutely medieval practice of slaughter, whereby a mere handful of people in the United States make a less than honest living ( most have long criminal records) transporting these horses to a horrific death. DO NOT FOOL YOURSELF SLAUGHTER IN THE UNITED STATES WAS HORRIFIC < INVOLVED LONG TRANSPORTS TO THE SLAUGHTER HOUSES and was just as bad as it is in Canada. Mexico is another story. But it will always be there ,always has been just as it was before the ban in the US, UNTIL PEOPLE LIKE YOU STOP BEING SLAUGHTER APOLOGISTS. THE COMMITMENT TO A HORSE INVOLVES MUCH MORE THAN 500.00 OVER THE SPAN OF ITS LIFE. If you can't set aside $500.00 ( or less ) to humanely end the life of a horse that is no longer useful to you, YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO OWN A HORSE.
      V PASCHKE , I am strongly, STRONGLY against your passive aggressive misleading point of view. YOU ARE MOST DEFINITELY A PART OF THE PROBLEM. Only 1-2% of the entire horse population of the UNITED STATES falls into the slaughter pipeline because of ignorance and uncaring individuals like you. This is not a crisis. This is an issue which we must evaluate, address , and continue to bring to a complete and thorough end so that IRRESPONSIBLE OWNERS are not longer allowed the option of disposing of , and allowing their stock to be TORTURED TO DEATH just because they are LAZY and UNCARING

    2. beth fornaro

      V.PASCHKE NO ONE SHOULD SUPPORT THE SLAUGHTER OF HORSES. ARE YOU A KILL BUYER OR JUST RELATED TO ONE? When slaughter was legal in the US, there were three slaughter houses where horses were ‘processed’. One in IL, two in Texas. The process still involved excessively long journeys to slaughter for the luckless horses sold by reckless owners at auctions. The method of slaughter at all three plants was captive bolt. The reason slaughter was banned in the US was the result of lengthy investigations into the horrific cruelty suffered by horses on their way to the slaughter houses and in the death chambers. Part of the evidence presented to Congress and the Senate were testimony by slaughter operators, drivers for kill buyers admitting to the abuse they would subject the horses, one common practice was to gouge out the eyes of troublesome horses to quiet them on the long trip so as to limit the risk to the remainder of the load. This is only one of the most egregious practices. Also on exhibit were photographs of several skulls of horses slaughtered in the United States. These horses had multiple wounds from the captive bolt, some had up to 11 hits. This was found to be a clear violation of the US Humane Slaughter Act. And so the plants were shuttered, and rightfully so. Only low life scum send their horses to slaughter. We support a living population of over 9 million horses in the US, a million or so of which die yearly of natural causes. The other 150,000 ( a miniscule part of the population ) are victimized by their owners and guardians, members of a fringe group that seem to believe that tormenting their faithful animals as a last thank you for their service is completely AOK. This is a disturbed and mostly criminal element of the population.

  77. Golda

    Some animal owners are heartless….After making enough money to buy your fancy cars,houses, clothing, etc., etc,. and going around like you own millions(which you probably do); don’t you ever feel guilty just killing the very dear animal that brought in all this money? You could not have done this without the animal,so shame on you for just murdering them after they have made you rich…A big thank-you from the animals who have someone who loves them for what they are…FAMILY.

  78. pattie briggs

    omg this story is unbelievable I take my hat off to the people that saved this mare after all the money that this horse made and the foals that she had these people did this to her shame on them and to the farm that saved her well well done keep doing what u are doing for theses animals thank u and the horses thank u

  79. Pam Fowler

    Great story!! Where are you located concerning donations?

  80. Phil

    I am not a “horse person” but reading this brought me to tears. I just don’t understand how people can treat any animal in this way let alone one that has been a part of their life for a period of time and made them money! Obviously they are more interested in the dollar than the animals welfare! They should be subjected to the same treatment.

  81. cheryl

    i understand that people have to earn a living and its impossible to end transportation of horses to slaughter houses, but. it makes me wonder about the drivers of these transport trucks………. and my question to you is this. how can you go to work every day, look those horses in the eye, see their condition, know what happens to them just in transport, make that drive listening to the death screams of those animals as you drive them to their unnecessary deaths? haul mail, haul dry goods wet stock or how about this drive for the rescuers, haul hay and feed for the no kill shelters. turn this bad situation around, please?

  82. jill schnedler Manes & Danes

    I am a new horse/dog rescue . I have owned. Tbd my whole life. My first t. Turns 31 in May . I am interested in all info on rescuing these amazing animals. Plz contact me207-862-3100. I live in Maine near the conadian boarder !

  83. Cat

    I don’t understand, why are horses not euthanized when they are truly at the end of their lives? (obviously this horse had plenty of life left) I’m sure it’s more expensive than euthanizing a dog, but I’m ignorant of the costs for horses. Is it so high that one would decide to sell the horse for what it would bring at slaughter?

  84. Anne Nielsen

    Thank God for the selfless, caring people who think of animals as real beings with feelings! I applaud you and only wish that every animal on every truck bound for slaughter could also be saved.

  85. Courteney Griffin

    I have a OTTB Mare she is registered Grandma W that I rescued she was a one on the body scale and is a very healthy mare now she still needs probable 50 more pounds to be where she really needs to be. This story really hit home with me because this could have been my mare. And this story follows along with some of what my mare has been through. Her first foal was the highest sold yearling to ever sell at the Houston Thorough Bred horse sale. And she was starved down and thrown away like trash after winning money for her owners and producing some really nice babies. It just makes me so mad! I’m so happy that Press got her second chance at life like I gave my mare they deserve to be happy healthy horses. And the whole slaughter thing don’t even get me started there I can rant for days about it and I have no problem with telling kill buyers at the local sales around here where they can stick it, and get someone else to outbid them on the horses I’ve actually ran several off from around here. I can’t stand it slaughter needs to be stopped our horses need to be safe. OK I’m going to stop venting now about it. I am so happy that Press had people there to fight for her and that she is happy and healthy. Oh and the kicker to my mare is she is 5 generations out of Secretariat and she was just tossed out like trash it doesn’t matter how they are bred or anything anymore.

  86. margo ashton

    What a beautiful result, there should be no animal cruelty on earth, all these beautiful creatures need is unconditional love as they give to us.And they say the human race is superior to all “beasts of the earth”, garbage we know nothing about love for our fellow creatures.
    Margo Ashton Australia.

  87. Harsimranjit Singh Randhawa

    It was so great effort done, no animal like horse should be sent for slaughtering this should be stopped. Horse does not deserve slaughter at there old age, They are best friends of Human like Dogs. I had tears in my eye while reading the story. She was lucky that you people saved her. May God bless you all so that more horse can be saved.

  88. Coralie

    Such a sad story 🙁 so glad she was rescued by beautiful people!

    Perch should be ashamed to bring such negativity to this post and good deed.

    1. Sam

      completely agree. perch’s points are deliberate and have no accuracy. Basically, an attention seeking moron that deserves to be hit by a truck, hopefully carrying horses

  89. Linda Althenn

    You are Gods hand extended! Bless you for the wonderful loving rescue of that gorgeous deserving horse. Thank you Thank you Thank you

  90. kathy

    I was almost to tears when I first saw the picture of the poor horse in such terrible shape and then read down, how inhumane and totally non caring at all for a wonderful horse who had won so many races and earned money for her human “friend” then to give wonderful foals who will most likely get their racing genes from her, and this is how she gets treated at the end because her time to retire is here…its totally disgusting and the owners at that time should be ashamed that they sold her off as they did and then the poor thing is terrified and at the mercy of all the other poor horses going to their slaughter and she gets kicked and injured to the point that she was almost dead, all I can say here is that it truly makes me so sick to read these awful stories about wonderful animals that end up this way, I am sooooo angry because of all the senseless and cruel people there are in life that treat animals like they are disposable with no thoughts for the animals in their care. I congratulate the wonderful people that rescued this horse and of course the happy ending is just so wonderful that I am simply so elated with joy, Thankyou to all the wonderful caring and loving people who spent money and time and love on this wonderful horse and to look at her now in these pictures, God has a special place for people like you and one day you will know his blessing, thankyou all a million times over. God bless you all and of course Baloo!

  91. Annette Abram

    Thank you to Mindy Lovell and everyone involved in Press’s rescue and rehabilitation, you are amazing people xx This happens all too often here in the uk too and it makes me sick to think that these beautiful and intelligent animals are just thrown on the scrap heap as soon as the owners and trainers no longer have a use for them! Thank you for all that you do xxx

  92. Tilly Stroek

    When I turned 9 I bought my first horse,She was 22 and had been in the paddock for five years giving birth, she could’t chew properly,her hooves were cracked,her eyes were piled up with gunk, her manure was sloppy, I couldn’t ride her without crying my head of,and she reared up every time we placed the saddle on her back. And now her hooves are great, her teeth have been fixed, and eyes and manure are healthy. I,ve Had her for about a year and a half and now she’s In better shape then some of the young horses at pony club and is jumping 75cm without a problem even though she’s 24. Gem is one of the sweetest horses in the world and one of the smartest, and me and her have a great relationship. I really enjoyed that story it made me feel happy that someone would be botherd to help a horse in need of help.

  93. Jan Zarn

    I took a 26 year old Registered Thoroughbred in as a border. I was shocked at his condition when he arrived….a walking skeleton. One year later with the help of Purina Senior feed and lots of love he is fat and sassy and enjoying life here on the farm. The owner had thought of sending him off to slaughter. I plan to use your article when people begin to discuss sending their unwanted horses to slaughter. It is not an easy end. Give up the little bit of money you will get and have the animal put down on the farm. Maybe some of those continuing to breed their horses with the hopes of getting that one in a million race horse should have to ride in the trailer with the horses going to slaughter. This is why I own GELDINGS !!! No temptation to breed.

  94. Claudia and Randy ScottDVM

    We too have rescued a racehorse on his way to a Mexican killer. He won over $100,000 as a two-year old and then several claiming races. We actually bought him as a yearling and after his racing career sold him to a hunter jumper who eventually took him to a killer sale. It’s a great reward to see him thriving at our farm where he will be until……..

  95. Rose

    Nice to see someone saved her.

  96. carrie

    Why when a horse is no ‘no good’ anymore theyre sent straight to slaughter? Theres someone out there who would love each and every one of those poor craters.

  97. Lyn

    I agree that horses should be allowed to live out their remaining days/years in a happy and peaceful retirement as far as is possible. If the only option for a horse is to be euthanized due to illness or disability, it should be done in a humane way so that it is less distressful to the horse and not done in the presence of other horses who will also suffer distress. Unfortunately, money talks louder in every language rather than compassion. We need tougher laws and even tougher punishments.

  98. Dee Englehart

    What a wonderful outcome for this horse. I’m so happy she found her forever home with good people who will love and care for her. What is it going to take to stop the sale of horses to slaughter. This is a barbaric practice that needs to be stopped. Horses were not bred for food and should never face that kind of terrible ending. Horses have stood in the line of battle, helped settle this country, provided help for many with disabilities, and help to keep our communities safe from home as members of the police department. Our government officials need to make it illegal to sell horses to slaughter. They need our protection and so I hope people will speak up and write their elected official and demand action on stopping horses from being sold to slaughter. I also want people to be more responsible. If you get a horse, you are taking on a big responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. A horse is a commitment that if you aren’t ready to take on, then don’t buy a horse. But if you do then cherish them for their entire life and give tem the best life they can have.

  99. Linda Vorster

    Horse Racing is a many billions money making INDUSTRY, and the horses suffer.

    I worked for 2 race horse breeders in South Africa, and they just BREEEEED, the horses that fail to deliver, are sold to the tiger farm (and slaughter houses)!

    Can there not be put A LIMIT ON THE QUANTITY OF RACEHORSES BRED each year??

    Beautiful people rescuing x race horses are in the minority and x race horses are thousands!!!!!

    Please give me an idea what I can do, to help horses. I have 5 of my own, and I live for them.

    1. Angela

      I understand the desire to reduce overpopulation, but I do not think it would be practical to establish a “limit on the quantity of racehorses bred each year,” in any breed.

      Think about logistics: WHO would decide how many horses of any given breed should be produced per year, and how would the “right to breed one horse” be allocated among prospective breeders?

      It is the mare owners who are responsible to decide whether that individual mare should be bred, and if she is to be bred, to what stallion; stallions should be carefully chosen on some rational basis, to complement the mare’s good qualities and (we hope) to improve on her weaknesses, to produce offspring with certain desired characteristics. For race horses, it would be speed … for halter horses, breed type & correct conformation … for endurance horses, stamina & sound bone & great heart / lungs & rapid recovery … for dressage, free forward movement with long, fluid strides & great impulsion & self-carriage & expressiveness … etc.

      I am a former and (I hope) future breeder of purebred Arabian horses, for show / dressage / trail riding / pleasure riding. I produced 2 foals in 2005, 2 in 2006, 3 in 2007, 5 in 2008, and none since (although I bred one mare last year, she did not produce a foal … that sometimes happens). I voluntarily stopped breeding when I had as many horses as I could afford to feed & was physically able to care for; I ran ads offering my young stock for sale (which was, after all, my reason for breeding them, as a business) and after 6 years of running such ads, I sold 10 horses in 2011 and one in 2012. I currently have 17 horses, 6 of whom are 20+ years old and “retired.”

      Although I have not raised a foal in any of the past 5 years, I would be unhappy if told that I would not be allowed to raise one in the future. I think that I am a responsible breeder, and I am well aware that breeding or buying a horse is a lifetime commitment. I also do my best to “keep in touch” with people who buy a horse from me, and every buyer is told that, should he ever decide to sell the horse, I would like the opportunity to buy it back. They are also told that, if the horse proves unsatisfactory for any reason, they may return it to me for a full refund of the purchase price. So far, in about 30 years of breeding Arabian horses, I have had ONE horse returned for refund … thankfully, he was not injured by his brief sojourn in a “temporary home,” & promptly found his “forever home” with a wonderful new owner who loves him dearly.

      My point is that there ARE “responsible” breeders, and I believe that everyone who owns any horse needs to be aware that all horses need and deserve “lifetime care,” which includes planning for a humane ending, when the time comes. I have recently seen articles about planning for the end of your horse’s life, in various national magazines. This is a step in the right direction. Like human funeral planning & writing of wills, it’s not a task we enjoy, but it is wise to make decisions ahead of the need.

      My county road & bridge crew will bury a horse here on my farm, at no charge … which I did not learn until the day my veterinarian euthanized an old, sick horse. As I was holding her lifeless head in my lap, crying, the bulldozer operator drove up. My vet said, “Did you hire Mike to bury your horse? Why didn’t you call the county road crew? They’d do it for free.” I realize this is not true in all locations, but it might be worth asking about, in advance of any need. Our county considers deceased livestock to be a health hazard, and the burial is, therefore, a public service.

  100. Patricia McCann

    There is an important part of this story that is untold: namely, how did she get to that place where she was boarded on a truck aimed for slaughter in the first place? Who dropped the ball on the care of this horse, and was that person prosecuted prior to her being sent for slaughter?

  101. Dawn Vavra

    I may be wrong but I think all these horses race at legal tracks. What if a fee was collected before each race, from the owners of each horse, and this fee was contributed to existing rescue facilities and/or funded new retirement “homes” for race horses? A fee could also be collected on each foal race horses produce.
    We all work or have worked and in most cases have a retirement fund. Horses that earn money should have that security as well.
    Thank you to all the wonderful people who work so hard to rescue these awesome creatures.

  102. Jo

    It is so sad what happens to these beautiful animals after they are done their job. It should be a crime. If only more people knew or cared what happened to them after the track. They have many wonderful years left in them after racing.

  103. Cal Raffell

    What an amazingly touching story, whoever you are Mindy you are an angel and thank you for giving up your time and money to save this horse the difference in the photos is striking, it made me cry. I picked up the story on Facebook and have posted it to my page here in the UK.I can’t understand how people can let these horses end up like this after all they have given, its a very sad state of affairs but I know it will continue because some people simply don’t care enough about their fate when they outlived their usefulness. Thank goodness for decent people like Mindy who can make a difference to some of them.

  104. Annarella Poggioli

    Thanks for your love and kindness! God bless you!

  105. Christine Murray

    This is one of those wonderful, happy ending stories but it still is so unfortunate that we have to weed through all the horrendous abuse and slaughter tales. I pray that the tide will turn and we will be able to have more stories of redemption and rescue rather than our horse horror stories.

  106. Dawn

    As I sit here and read all these comments I think that there really is hope, all is not lost in humanity, we really can make a difference so that no horse suffer any fate that stems from the brutality of horse slaughter!

  107. B. Lindner

    I have rescued 11 horses from the “killers”. It cost me a fortune. I boarded at a barn for years; many of the horses were ex-racehorses and their private owners just stopped paying rent, or abandoned them, and to his credit, the stable owner would give me time to pay the accrued rent, get the necessary vet care and would let me find good homes for these animals. One was a grandson of Native Dancer and all my saved horses were kind, good animals. So, private owners can be just as irresponsible and uncaring as track-horse owners. This particular stable owner could be really rough, but again, to his credit, he always let me find good homes (he really didn’t care since I was footing the bills willingly) and so there is a nugget of gold within his hard, little heart. By the way, I bought a 12 year old abused Arab mare who had been blinded in one eye, she was so strung out that it took me 8 months to get a head stall on her, but with patience and discipline (on my part)she eventually developed a calm quarter horse demeanor and was the most wonderful riding horse ever. I kept her for 19 years; through increased supplements, glucosamine, senior feed, and so forth and it was a huge amount of money out of my pocket for years but that was the responsible and loving thing to do. My vet said she was the most remarkable horse he had ever known and didn’t charge me to put her down last year when she was 31 and colicked. Not a day goes by that I don’t have a little tear in my eye remembering her, but just as important as my memories are, is the fact that I did one small tiny thing good in this world – I loved, treasured, and made a wonderful life for a wonderful animal who depended on me and for 11 others that deserved a better fate than being sold to the killers. I don’t know how some of these horrible people sleep at night. There must be a special place in hell for them. Just counting the 11 saved and rescued horses, my out of pocket expenses must have added up to 20,000.00. Looking back, since I am retired now, had I the choice to spend that money on saving those horses or buying a fancy new car, the horses won, hands down, every time.

    1. Angela

      Amen! And thank you for rescuing these 11 precious horses. I raise Arabians, & I just have to tell you that ALL the Arabians I have owned over the past 50 years, not having been abused, have had wonderful, loving personalities. Not “quarter horse demeanor,” but typical Arabian “live-in-your-tent” dispositions. And they should live to be 30+ as your mare did. I’m sure she loved you very much, & you must have some special memories with her, & with each of your horses. BTW, I estimate that each of my horses costs me from $150 – $350 per month, so the gelding who was my best friend for 32 years probably cost me at least $60,000 in care expenses … worth every penny! Merry Christmas, & if you are ever in northeast Texas, I hope you will come visit us at Diamond Magic Arabians.

  108. Tracy Waugh

    Thank you for all you do! What a heartbreaking story. I wonder if it would help to publicly announce who had this mare and who made money and then discarded her? Shame them into acting responsibly!

  109. Tomas

    No I’m not happy to read this amazing story… She had to win over 400 000$ and give a birth to 9 foals (one of them sold for 16000$) to be noticed and saved?

  110. Sue Charles

    .. It’s inexcusable, and criminal to treat ANY innocent living being with such horrible brutality – and especially when they have given their all to the humans who only used them to gain wealth and notoriety, and then sentence them to suffer unmerited violence and death!! Tragically thousands of horses are callously sent to slaughter each year, brutalized beyond description every part of the process, often skinned and chopped up while still terrified and feeling the agony of it all. Most of them are “used up” race horses and brood mares.
    . That is the very worst offence, insult, and ungrateful treatment anyone could do to another living being – to force them to work and serve, all for the gain of the “owner” with no benefit going to those who’ve given years of extreme labor and servitude, and then all the “thanks” they get is abandonment, brutality, violence and torturous death. No innocent, defenseless living being deserves this. None! I am amazed that people don’t see the inequity and absurdity of it all.
    . How many people would trade places with these innocent victims of people’s violence and greed?? Not one!!

  111. James Lockley

    Terrific and heart warming! Commendations to all for kindness and commitment to create a happy outcome, it is only what is deserved.

  112. Kate Conner

    How wonderful. There are kind and caring people in the world. Horses are treated very badly and used just to make money. They are living creatures and as such should be treated to dignity and care. What lovely people they were to save her.

  113. james

    well we have been in search for the right horse to welcome to our family for the past five years. must be sound sane no big vices and good with other horses as we already have a gelding. if anyone knows anyone who is friends with anyone who has a horse that needs placement please let me know. thank you. this was a great success story. thank the creator this mare lost her footing , it actually saved her life.

    1. Angela

      James, have you found your new horse yet? If not, please tell me where you live & I will see if I can help you find him or her. There are MANY horses, all breeds, ages, sizes, colors & various levels of training, who need good & loving homes. You should post a general location (for example, mine is “northeast Texas”) & tell what you want to do with the new horse … trail riding, pasture riding, shows, jumping, dressage, walk-trot with a beginner rider, or just “companion horse” or “pasture ornament” … someone has the very perfect horse for you. Good luck & God bless you. Merry Christmas!

  114. maria robertson

    God Bless you all for helping this mare recover, you are all Gods Angels, I have a Standard bred, an ex Pacer i rescued from slaughter, he is “20yrs now; i adhore him. he has had a tough life,in his past, but he is such a loving boy now, and i will never part with him.I have disabilities as has he, but he now walks so slowly beside me, i never really lead him,God seems to send me this sort of horse,yourrewards will be in heaven, It beggers beliefe how some people have no empathy for these animals. I am crying after reading her story, she looks so like my boy,God Bless her, sad to say we can’t save them all xxx

  115. Jerrica

    I have 4 rescue horses currently lounging their plump selves in my pasture. I have 3 others who have been rehabilitated and gone on to great new homes. One of my horses was a walking skeleton, a 1 on the body scale (if even that), and I didn’t even know if he’d make it through the rest of the winter even with the care I was giving him. He’s now one of my “forever four” as I call them. I have a mare with an old hoof injury that can’t be ridden but she won’t be going anywhere. She can stay a fat and sassy pasture puff for the rest of her life. Just because she can’t be ridden doesn’t mean she has no value. The little ones who visit my ranch absolutely love to pet her and she keeps my geldings in line.

    I don’t understand the concept of animals as disposable. It’s despicable. I have a huge, lovable lab who was in horrible shape at the shelter and mere minutes from death when I and another volunteer stepped in to pick him up. I was told by the president of our Humane Society chapter that I was crazy for not euthanizing him. I didn’t listen and he’s a super big sweet heart, healthy, and well on the way to being heartworm free. We also have a potential new home with a huge back yard and another lab to play with where we can see him where we want. *Fingers crossed that he gets his forever home (he stays with us if he doesn’t).*

    People who step in and rescue animals are angels in disguise. I’ve seen horrifying situations get turned around. Those animals are true blessings, as are their saviors. I have 3 rescue dogs laid out at my feet right now and they’re wonderful.

    Thank you Mindy Lovell and the others who contributed for saving Press’s life

  116. Scott Mackenlay

    Firstly, I’d like to let you know that I live on the other side of the world on an island called Tasmania, which is just below Australia.
    Secondly, I’d like to congratulate Mindy Lovell on her outstanding time and patients that she had with tending to this poor innocent mare. I myself am disgusted with what happens to these wonderful animals that god has put on this earth when brainless idiots can no longer keep them anymore and the only answer that they can think of is ‘slaughter house’. With what Susan Salk has said in this article about Press Exclusive’s history as a good race horse & giving birth to 9 foals, then why in gods name, didn’t the owner just find her a nice retirement home to live out the rest of her own days!
    Congratulations once again to Mindy on a job well done. Wish you the best of luck on more rescues like this one.

    1. Catherine Mackie

      Hey Scott, good to see another Tasmanian commenting on this story. Some questions will never be answered in this and other stories mate, but we can only hope that in the future that something is done about banning the slaughter of horses everywhere. I live at Longford, where are you? cheers

  117. Linda

    There should be a compulsory retirement fund set up for each Thoroughbred or standardbred from point of breeding, point of sale ans a percentage of betting turnover. Slaughter of these horses, often young healthy horses should be banned.

  118. Kyrsten Brawner

    I am SO happy to hear that Press is okay. It is mortifying how these wonderful animals will give all of their heart and soul to the people who own them, just to be discarded when no longer “useful or profitable”. My TB was born and raised on Del Mar Track, but luckily I got him when he was 7 years old (after 2 yrs of being bought and sold every 2 months before I got him). I have had him now for 20 years – he is my LONGEST and BEST relationship and at 27 years old is sound, in mid-level dressage work & LOVES everyday, with showing no signs of slowing down! I love him so much and it hurts my heart and soul to her Press’s story. I am currently at Veterinary school and want to work to help and rehabilitate OTB’s when I get my doctorate. Thank you for your kind heart for rescuing her!

  119. Jeanie Hood

    Where the hell is the owner who she won the almost half million dollars for?!! They should step up and pay for expenses. DISGUSTING that these horses win such money for GREEDY people then are discarded like trash! Makes me SICK! God Bless those who saved her! She looks fantastic now!

  120. Sarah lee

    A true heroine,, Sometimes Im ashamed to be a member of the human race when I see how we teat the creatures that we breed for our own amusement. Im happy beyond words that this horse was saved, but it still disgusts me that she was in that position in the first place.

  121. Jen

    What a outstanding story, that mare is a true survivor, great job to her carers for getting her to where she is, top job

  122. Luci

    Finally to see a animal get to end their life as God chooses. Like the two dogs PUT down after serving the future King of England when they were of no use guarding him after 7 years At least let them live out their lives till it ends….God bless this man for his extreme kindness…

  123. Michael Walden

    THANKS to all involved in saving Press Exclusive from death. YOU GUYS ROCK !

  124. rexan seabringmccollumlong

    i have nver read a story with a good ending wish morse poaple would would do the same . i have a 6 monthe colt and aslong as i am a live he well never ss the inside of a of a slaoular houses not one of are horses have . we got one from a sale and he was going to a slaoular houses and my brother saved him he lived a long and good life werode him intell we could nolonger his day were with mare and foals up intell the pasted way he is still in my heart and dreams . so ihope she has a long li long life fe no a very to injoy

  125. Lynn

    Well I have to thank all these wonderful people who cared enough to save this beautiful horse.. I love animals very much if I were rich not one ever would be left behind to die or suffer alone , I was a nurse and everyone should be cared for and respected until they day they pass. even people are being treated like throw away animals. does not say much for our society any longer , no wonder the time is getting closer to the end , I have never heard anything or anyone in all my years. but if I could get a hold of these people who race horses and dogs and when they can no longer fill there pockets they kill them, if I could get my hands on you I would rip your heart out with my bare hands . and when your time comes I hope you pay big time. and I do believe you will have to answer to all of this . your greedy and selfish . and karma will get you . again she looks so beautiful and happy thanks you wonderful people who helped god bless you all

  126. Mary Ward

    I love horses .. I hate slaughter houses for horses … No horse should be slaughter .. Or abused..!! It’s horrific , wrong beyond measure.. A downright sin..!!

  127. Donnmaria

    I am glad I found this article and it had such a happy ending.
    It is a terrible injustice we do to our animals when they ‘outlive’ their usefulness’ or we tire of them.
    I work with a dog & cat rescue and you would not believe the condition some of these pets lived in and survived. Presently, we have 2 kittens who each have to have a leg amputated because of an owner’s cruelty. It was not a rash decision. Each kitten had multiple X-rays, anti I biotics, etc. to determine if their legs could be saved. Unfortunately, the tendons, could not be repaired. They are young and will survive.
    Horses, dogs, should not be treated this cruelly and end their lives in a slaughter house floor. God Bless the folks who work tirelessly to save them. I will never understand how someone could send an animal they have owned for years; an animal that recognized their voice or step, gives them constant love no matter how they have been treated, could send an animal away to be slaughtered or brutalize it themselves.

  128. sig

    Thanks to a kind and lover of horses in Ms. Lovell to have saved this mare. We need more people like her.

  129. Lynne magee

    Surely to goodness one of these people who benefited handsomely from this wonderful mare during her racing career owed her something. It’s a disgrace to see them carrying on with “business as usual” when one of the horses that they have had responsibility for and made money from ends up in this condition. I bought a young mare from Robert Tiller years ago and can say that he discards them like they are yesterday’s newspaper. Unfortunately, so do most trainers/owners of racehorses. I don’t yet know who this mare ended up with after her racing career was over but I hope they are eventually found out and are shown this article.
    P.S. I’m a standardbred racehorse owner/breeder with a conscience!

  130. Brian

    Was this thoroughbred broodmare the only horse on this van…what happened to the other horses on the van…were they all thoroughbreds…I will guess not??? I am not defending the thoroughbred, standardbred or quarterhorse breeding industries. I have been involved with the thoroughbred horse racing and breeding industry for many years. Yes, they cull there horses when they feel they no longer have value. Lets not kid ourselves, the guiltiest are the big sale consignors that bring in lots of homebred horses and sell to the wealthy owners, who, celebrate in the glory of these marvelous animals, bred to run until it wins or dies trying. The consignors know what happens to these horses when their useful racing or breeding careers are done. I read that the owner/breeder sold this horse to the last owner, who, in turn sold the horse to the killers. Well the owner/breeder knew what he was doing to this horse when he consigned it to the thoroughbred mix sale. He made all the money when she raced, and tried to make her a valuable broodmare, but, when her time was up, he baled and ran her through the sale to her fate as we read it. The big breeders know where these beautiful animals will end up if they don’t bring big dollars as stallions or broodmares. They think it is a well kept secret. Lets not forget that all the horses on that van were not thoroughbreds. Like all animals we breed, they rely on us, they trust us, look in their eyes, they give you their devotion, no way for them to end their time of giving. The horse breeding industries try to hide this giant, it’s a shame to these lovely animals.

  131. Courtney Brown

    This horse may have had a happy ending but shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The other horses still don’t deserve this fate, no animal does. Shame on the over breeders and racing industry. Unfortunately nothing our species does will even surprise me, humans are capable of so much cruelty. Just google EARTHLINGS by Joaquin Phoenix.

  132. muffntuf

    Thank you! You would think that at her age she would not have been retired at all – still able to produce foals. And her winnings should have kept her to an old age. How horrible – I am so glad she made it to your farm and was recuperated 100%. What a beautiful mare!

  133. Deb Johnson

    My horse Shaun, aka Cusack is a New Zealand race horse that was posted by auction horses in a Washington state kill pen. He was so thin I had to board him for a month to put weight on just to ship him home to Kansas. His rescue was due to a world wide effort spear headed by Horsetalknz who raised funds to buy, transport and pay for vet care for Shaun. My lovely companion resides on 40 acres with four other horses, and never has to worry about slaughter again. They deserve better.

  134. Shannon

    I am endlessly happy beyond words that this beautiful baby made it through this horrific ordeal alive. Nearly dead, but survived. I absolutely have no words to describe my hatred towards the monsters that sold her when she was “no longer of value to them”. That’s PURE evil there.
    However, as grateful and insanely happy to know this old girl lived…what about all the others that did not? All the other horses that were with her on that truck and many others like it. We have to stand up and tell our US government officials that we will NOT tolerate such majestic, intelligent mammals being sold for slaughter and abused and tortured the way they are. Who the hell would eat horse meat anyway? Any meat for that matter. Figures it happens in a Canadian slaughter house. I wish I could burn it to the ground and send it back to hell where it belongs!!

  135. Pam S

    There were more than 85,000 horses shipped for slaughter in Canada alone last year. Most of those horses were pets, race horses or animals who were not bred for slaughter. These animals were in the wrong place at the wrong time and were shipped through no fault of their own. They are the forgotten in an industry that seems destined to turn its back on the animals it claims to care for. If you want to help maybe we could all do something collectively if we made the issue of what happens when horses are sent to auction and there are not private buyers for them. The general public and most horse owners seem to have no idea of the cruel fate that is frequently dealt to these poor animals. If you want to do something that matters write your MP or Congressman and lobby for humane treatment of horses

  136. Kristi

    Makes me sick to my stomach every time I read something like this…thank you for all the good people out their that came to her aide…..this girl deserves the best….I’ve helped place 4 OTTB’s so far and plan on continuing to keep it going..I’m glad there are so many people out there that care!!!

  137. Sherri Klein

    Truely criminal is the understanding of a regal animal exploited and then abandoned by those who profit. Why is it that a retirement fund is not set up for every horse earning in any capacity? A cure seems so elementary…

  138. Jon

    It breaks my heart to know that a human can allow animal cruelty like this to happen to a horse, or any other animal. I am so greatful she was rescued and re-habbed by the wonderful people in this article. I want to thank Mrs. Lovell and her associates for the amazing recovery of this beautiful mare. Having horses of our own, I know how much the equine give of themselves to please their human partners. The slaughterhouse is not a dignified ending for the years of service an equine gives us.

  139. Annette pellens

    As I sit here crying my eyes out I am so deeply moved by the compassion and caring of all of these rescue organizations.. You are all angels doing God’s work, caring for his creatures with dignity and respect. I am grateful for your work and will happily donate to both of these organizations regularly. Keep up the great work!!!!

  140. joann maestri

    God bless people like you…

  141. susan Crane-Sundell

    I don’t think I have ever seen so many replies to a post at O TTB. I am glad to see the outpouring of outrage. Please tell others and tweet and share Susan Salk’s blog with others. THANKFULLY Exclusive Press was saved and is now healthy and safe. Others need the same attention and outcome. Awareness is the first step to every necessary and desired change.Press looks very content and restored!

  142. christine

    i couldn’t believe this would happen to a race horse that won money. *sigh* whats wrong with people.
    my parents bought me a quarter horse from auction years ago. now she belongs to a good family and she has a stall right next to the horse i currently own.
    the horse i own now is 23 years old and has been badly damaged years ago from accident before i owned her. her back is not the same nor is her knee. but is able to be ridden. i will love her till the end of time.

  143. Barbara Griffith

    Since I got involved in trying to help stop horse slaughter in the US I have grown to hate horse racing with a passion. These breeders don’t care what happens to the young horses they produce once they are sold to buyers. These brood mares are bred to death with the owners looking to produce that winner that brings in millions of dollars in the winners circle. Herds of broodmares are sold at auctions that hold special sales in the after hours just to cater to killer buyers. Did any of you ever wonder just what happens to a breeders brood stock??
    The same place this starved mare was found. These horses that give their all for the breeders are nothing more than tax write offs,”after all they feel, its a business” just like a car dealer. I have seen photos of the horses inside the slaughter plants in Canada that show what appears to be TB’s hung up by a hind leg after the the veins in their necks are cut to bleed them out over a large sink contraption. They are headed on down the line for gutting and skinning. There is a machine used for the skinning process that rips the hide off of the body in one operation. You want to get a birds eye view of what goes on in a slaughter plant in Canada go here. I hope this is still up. and click on the Bouvry links as you scroll down. If you can get through this video call your congressmen/women and demand that both anti-slaughter bills be passed now.
    S.541 and H.R.1094 the US Senate are the very ones that have had no interest in passing any bills to put a stop to US horses being hauled to slaughter in Canada/Mexico and Japan. There are 128 members of congress in the House of Representatives that have signed on to cosponsor H.R.1094 if we had that many in the senate both bills could be passed tomorrow because Pres Obama has said that if these bills make it to his desk he will sign it into law.

  144. Robin

    Anyone who places a parimutuel bet on a horse race is guilty of supporting this kind of abuse. Race horse people consider horses to be expendable money-making machines, and when they aren’t making money they aren’t worthy of basic care or humane consideration. I sold my first pony to a harness racing guy for his young son, and he didn’t give her hoof care and allowed the boy to gallop her non-stop while hanging back on the reins. It broke my heart to see my dear pony being abused and neglected. As an adult, I worked on TB tracks and farms and saw the same attitude there: “If it ain’t making money, it ain’t worth shit.”

  145. Equine Right to a Quality Life (ER)

    For those of you in the USA who want horse slaughter to stay banned, please support the SAFE ACT (legislation that would stop the inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption and prohibit the transport of horses across the U.S. border for slaughter in Canada and Mexico. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry that produces unsafe food for consumers.)
    Write to your States people and your President. USA horse people, your President needs your letters of support for the SAFE Act (the President is also against horse slaughter). GET WRITING FOR THE BEAUTIFUL LIVES OF THE BEAUTIFUL HORSES LIKE PRESS EXCLUSIVE (ER wrote to the President with our support and we are Canadian!) 🙂

  146. marla

    I really want to thank Mindy Lovell of her hard work and her big heart full of love for the horses to rescue them and I want to thank the other friends who helped Mindy to make it possible. The horses are not doing anything wrong but the men or women who do cruel business are and always so greedy about money and want to kill for meat. I have to say in my small time with horses. They are the most intelligent and sensetive animals on earth and has been with us for centeries. For me to hear horses being rounded up by BLM everywhere and wants to kill them really breaks my heart and often times brings to tears. Horses even burros are Jesus creatures and he loves them so much as other animals that were created for us to learn to watch and take care of like watching over sheep you know. I feel very ashamed of the way they are treating animals. There is no words for it.

  147. Janet Ciulla

    Thank you for being an Angel for these horses. How anyone can even consider sending a horse on to slaughter is soooooo sad… They are not for food ever..
    What a wonderful ending to a horrific story for this mare.

  148. paula walker

    Don’t know if any of you folks who don’t own horses have ever noticed this or not, but 99% of the people who own horses and don’t have race horses DO NOT support horse racing and DO NOT go to the races. When I meet someone who is not horse savvy and they innocently ask me “oh have you got race horses?” and I say “no, I never even go to the races.”, they always think I’m crazy. All these people just automatically assume if you have and love horses you go to the races. Nothing could be further from the truth. And all the reasons are in the story about Press. That is why true horse people don’t have race horses, don’t go to the races, and don’t support racing in the least. I do know some people here in Oklahoma who raise and race horses who feel like us true horsemen do about them. But for the most part, the well off, ivory tower types, who are in it for a business and have no connection to the horses are who do these things. No compassion in the least and just turn their heads the other way. It is easy for them to do that since they have no personal connection to the actual horses. And they don’t care in the least either. Believe me they are not dumb or nieve. They know exactly where they go and what happens to them, they just don’t care. They brazenly pull the plug and send them down the road.They’re too damn cheap to even have them humanely put down and buried on their farms when they are done with them. Or take the time to find a home for them. Its unforgiveable. It costs about 150$ to euthanize and bury a horse here in Oklahoma. You know they have the money to do that, so what the hell is the big deal? And they certainly don’t need the couple hundred dollars they might get from the killer. I don’t get it. THESE are the cold hard facts.

    1. Kristi

      We own thoroughbreds and love them to pieces! We do not go to the races and we do not support horse racing. I used to work on the backside of a race track and have seen first hand what goes on there. There are some good trainers and caring people, but there are also those that don’t care. Horses are run into the ground with hopes of collecting insurance money. It is over $600 here to have a horse euthanized and picked up. It can be done cheaper if you want to drive the horse to the rendering yard so it can be put down with a bullet. Horses are given to slaughter brokers to either be flipped or taken to the feed lot.

  149. Barbara Douglas

    Its time the jockey club started a retirement fund for these horses, each of the winners of a race should have 50.00 taken from their purse it should be banked collecting interest. As these horses no longer become (CAN NOT BELIEVE I’M SAYING THIS) wanted or useful to these type of people. The fund should kick in to help with cost to rehab these beautiful graceful horses.Not to have them end up on a meat truck.You would have to be totally blind not to see what that mare has become with the love and dedication of these people. I believe the owners of these horses need to be accountable and ensure this doesn’t happen. after all they stood in the picture with big smiles while collecting the cheque.but I guess the smile leaves as the cheques stop coming!!

  150. Nancy Ryan

    To Cindy Kirk.. I certainly agree with the concept of a “set aside” amount for a retirement fund for all retired race horses….but the JOCKEY CLUB??? They have the same corporate philosophy as the big banks or oil companies. Better the Benevolent Horseman’s Association or something similar. Wonderful story. Many kudos to Mindy for her love and caring and hard work in restoring Press to good health and a future befitting her.

  151. Jessica

    Not sure if this horse was sold IN Canada…. but down here (in the States) you never “sent a horse TO slaughter” when the plants were open, so the previous owner probably just hauled her to a sale and the killers are the ones who ended up with the winning bid. Right??

    1. Equine Right to a Quality Life (ER)

      Whether in the USA or Canada, race horses are routinely sent off to horse auctions where killer-buyers (for the horse slaughter houses) wait to outbid ordinary folks looking for a nice horse. The auctions have become the ‘dumping ground’ for the racing and other horse industries ‘no longer profitable horses’. 80% of all the nearly 90,000 horses slaughtered in Canada are perfectly healthy. Many North American race horses never see past the age of five before they are trucked off to auctions. Their lives are to make money and to be slaughtered (for more money).
      The horse slaughter industry here in Canada cannot meet its profit-quota with Canadian horses only, so they import about 50,000 horses from the USA every year. Most of this dirty work happens at horse auctions across both continents. The horse slaughter industries in Canada and Mexico must have many thousands of horses to exist every year and in Canada, breeding societies now pay folks to breed more babies for the race tracks – race tracks go through horses like flies – and dispose of them with similarly.

  152. Patt Ward

    What a heart breaking account of a horse’s journey to a slaughterhouse. Gut wrenching!
    I am so glad it had a happy ending. On no account could I ever put an animal through this.
    Congratulations to everyone involved for her rescue.

  153. Cindy Cossuto

    Thank you. This needs to be seen by the public. Racing (dogs and horses) needs to stop. It’s cruelty, plain and simple.

  154. helen

    Thank Our Great Lord for people like you for rescuing such gorgeous animals. These animals love us unconditionally.

  155. Jim Rickel

    My wife and I just purchased a thoroughbred race horse from Dreamchaser Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation in Arizona. He was on his way to slaughter when they saved him, in very poor shape with ribs sticking out and no life in his eyes. Well over the last 6 months we have nursed him back to health and he is a dream come true. His name is now Big Red Dancer because he is a descendant of the great Native Dancer. He raced under the name Organized (horrible name for such a beautiful horse), and won over $160,000 in his career and then when he was no good to them anymore he was sold for slaughter, so, so very sad. He is such a wonderful addition to our family, we are so happy to have him.

    1. Equine Right to a Quality Life (ER)

      That’s so great to read Jim. Unfortunately most race horses aren’t so lucky, and the (former) race owners of those horses who commit the crimes against them by sending them to be slaughtered once their income earning potential has dried up continue with business as usual.

  156. Doris Driscoll

    this made me cry for a long time to think that people could do this to this wonderful horse who had done so much got money for the owner and run races to let this happen is awful thank God for these lady’s who come to the rescue or the poor animal god Help us all for the cruel way some of us live and the cruel streak some people have within themselves to allow these sort of things to happen to any animal. wonderful lady’s God will grand you a place in his kingdom when your time comes and greet you with love and respect x God Bless you

  157. diane l

    what is wrong with all of the people who had owned her when she made all of that money, apparently all she was a dollar sign. I sometimes find people disgusting.

  158. Cynthia M.

    I just wanted to cry when I received this posting, and had chills as I read. Thank you for the bravery and ability to save. What a beautiful story for this mare and the great humans that saved her!!!

  159. Equine Right to a Quality Life (ER)

    Our organization ( is very willing to publish the owner(s) names. Who was the owner that sent Press Exclusive to auction? We are willing to document and publicly expose the owners and the racing industry’s crimes against horses. Pls send us info. We value your privacy and will respect such if you ask us to.

    1. Jo-Anne Ward

      Equine Right. I was going to keep my mouth closed here for once, but so much for that. Worth a mention, I think anyways,
      is another beautiful TB mare who earned a retirement.
      Should she have been asked to produce more?
      Her name is WINTER GARDEN (KY) Racetrack Earnings $902,788.00
      She thankfully did NOT find herself slaughter bound, but in terms of breeding, how many golden eggs is she expected to lay?
      So to speak. Here was one recently though.
      ‘Title Contender Scores Ohio Derby Knock-Out’ posted Sat.July27/13
      I hope this gelding never drops for claim at rock bottom…Into the wrong hands at Penn National, where we know Brian Moore farm is short drive away. He loves 2am meat plant deliveries to Quebec. However,Support for Bill C-322 keeps growing and I’ll never shut my mouth about that. Time to end the chambers of horror for all horses, who spin their legs wildly&tremble with fear in kill box. RIP Backstreet Bully. So great to see that pic of Press Exclusive enjoying green grass of home, she looks amazing.

  160. Perch

    All the money paid to vets and the vet care of one horse as bad off as this one could have paid to help 20 other animals. Why spend all the time and money for one and leave the others????

    1. Anne Marie

      Wow Perch! I can’t believe that you don’t understand the importance of the value of the horse in terms of how much money it has generated for people that understand how important money is to them! You don’t know what kinds of horses the other animals were! They may have received food without ever actually earning money for the people that truly understand how important money is to them! You are obviously a fool and you and your money will soon be parted because you don’t understand how important money should be to you! Good God woman! 🙂

      1. Perch

        Call me a fool if you like while you sit there and assume that I am female.I do understand how much money these animals can make and how important that money is.I also understand horse racing is a business.There is a saying in that business that the last one that owns the horse loses. I will not lower myself to personal attacks because someone has a different view then mine.I can only guess you are referring to my first comment and yes a big percentage of these “Rescues” are in it for business,not the love of the animal.I will refer to the rescue that i said would not even turn the water hydrant on for the animals.Legit rescues came in and instead of humanly destroying the one that were not dead already.They hauled them to their facility,had to keep them held up with hoists.Went through countless of thousands of dollars trying to save hopeless animals.Yes some did survive,but at what cost to those animals.(The dead and the survivors). There was also a very high profile horse that was rushed,on TV no less to one of the best if not the best animal hospitals in the world. That animal had countless screws,pins,and rods put in his leg. For the next couple of months in my opinion he was in constant horrific pain.He lost hundreds of pounds and ended up have to be destroyed.As if everyone didn’t know that was going to be the out come. he should have been put down on the track. So call me what you like but one thing I am is a realist. I don’t live in some fantasy world I live in the horse world…

        1. Anne Marie

          Sorry. I wish there was a sarcasm font… I thought you were making a comment that most of these people seemed so concerned about only one animal and ignored the rest of the horses and didn’t care that the other 20 or so horses that were also trampled in the same trailer and sent to slaughter. Yet no one seemed to care about them. They were all ignored except the ONE horse that earned money. The rest didn’t seem to matter. Oh well. I misunderstood you and thought that I agreed with you. Damn sarcasm…

          How lovely that the important horse was rescued then. Bye bye other literally ” worthless” horses! Yay ONE horse “worth” something.

          1. Equine Right to a Quality Life (ER)

            Perch, you haven’t got a good thing to say about anything that has come up in this discussion or the rescue of Press Exclusive. Clearly you are in disagreement with everyone on here. You are among people who are out of your element. We can’t say anything that you wont refute, critize or demean. Isn’t it time for you find somewhere else to hang out?

    2. Christina

      Not quite sure what your point is, Perch. I can’t imagine waving away this injured horse and saying, never mind, just get on with killing her, theoretically there are younger, fitter horses out there I can help. I mean, of course every time you adopt a cat or dog, for example, there are 100 others you could’ve chosen…I guess in this case this mare was “lucky” in that she is was in the “right” place at the right time for a rescue (and no, I do not believe in destiny…if she’d died, unremembered, nobody would’ve called it destiny thwarted…just happenstance).

      It’s funny how people bring up the “this money you spent could’ve helped 20 other horses/4,000 starving kids” etc. ONLY when someone helps an animal. If someone buys a new car, nobody says, “Hey, you know you could’ve helped lift a family in Elbonia out of poverty for a year with that money.” It’s viewed as discretionary spending and none of anybody’s business. But if someone uses that money to heal an animal? Woe betide them, the judgment falls…

      I realize you’re making a larger argument here. Sure, I am sure there are scammers in the horse rescue world. Just as, sadly, there are people scamming the elderly in asking for donations to returning veterans, sick children, etc. There are always charlatans lurking. One has to do one’s research before donating to a charity and there are easy ways to do so. But don’t tar the entire rescue industry with the same brush (I realize you’re not, you noted that, but there’s a certain “why bother” thread running through things that concerns me.)

      I just noticed your comment about horse racing being a business and again I’ll say that the claim that “it’s a business” does not absolve one from being responsible to and kind to one’s animals. Nor does calling a horse “livestock” justify cruelty and lack of planning for that animal’s care. “It’s a business” is a fence to keep out morality and humaneness.

      However, short of barring the use of horses in sport, I do see the point of the question ‘what is to be done’? Stop overbreeding, yes…make the sport responsible for its oldsters, yes…inject some responsibility and remind folks that you can’t just do as you please to get all the money you want in what is, essentially, a frivolous pastime (don’t get me wrong, I’m all for frivolous pastime, life is not all about making widgets!).

      But at the same time I realize we probably have more horses than we have green pastures, stalls, and people wanting a horse, that’s the real hooves-on-the-ground situation, and I don’t know what to do about that. Rescue. Raise awareness. Change laws. And though I cheered when US slaughterhouses were closed, I am dismayed at how horses continue to suffer, perhaps more, being shipped across the border. It merely moved the problem elsewhere. Temple Grandin needs to be brought on board if we ever have US slaughterhouses again…though I would hope that we can just stop the cycle of greedily overbreeding horses and dumping them when they no longer serve their primary use.

      OK I’ll shut up now 🙂

  161. Ali Sawaya

    WOW is all I can say to those who didn’t give up on this beautiful animal and gave it the life IT SO DESERVED!!! I too was brought to tears and the hair standing straight up on my arms. It just isn’t right that people discard these animals once the money train runs out…so very sad. It should be mandatory that anyone who races and breeds these horses should have to make allowance for them when they retire! It just isn’t right.

  162. Sherry Stratford

    You are a awsome bunch…such a happy ending to such a horrifying story…Run like the wind BEAUTY…<3

  163. Marion Mohrman

    Thanks to everyone who helped this mare! Hearing her horrific experience and seeing the original picture blew my mind and attacked my sensibilities. Thanks god one of the owners of one of her babies stepped up and had her checked out, the one picture she looks like she lost her left eye. I can’t believe she looks so fit and well.
    I so very proud of you all. Hugs to Press and and all the people who saved her and loved her back to health she looks magnificant!!!!!

  164. Patty Romeo

    God bless all of your horse loving hearts. This story is so inspirational. Did any of the news outlets cover it? No, I doubt it, they are too busy reporting BS like what the stupid kardashians are up to. Thanks you again for doing all you do and know that strangers really appreciate it!!!

  165. Sian Wilkinson

    You wonderful wonderful people 🙂 tears rolling down my face reading this 🙁 such a sad sorry story for a wonderful horse who should have been cherished after all her hard slog at life on the racetrack and then breeding 9 foals, bless her heart!! Soo pleased to hear she was rescued by you amazing people. May she happily enjoy her retirement xxxx she soo deserves the best and it looks like finally she has found that xxx

  166. Debbie

    At first, I cried….looking at her picture and feeling the pain she was in, the fear. Then I read some more, about her winnings, and all of the foals she had. All the while thinking, why, why dont they get a fair shake in life? After all they do for us. Im so glad that someone stepped up, someone cared, and looked after her, a human had feelings for her….touched her with loving and caring hands. And now she is simply retired and living a life that everyone should be given a shot at. God Bless you Press Exclusive…you deserve it. Thoughts and prayers to all involved in bringing her back to life.

  167. April Clow

    There ought to be a law put in place that a percentage of a racehorses overall winnings be put aside for their retirement. It is the right thing to do. Horses are living creatures that trust and depend on us to do the right things. Enough of this “run them into the ground for quick cash” and then send them to the dog food plant after they are broken. Disgusting industry that needs a TON of changes made to be respectable.

    1. Cindy Kirk

      That is exactly what I was thinking, that a percentage of a horse’s gross winnings (maybe 10%?), and even a percentage of betting, should be put in a fund to care for the racehorse’s when they are retired. This should be something that is done at payout and overseen by the Jockey Club (or a similar org.). Then that fund (and all interest earned) could be administered on a per month board basis to whichever retirement facility the horses are retired to. (Not for retirement farms to spring up everywhere and make huge profits but for the actual costs of caring for the horses.)
      Surely something like this could be proposed to the “powers that be” in the horse racing industry and somewhat easily made to happen (without a bunch of overpaid board members/employees).
      Is there anyone out there who can help with this idea?

    2. Perch

      What a great “Theory” this is,but WHO?? are you going to give this money to?? I know no one wants to believe this but there are reputable TB owners that donate their horses to rescues and give a sizable donation with them.I have seen it. Only to find out the “Rescue” decided for one reason or another they did not want to do it anymore.Then they simply left the horses to fend for themselves.Maybe we should have given them MORE money and more money?? Maybe they needed to fly to another Mexican vacation and figure the horses would feed and water themselves.
      I am not saying there aren’t good people with the right intentions trying to make this go,but they get overrun with animals.They will get up in the morning and horses are tied to their mail boxes..

      1. Gaynor Henry

        @Perch – you are correct of course. There are 15% of people cleaning up and taking care of, the mess that 85% create. Today a rescue in Delaware announced it is closing. 140 dogs need homes now. It is a drain on your bank account, your time, your physical and emotional health. People simply cannot cope with the sheer number of rescue animals; over 50,000 minimum in Detroit, 1.2 million in Houston. Where would the money come from? Who would hold it? Administer it? How and who would decide who got what and how much? The terrible, terrible truth is that we simply cannot save them all. It is physically impossible as long as people breed. They use animals and their offspring to make a living – selling pups, kittens, foals, horse-racing, dog-fighting, factory farms. It’s overwhelming anf or every save like this mare, how many do we not hear about?

  168. Jill Willis

    Great work you did saving her but please know that the diet you reference “18 pounds of daily grain, beet pulp and nutrients to aid digestion” is a formula for colic – not for health! What horses need is free choice access to all the grass hay forage they can eat – ideally a variety of kinds – and lots of movement 24/7 while living in a herd. 18 pounds of grain is very unnatural and unhealthy – and high risk for impaction, ulcers, laminitis, etc.

    1. Mindy Lovell

      Press’s feed was very carefully increased and done very slowly. She was also on soaked hay cubes, soaked beet pulp, free choice hay as well as supplements and all was given in a number of meals daily – a bit at a time. All of this was also discussed with two equine nutritionists.

      1. cheryl

        We as well feed our horses beat pulp and they love it.. and the older ones we give a supplement to give them the fat there missing in a Regular diet…

  169. Kristi

    This is a story that needs to be publicized at a national level. Everyone who supports racing, loves horses, owns a horse, or cares about animals needs to know the reality of what is happening to horses that are being retired to “greener pastures”. Usually that refers to a crowded truck full of green manure and scared horses making one last trip.

    Is there a news network that has covered this story? It needs to be shown to every breeder, 4-H kid, horse trader…I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a livestock auction and heard people say, “oh, that’s ridiculous, they don’t send horses to slaughter anymore.” Once it moved over the boarder did it also get swept under the rug? Rescues and retirement homes can’t house them all. People who are done with their “aged” or injured horses need to put them down instead of passing them on to kill buyers. Let’s do business with our educated, caring veterinarians instead of lining the pockets of cold-hearted killers.

    1. jazz R

      Yes Kristi, I agree with you! And it all comes down to greed and money. So hit these people the only place it hurts them, in the Wallet…(we already know anyone that does this to animal doesn’t have a heart). Yes a horse or any animal needs to be put down humanely.

  170. Maria Weber

    I think race horses that have winnings, should have money put away for them as a security ,so they will be taken care of the rest of their lives. This makes me so sad that people can just throw these beautiful horses away.

  171. DMR

    “With a horse like that, with high earnings and nine foals, Jesus, God, that’s not what she deserves at the end of the day.”

    I’m thrilled this story has a happy ending and I greatly admire those people who put time, effort, tears and money into saving horses from slaughter. But if we believe, as I do, that these horses deserve better than slaughter when they are no longer producing, how much they earned at the track or how much a foal sold for isn’t relevant. While I know it’s all but an impossible dream, they all deserve a better end than this, winner or not.

  172. Linda Priest

    I think Vanessa’s suggestion is a great one!

  173. MyBoyBuddy

    Stories like this just make me cry. No horse should have to endure what she did! I can only hope that more people read this story and see the plight horses, cattle, sheep, hogs go through unnecessarily! Thank you so much for not giving up on Press Exclusive, and giving her a 2nd chance for the kind of life she truly deserves. She’s done her job!

  174. Suzie

    This is a wonderful, heart-warming story, a great ending for a beautiful horse and great work by all those who helped to rehabilitate this gorgeous mare. But we must be mindful that many racehorses all over the world end up at slaughter houses. No animal that ends up on a meat truck deserves the gruesome death that awaits them on the slaughterhouse floor, yet far, far too many do and many of them are yesterday’s pets along with the racing winners of yesterday…

  175. Ludivine

    I really have to say something and I know I will not be popular. First, the money won by this horse is not that ”big” for a race horse. It is good but it is not that unusual depending of the lenght of her career. Second, a Thoroughbred race horse sold at $16,000 is really cheap, that means probably not that good quality of a horse. Third, no, it is not all race horse that can be turn into pet horse, they are not bred for that neither trained/educated for that. Last, the market is already overflowded by saddle horses, what is the point to bring a race horse, at the end of her career, as a pet horse. Each animal fulfil a human need (food, friendship, sport, etc.). Why pet seems to be the most important need today? Maybe we lost touch we the reality and we need to feel good about ourself. If it was not because of a need for transportation, war, food and sport, no one will enjoy horses today. Animal are bred by human to fulfil a human need whether we like it or not. However, I agree that animal should be well cared for and that includes when transporting to the slaughter house.

    1. Candice Morel

      You seam to forget that without horses, humanity would not be at the level of technology it is today. Horses have served us for thousands of years, and we have given nothing back to them. What happens in those slaughter houses is the most atrocious thing any animal can go through, go and visit one sometimes.
      It has been scientifically proven that all animals develop feelings, yes they are sentients being actually. I use to not believe so until I educated myself on the subject. So why is it ok for them to go through intense fear and terror exactly? And why would one be less worthy than an other. Let’s ship you to slaughter since you obviously are lacking education, vision, and are probably not a multi million dollar earner….

      1. Candice Morel

        oh, and $16 000 for a yearling at the sales this year was actually pretty good, considering averages.

    2. M Crocker

      Maybe you should take a ride with these horses in the slaughterhouse trucks. See if you think any animal deserves to spend their last hours in this horrific way and then to be eaten by the very species they served their entire lives.
      The drivers of these trucks should be arrested as well along with the owners that sell them because they know very well what’s ahead for them.

    3. Christina

      Yes, these animals are bred to fill human..well, I would not say “needs.” Humans do not “need” to race horses around a track and bet on them. But no matter what we raise animals for–need or pleasure–we have an obligation to treat them fairly and humanely. The fact that so many people fail to do so and shrug it off by claiming it’s a cost of doing business–well, that’s just a convenient excuse to dodge your moral responsibility and continue making money (or, if failing to make money at it, keep at it for other reasons–hobnobbing with a moneyed set, keeping yourself amused, what have you).

      My parents always told me to be responsible and to clean up after myself. Horse owners who throw away their horses’ lives like this somehow missed these early lessons in life. Yes, there are more horses than there are homes for them, and this is due to humans overbreeding horses. This doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to cruelty such as this mare endured.

      Are you saying that a racehorse has to earn a certain amount of money in its career to justify being treated fairly at the end of its racing career, otherwise it’s off to slaughter? The horses that lose races are working just as hard as the winners.

      I find it astonishing that people need scientific studies to show them that animals are sentient beings–how convenient of humans to decide that the overwhelming mass of life outside of human life lacks feelings, so that they may then proceed to treat animals horribly, exploit them, and cause them pain and suffering.

      I don’t know what the solution to all of this is. Consciousness-raising and getting those involved in the racing industry to be more responsible helps, surely. Turning the spotlight on a sport’s abuses is definitely a way to clean up that sport. Humanity has a long way to go before it earns the “humane” in its name…we’re still slaughtering elephants just to make ivory doodads and trinkets. Stories like the one about this mare give you hope that there are also lots of people willing to prevent exploitation and cruelty, whether it’s of animals or humans.

  176. Beverley Bonner

    So very sad that this ever had to happen.

    You are true saints to rescue this lovely girl and bring her back from the dead.

    I wish that no animal had to experience such horrible treatment because we owe it to them to be good. Horses have given us so much through history and present day life that it is no less than a crime that we abuse this.

    Thank you, for anyone out there that cares and treats them gently and with the respect they deserve.

  177. Andrea

    Someone in the string mentioned taxing the bets to fund after care for the OTTB’s What a wonderful idea. Aside from the funding it could help open the eyes of the everyday person who bets at the track and does not realize what kind of life or life after racing the majority of these majestic animals have. We have 2 OTTBs and wish we had the resources for more. They are the greatest even for two old 60 somethings!

    Another story with a happy ending….wish they all ended the same!

  178. Patty

    such a great story, and happy she’s healthy n happy. the only issue I see is that there’s no way she had 18#’s of grain a day , she would of foundered!!!

  179. Deborah Exley

    Thank you to everyone who saved this beautiful mare from such a horrific fate.
    There are truly “Angels” on earth.I pray to God that this madness will stop.

  180. Amy Bond

    So happy for such a great outcome to this story. She should never have found her way on to that truck. Shame on the people who did that to her.

  181. Linda Stewart

    Congratulations! What a wonderful job you all did for her!! I have an off track thoroughbred name Carr Creek who is now 30 years old, these horses deserve so much more then being thrown away after they’ve been exploited! Shame on the owner who put her in the auction…he deserves the same torture she recieved! Keep up the great work! Sincerely..Linda Stewart

  182. Jane Summerfield

    Oh my goodness what a tear jerker. How does her owner sleep at night, discarding a beautiful animal which had made him so much money? What a vile ‘human being’ he must be. Yet we also see the other end of humanity, the wonderful people who brought her back to life. Heaven has a special place for angels such as these. 🙂

    1. rita

      she probably was sold a few times after making that money, so the last owner wasn’t the one that made ” all that money”

  183. sissy larue

    For many years, I was a devotee of horse racing and spent many days at Oaklawn Park race track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. About ten years ago, I discovered that most horse owners who lovingly had raised, trained and made a lot of money off of their “beloved”horse, thought nothing of sending them to a chamber of horrors to be brutalized and slaughtered when their productive days were over. I will never step into a race track again and those true animal lovers with an ounce of compassion or scruples should do the same!!!! The same goes for dog racing. What a nightmare scenario for these gentle loving dogs, most of who never leave a wire cage except to run around a track while greedy people cheer them on. The losers suffer a horrible fate. Documentaries show piles of dead Greyhounds being hauled off to garbage piles. What have we become? We talk about how we are so damned civilized in this country and are horrified at how other countries treat animals. Take a good look in the mirror, America!

    1. Simer Dhillon

      I can’t believe what you just wrote Sissy! I had no idea! Not that I have ever gone to any horse racing or dog racing, but knowing what I know now, I will never go to those races. As much as it hurts to read your comment, thank you for sharing!

    2. Tabz Jones

      Sissy, you don’t know the half of it. I lived in Abilene, KS for a few years in the early 90’s. It’s the “home” of dog racing. The Hall of Fame is there and every year in the spring and fall all of the owners descend on this tiny town in the middle of nowhere to buy, sell, and trade their dogs. These owners come into the shops and restaurants dripping with diamonds and fur, are loud, rude, and obnoxiously demanding. They throw there weight around for a week or two, and then are gone again. The whole time they are doing all of this, their dogs (the ones who do all the work so they can act like they own the world) are caged in trailers. Stacked up 4 or 5 high like chicken trucks.I never saw anyone take those dogs out of those cages except to race or sell them. It’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never set foot at a dog race and I never will.

      Kudos to all who can afford to help these animals. Nobody deserves to be treated like they are. And many heart felt thanks to Mindy and her crew for all the heart wrenching work they do.♥

  184. Rose

    Why wasn’t her previous owner named in the article? Shame on them!

  185. Debbie

    In the end this horse has been one of the very lucky ones, although she had to suffer in what she went through, in the end she is SAFE, in part because of all these incredible people who indeed deserve our utmost praise and admiration, you HAVE MINE for sure….. SO happy to see this outcome, how horrific horse slaughter is….. Unacceptable….

  186. Carolyn Allen

    Thank you Mindy for all that you do for these wonderful creatures. So happy that you were able to save Press Exclusive a wonderful racehorse and bring her back to health and let her live out the rest of her life as she should in peace and tranquility. Kudos to you Mindy and others like you! <3

  187. Janet Bumsted

    This is FANTASTIC real-life story, brought tears to my eyes for this is what SAVING a horse is all about and want for all horses that unfortunately are facing such horrible fate. THANK YOU to all that made this possible for this horse. Hope others will learn from her life story and hope to help many many more.

  188. Janet Bumsted

    This is FANTASTIC real-life story, brought tears to my eyes for this is what SAVING a horse is all about and want for all horses that unfortunately are facing. THANK YOU to all that made this possible for this horse. Hope others will learn from her life story a d hope to help many many more.

  189. Pat DiBiase

    How does one make a contribution?

  190. Tara

    Wow, she looks INCREDIBLE!! I remember seeing her pics on Transitions Thoroughbreds last winter, after her 6 hour ride from OLEX (Ontario Livestock Exchange) where she was destined for slaughter. I’m so happy she’s so healthy and happy and beautiful again. If she were mine, assuming she’s sound, I’d have to occasionally ride her, she’s too gorgeous not to. 🙂

  191. R.A.C.E. Fund, Inc.

    I hope all horse owners will read this story and see firsthand what can happen to their horses. No horse deserves to go through what Press Exclusive did. Think before you breed them and take care of them when they are here. You made it Press and you will always know love, kindness and safety from here on out.

  192. sylvie hebert

    Who is the irresponsible asshole who sent her to slaughter????He should be suapended from ever owning a TB racehorse or broodmare

  193. Kim

    This story of true compassion and love for this beautiful creature that God created is absolutely heart warming. May you be blessed greatly for the wonderful work you do.

  194. Amanda

    I was blessed to have met Press exclusive at Mindy’s farm. Although she was in rough condition from her accident on the trailer and Mindy was doing such a great job in aiding her, she has a heart of Gold and she had the will to get better. She will forever be in my heart. ♥ Love you Press.

    1. Jo-Anne Ward

      “from her accident on the trailer”
      The Cuts on face of TB Sir Viva weren’t nice either as I saw him myself, not long after his race career ended at the Fort.
      Hmmn, Maybe a trailer accident on route to his new home?
      Thankfully however, it is usually good women who will stand up for horses though!

  195. Fran Morrison

    What a WONDERFUL story about humans with compassion and heart who came through for what others saw as a “disposable” animal.

    North America was built on the back of the horse, and slaughter is how they are repaid?

    Those people involved in Press Exclusive’s “jailbreak” should be so proud of themselves and her. And I agree with Gloria – the owner should be charged.

  196. Carmen Rodriguez

    I least you give her a chance of like. She appreciate.

  197. Kim

    What a story!!

    God bless those who helped this beautiful mare. May she live a long and healthy life! What a lovely animal.

  198. Victoria

    I will def go visit her at Equine Advocates…they are right up the road from NYC! What a joyful ending to an horrific story. Thank yo Mindy, Marlene, and all who pulled together….sadly there are so many we cant save….

    1. Simer Dhillon

      Victoria, please give Press a hug for me. I am so glad that the right people like Mindy Lovell intervened to save this precious animal.

      My memory is terrible and I can’t concentrate on what I should or could write to Mindy Lovell. She is the angel for these beautiful horses! <3

  199. Gloria

    This story made me shutter inside with the photos. I am so glad I clicked on to read the story. Bless everyone who saved this horse and shame to those who were irresponsible and cruel to all those horses on board the death truck. These animals deserve better human treatment. I agree with JP’s comment. The owner should be charged with cruelty. May this horse have a wonderful life.

  200. Vanessa

    This is the shame of the racing industry. Both racehorses and racing dogs are discarded when their useful days are over.
    Broken leg? Uh oh, best shoot it and claim the insurance… Breeding days over… well they’ll fetch a little as meat. It makes me so sick to think of the way these animals are treated.

    There should be an obligatory tax on all bets that funds the aftercare of these animals when their racing days are over. It’s disgraceful.

    Sad to think that this great mare was one of the lucky ones, despite all suffering she went through. Bless those who cared enough to intervene.

    1. Holly

      Well the people are running a business but I still don’t see why they need to send them to the slaughter house when there’s retirement homes to take them in. I disagree with your comment about the broken leg though, they normally do need put down in that case. I had to end up putting down my own horse after it got a broken leg (completely shattered his left rear canon bone out in the pasture) and the vet couldn’t make it there for hours. Its a lot of pain to put them through to make them live with that as they’re hundreds of pounds and taking weight off of just one leg can lead to so many problems in the other legs and hooves. I’d rather see them humanely put down than sent on a long journey to a gruesome end at a slaughterhouse. Glad Press got saved, she was a really great racehorse.

      1. Christina

        I recall reading in the marvelous book “Dark Horses and Black Beauties” that when someone says “it’s a business” in regard to animals that you can just bet they’re about to do something very cruel…

        Our farrier owns horses and runs a business but never, ever sent his horses off to slaughter, he either found good homes for the old ones with families who had youngsters who needed a gentle old “plug” to love and ride, or put down his own horses when they got old. And he still gets a tear in his eye when he speaks of them.

        Not saying *you* are suggesting slaughter houses are OK 🙂 only commenting on the phrase they use about “it’s a business”! When it’s living creatures, they must be responsible for their welfare.

        Here’s a link to the mare’s auction history…it lists someone else as the owner in 2010. Not sure if that’s who sold her last.

        1. kathryn

          It may be a business but we are talking about a living being here. We all are in some sort of business but it doesn’t give us the right to be cruel. I have a 31-year-old horse, I will do whatever necessary for his well-being. Racehorses deserve the same fate. It makes me sick to think about the cruelty of man.

      2. Sarah

        Many greyhounds are not even given a human or dignified death, most can recover from a broken leg and go on to live many happy years as loyal companions. Why do people insist on supporting and taking part in racing animals in the name of so called sport.

      3. Perch

        I take it everyone on here is a vegetarian.. I also would think you don’t wear or own anything leather.Because I know you would not eat a pig or cow and go on-line talking about how bad slaughter is..Where is this great retirement community for horses at?? Do you think they will have room for a couple thousand more this year?? I know everyone is going to be mad at me,been through it before,but sit back and think of what you are saying.Where are all these horses going to go?? Not just thoroughbreds all breeds.People think they either have this personal connection with the “Horse” which there are people that have a connection with cows,not going to stop eating them anytime soon.Or they(horses) are so beautiful you couldn’t stand to see someone eat them,when there are people out there shooting deer left and right.They are just controlling the population though huh??? Open the United States horse slaughter, regulate the shipping and rendering of such,and TRY to make it as humane as possible.It will bring jobs that are surely needed(I know not many) and we can watch over it instead of shipping to Mexico where nothing is regulated…

        1. beckette

          Eating habits do not disallow a person’s right to comment on this blog. The issue for where all the horses are to go is personal responsibility. I have owned many horses, and several off the track. I kept them neraly all until they died of natural causes. Those I could not keep,were taken by relatives or TRUSTED sources. I’ve never had to euthanize a healthy horse yet, but by God, if it would come to that and I could not find a suitable home that is exactly what I would do , rather than cosign or run the risk that the animal would fall into the to sheer unmitigated hell and cruelty that is the horse slaughter auction/transport/torturing and dismemberment process.

          Horse Slaughter was banned in the US after much investigative research and testimony. ALl of which proved without a shadow of a doubt, that horse slaughter was not being conducted humanely in the United States. In fact, it may well be impossible to humanely slaughter vast numbers of horses in a commercial setting. It is just too difficult to do without the animals sensing their fate. Also, the captive bolt gun is not a suitable instrument for horses . Part of the damning testimony that led to the shuttering of the US plants was evidence presented in the form of horse skulls procured from Beltex and Dallas Crown, with multiple wounds from the captive bolt. Some had over 10 hits in one skull. This represented a profound violation of the US Humane Slaughter Act, and this is why US plants were shuttered. FOR VERY GOOD REASON. And there will not be a horse slaughter house on every block, in the US there never was. There were two plants in Texas, another in IL, which meant very long transports for the horses even when this abomination was legal in the US. Slaughter houses bring dangerous low paying jobs which statistically attract applicants with histories of criminal or violent backgrounds.
          This year, the Jockey Club reported the lowest number of Thoroughbred foal births in over 30 years. Conversely, sales of quality horses at Keeneland, Saratoga and Fasig Tipton are trending way up, dollars wise. Perhaps the AQHA needs to buy a clue. They continue to breed thousands of worthless animals, and in fact, over 70% of the US horses going to slaughter are American Quarterhorses. The AMerican Quarterhorse Registry records over 150,000 new foals yearly. Oddly enough, this number closely mirrors the number of horses yearly going to slaughter from the US. It’s very obvious that there is lots of room for improvement here. We are going to pass the SAFE ACT, we are going to close the borders to shipping slaughter bound horses. Move the auctions over the border, do what you want, but the cost of doing this dirty business and the profit margins are going down down down. We will strangle the life out of this filthy horse slaughter business until its mostly criminal participants scuttle out of our way like the cockroach scum that they are.

          1. Perch

            I never said anyone should be limited from commenting because of their dietary habits. My point was that many do not like horse slaughter simply because they choose not to eat horse. Those who do eat beef,pork,chicken,or other animals need to realize those animals are treated just as bad if not worse in shipping and slaughter. Most choose to turn a blind eye because those animals end up on their table. “Those animals must be humanly slaughtered” Humane slaughter is an oxymoron. Picking and choosing which species to slaghter or not make little sense to me. People are preaching “Don’t slaughter don’t slaughter HORSES” I do agree with you or I am under the impression that the percent of TB horses at the slaughter house or killer is very low,but they have tattoos which sets them apart. I am glad to see someone calling out other breeds. I have yet to hear anyone say let’s find the breeders of all of these Draft horses and make them start a fund to support them in old age. I am still in opposition of closing any horse slaughter never the less all horse slaughter and sales simply because there will be thousands of unwanted starving horse in every out of the way place you can think of. What would you suppose we do with the thousands of aging broke down horses which people are unable or refuse to take care of???

        2. Ad2b

          Horse slaughter is very different from cows.

          Cows are dumb, they do not know what is coming; it is generally pretty quick.

          Horses, OTOH, flail, and scream and they don’t go “down” as easy as a cow.

          Pigs know as well. Domesticated as they are, pigs are well aware that they are about to be killed. They squeal, they cry, and then, they die… not as quickly as the cows, but quicker than the horses.

          There is NO humane way to slaughter a horse for consumption. There is a means to put one down that is humane – it’s called lethal injection. IF the horse breeders who think that slaughter is okay, then I would demand that every one of them watch videos of horses being killed…

          AND THEN

          tell me it is humane. Then tell me they understand.

          People, horse breeders, who feel the need to justify horse slaughter make my brain hurt… they are no different than the back yard breeders of dogs who don’t care that most of the pups will end up in high kill shelters.

          Horse slaughter needs to end. There is NO justification for it. And there is no justification for allowing them across the borders. Justifying it by saying it’s better to slaughter them here than in CA or MEX is just that – justifying an indefensible claim.

          (and yes, I eat chicken and fish but no pig and very, very little beef)

          1. Perch

            Eat cows they are dumb??? What great perspective that is.Too bad it goes against scientific research.Look up “The Hidden Life of Cows” by Peta.(Just one for instance) It will tell you cows are not only intelligent,they have feelings as well.Even as much to shed tears when separated from loved ones.But who cares they are cows Americans eat cows!!! I wasn’t going to comment anymore on this subject but that one is so far out there I had to do one more. I know everyone thinks i am being harsh,but the problem is there are too many horses of all breeds to save.The solution is NOT to give a butt load of money to some “Yahoo” who says they are going to save the horses.For the most part rescues have failed.LOOK IT UP!!! Taking money from every horses owner that races and giving it to someone will not work either.Why?? Because that person would have to take EVERY horse brought to them.EVERY ONE.Because they have paid their admission.They will come in by the tractor trailer loads. I know everyone here has good intentions but please be realistic…

          2. LindaLou

            Have you ever been in an equine slaughterhouse? I went to one in TX 4 separate times to collect data for my graduate research project. I was ON the kill floor during at least 250 slaughters and EVERY horse went down with one blow-no flailing, no wailing, no crying – quickly and humanely. Fast and efficiently. I have seen far worse in other places where they kill cattle sheep & hogs.

          3. nanci00

            THIS IS IN REPLY TO PERCH: SO glad to hear you are not a meat processor or hunter. BUT I WILL REPEAT WHAT I SAY TO EVERY PERSON THAT SAYS ‘YOU EAT MEAT, DON’T YOU??’
            Yes, and the way cows, pigs (which I do NOT eat after training the Doc Hollywood stars) and even chickens is done these days because of factory farming, it is horrendous!’ BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE! Our horses are taught to TRUST us, TURN to US for safety when they are AFRAID…from the moment they are born, and we HAVE to TRUST them because any one of them could kill any one of us at ANY time. Slaughter is betrayal of that trust and any God that anyone prays to has to HATE that betrayal of the very Creation that He sent to humanity because NO PROGRESS would ever have been made towards STABLE CIVILIZATION withOUT horses! When a cow takes my grandkids out into the woods to see nature, or into the show ring while his family claps and applauds their performance, or dances to the music in free style dressage, or snuggles my neck when I am down and crying to comfort me… THEN I will speak up for cows every bit as passionately as I speak up for horses as DESERVING to be treated as COMPANION ANIMALS, and NOT MEAT!

        3. laura

          Horse meat is not safe for human consumption. Horses, over their lifetime, are given vaccines and medicines that are not given to cows and pigs. There has not been enough studies done on the effects these vaccines and medicines that are in the horse meat will have on humans. Especially pregnant women, children, sick people, and the elderly. To reopen slaughter houses for horses in America and to try to push the sale of untested meat will most likely bring a host of future health issues. I am a horse owner and would never, ever in a million years sell my horse to slaughter but I wanted to present a side of the argument not based on passion alone.

          1. Perch

            Laura, I didn’t say eat horse meat.I hope I am not coming off here as if i am a “Meat Man” buying horses to slaughter.I am not. In fact I don’t like any slaughter.I don’t like hunting or fishing.I would never work in a slaughter house, nor would i take a horse there.I believe there is going to be slaughter and that is one less thing I think we should outsource.
            Do you know that the last year the US had slaughter houses there were approximately 106,000 US horses slaughtered here and abroad. I believe that was 2007. In 2012 there were approximately 176,000 us horses slaughtered. So not having US slaughter houses is not helping anything.
            I am not a horse owner but I am a horse person. I wish there was a way that all of them would have a happy,loving home. I just don’t see how…

          2. Beckette

            JHC Perch, please STFU already. Basically no one on here supports horse slaughter, it’s cruel and the meat is not raised for human consumption in the US. I’m so tired of your continuing drivel and constant ‘last word freak’ replies that Im canceling my subscription to this blog. I’m really F-Ing tired of all the emails , most of which are generated by Perchs constantl replies and insistent support of midevial horse torture. Get a F*cking Life already and stop trolling this blog! God Damn!

          3. Perch

            Are we having a bad day?? Make sure everyone lets you have your way,don’t want you to lay down and start kicking or holding your breath.
            There are close to 250 comments on this story. Maybe 7 are mine. Not exactly what I would call “Trolling”.
            I see now you don’t like the fact that there are more being slaughtered when the US doesn’t have slaughter houses. Believe it or not I don’t like it either….

        4. Sam

          you are an absolute idiot. Nothing you said justifies anything. You have clearly missed the point. Legalize slaughter to stop it – legalize euthanasia on humans to put people like you out of your misery.

          the funny thing is that your views are not controversial like you believe, rather idiotic and miss-informed. Horse slaughter was LEGAL then banned after research.

          I am a vegetarian so apparently I am allowed to comment? My girlfriend eats meat so I presume she is not allowed to be shocked and horrified by the thought of someone who has chosen to become a guardian for an animal to then sell it into one of the cruelest processes I have ever heard about.

          Because people eat meat would that allow them to torture humans and ship them in piles?

          I will tell you how you give them all a loving home – by being responsible when you first get one. Its a lifetime commitment. And if you give them away or have no choice there are many better options if people actually tried.

          Also – your figures are ridiculous. for example, the huge numbers of horses slaughtered – you take unreliable INTERNATIONAL figures… you cant do that in economics, which seems to be your angle.

          Basically you are trying to sound smart when in truth you are a fool; and i would love you to share your personal details, or even a clue, because like I said – Im a vegetarian so I have all the right to do damage to people that eat meat or seem past it, maybe ill put you in a slaughter van and take you across the States for a little trip. Deadly serious. You are true scum and I am more than glad to meet you to discuss this, that I guarantee. God you piss me off!

          1. Perch

            First of all Sam I don’t care if I piss you off. My figures come from the USDA. Look it up. The Animal Welfare Institute has slightly smaller numbers. 2007–78,061 and 2012 — 123,807 but that is only through November 2012.

            Read my comments a little better I did not say people that eat meat are not allowed to comment. I just feel it is a little hypocritical to sit down to a steak dinner and then be against horse slaughter. Slaughter is slaughter. It is inhumane no matter what the species.

            Vegetarianism is just one part. There are many other bi-products from slaughter. Most of all the leather almost everyone has. Do you think those animals died of old age??

            Last of all you wish to call people idiots and tell them their numbers are wrong?? Your whole comment is barely legible and if you wish to discuss thing with the adults please do some research.

            Oh by the way Dec. 13th 2013 a Federal Appeals Court lifted the ban on domestic horse slaughter. In other words the slaughter houses are opening again. I got that from AP. (Associated Press) Look it up if you like…

          2. Gaynor Henry

            I think that Perch and Sam need to stop getting into a pissing contest over whose facts are right and whose facts are wrong. The horse problem in America is multi-faceted. Wild horses are a problem for ranchers who want the land to graze cattle to make more money than they do already; it isn’t enouh that they have forced many family farms out of existence. The horse-racing industry in every country is vile; it is dirty and crooked and all about money. There are jockeys around who are absolutely horrid to their mounts, but as long as they win no-one seems to care. Show jumping is marginally better; the Tennessee walking horse group was recentlt rocked by abuses perpetrated on horses by trainers. The issue isn’t that a thorougbred was on her way to slaughter, she wasn’t the first and won’t be the last, thh issue is that any horse on it’s way to slaughter is too much. Unfortunately we have far too many horses and until we can find a way to regulate the number of horses we have (and cats and dogs too), the slaughter will continue one way or another.

        5. jazz R

          TB horses are used for racing and lining the purses of Millionaire’s only to be discarded like trash makes me sick. Anyone that can do this to a horse, well I hope there is a special place in HELL FOR THEM..!! I didn’t realize until recently that this went on with horses. I only recently came across the information. There needs to be a Horse ‘RESUE’ show on TV like there is “Pitbull” rescue shows..Depicting what really happens to Race Horses OR ANY HORSE FOR THAT MATTER..! Maybe that would get the word out to people regarding Horse Slaughter!! ! And anyone involved in the Racing industry who benefits from these animals sacrifice needs to be held accountable for how these animals spend their lives “after” racing, there needs to be a retirement fund set up for these 4 legged athletes or STOP RACING THEM!!!

          1. Perch

            Jazz, great ideas. Now are you going to follow through with them or are you going to just stand on your soap box with your make up(tested on animals} and leather shoes (cows did not die a natural death for your vanity).

            Why horses? Why are you not so concerned about the slaughter of cows, chickens, goats, sheep, and all the other livestock slaughtered in the United States and else where? Geography is one answer. The U.S. does not regularly offer horse for consumption so I guess the rest of the world should do as we do huh? How many wars has that got us into?

    2. John

      Unfortunately, this is the face of unmitigated greed. Once an animal has outlived its usefulness, obviously, the only thing left to do i to kill it. .

      1. Woodcutter52

        Ok, please explain to me what you are referring to when you say if an animal has outlived its “usefulness”. Does this apply to any animal? Cats, dogs, cows, or is this just meant for horses? If they cannot race and make money anymore for the greedy owner, has that horse outlived its usefulness? What about just allowing it to live peacefully in the barn/pasture, and have a happy life until its time is up on earth? Or do they consider that a waste of time and money if the horse cannot race anymore? I’m 1000% in support of letting the animals live a happy and long life, & I do not in any way support the rodeo. It’s a sick and dirty business, and only scumbags mistreat the animals involved in it. I’ve seen videos of some dirtbags beating horses, and causing them to break their legs in a rodeo, those POS are the ones that NEED to be shot on the spot. These beautiful animals were put on this eart for us to see and enjoy, in their natural habitat, not in a gdmned zoo, or rodeo. So, define please the word usefulness.

        1. Cheryl Gehrke

          Woodcutter I totally agree with you and I totally disagree with John. No animal has outlived its usefulness. An animal is useful standing out in the field enjoying its life. It brings joy to our hearts and souls. I am all for shutting down all horse racing and am involved with getting that done. I loved horse racing when I was a teenager and just married, but then I found out what happens to these horses and how they die way too soon and about the greedy owners who don’t care about the horses, only about the money they will earn through gambling. Horse racing has become a filthy industry riddled with graft. Animals are loved by GOd and He created them for us to love and care for and not to abuse. All I can say is May god reward them for what they do for their works are filthy and cruel. Everyone who is mean and abusive to animals will be accountable for their works that they did.

    3. threenorns

      when a horse has a broken leg or has been down for too long, the vast majority of the time, it IS best to put him down humanely. horses have a huge amount of weight resting on those delicately-built legs. unless they are confined in specialized equipment and basically suspended in the air to keep the weight off the bone, it will not heal. even if the bone does heal, it’s been broken – it will never be as strong as it was before and will always be vulnerable to another break. even something as simple as stepping off an unexpected height (such as when you don’t notice the curb before you step onto the road) can cause a refracture. it costs a fortune – i mean tens of thousands of dollars – to rehab a horse with a broken leg (IF it’s a good candidate) and that’s money that not a lot of ppl have.

      when a horse is a “downer” – been laying on the ground too long – they cannot get get up again. they lose mass very quickly and again, it’s to do with those delicate legs: lose more than the slightest bit of muscle mass and the legs simply cannot manage the bulk of the body. that’s one of the reasons the horse has the foot/ankle structure it does – when you look at a horse in action, whether it’s running, galloping, cantering, or whatever, you’ll see that the horse spends the majority of its time off the ground. basically, they fly with frequent touch-downs.

  201. JP

    I don’t know anything about racing or keeping horses, but I’m confused as to why her previous owner has not been charged with cruelty to animals.

    1. Smcgeein

      Once they are sold for slaughter the owner is no longer responsible for them. Sad as that may be. We rescued an OTTB who was a 2 on the Henneke body scoring system (1-9). He was in horrible shape. We brought him back to health from 750 to 1300 pounds, my daughter retrained him and he became a champion in our local dressage community his first year showing. He bonded with my daughter like I have never seen before. It’s not cheap or easy to do this but worth very penny.

      1. TA

        Here’s an idea: Make the racetracks accountable. There have been several cases of trainers reprimanded for allowing horses to be sold for slaughter. Someone needs to step in and create an un-favorable outcome for owners and trainers that persue this as an out-let. Hit ’em in the wallet, deny their racing license.

  202. Jeanne Mirabito

    Oh, and to ever who put her on that truck to begin with…please pray very hard that no one gives me your name.

    1. Victoria

      I second that motion…..or I will find you

      1. kathleen Romano

        I’ll third that! It is wonderful she made a complete recovery.

        1. wendi

          the problem is this is just one of the many out there, slaughter trucks pull up to the racetracks all the time, anyone who even goes to these events are contributing

    2. Mindy Lovell

      Press was sold at the Mixed Sale at Woodbine in November of 2010. At the time she was in foal to Philanthropist. In 2012 she had her last foal, sired by Milwaukee Brew – that is the yearling that just sold at the Select Sale at Woodbine on September 3, 2013. Press’s last owner was not Frank Di Giulio.

      1. Mindy Lovell

        No, I think they consigned her at the sale – she was purchased by someone else.

      2. Courteney Griffin

        Mindy, How can I go about finding out more info on my mare I have her tat and registered name and dob and what her breeders have told me and one of her old trainers but it’s not much I would really like to know more about her.

    3. Cheryl

      I AGREE people who put those poor animals on the truck should have some heart!!!!

    4. Christi Smith

      Love all animals trying to re home a ferel cat & I’m allergic! I love the dog whisper analogy we have 3 dogs one who is very special needs & I knew when I got him I may not have the length of years I want but he deserved a loving home. Now I hold my Baloo at night & beg him for 5 more years. With his hips & knees who knows. We can’t do 2,000 worth if surgery on him & try natural things. He’s only 4 & stole my heart when I didn’t think it possible. A piece of me will go with him. There must be a certain place animal abusers go. Thank you to all who pulled together for this horse. Shows not all of humanity sucks. My Baloo was not abused but loved by those who had him until he was ready to come home. Just a freaky thing really but the lady made us promise not to pour him down because he’s not perfect, he didn’t have the hip or knee issue then. I said no we’ll love him do all we can for him as many years as possible.

    5. laura haskins

      Until my eyes were opened to this “dirty little secret”, I enjoyed racing. I didn’t follow it, per se, but I’d watch The Big 3 when given the chance, and I did enjoy it. Then I found out about what happens to these animals once they are used up or injured and can’t “produce” any more. It’s disgusting. I haven’t watched a race since. People – not just real horse people, but the general public and casual watchers – need to see and hear these stories because, you’re right, attending and promoting these events is supporting this “industry”, and condones the treatment of these beautiful, noble beings.

      1. Gaynor Henry

        I too followed the big three and I still watch the occasional race just because I love horses, however when I stop and think about the abysmal way they are treated I feel sick. ANd after that I think about the money and the gamblers too. It’s a very dirty business…

  203. Jeanne Mirabito

    Tears…my heart goes out to this garnd lady. and also to those who stepped in to help her. To Mindy…I don’t even have the words to express what I want to say…I KNOW what you did and I KNOW how hard it was to first dedicate your heart then to carry through your duty. I am well aware of of how many sleepless nights you endured…
    And to Equine Advocates Sanctuary…now the fun begins!

    Hugs to Press Exclusive from all the Ladies at OMRH

  204. Kelly S.

    If you know Mindy you truly appreciate what she does. Like many rescues funds to help her are always a big problem. If you have the ability to make a contribution to Mindys group please do so. So many horses need help.

    1. Pat DiBiase

      How does one make a contribution?

  205. Cheryl Ann

    This story has brought tears to my eyes. A huge THANK YOU to those who came together to save this mare. I have a slaughter-bound thoroughbred myself, but thank goodness she was never on a truck. (((BIG HUG))) to all of you!

    1. Tane M.

      Why slaughter-bound??? Why can’t your thoroughbred finish out it’s days with you? I do not understand the need to send these beautiful creatures to slaughter. If you choose to own, they tend to them until their time is up.

      1. Kayla

        Tane, I think Cheryl meant that she currently has a a horse that was headed to the slaughter house, but she rescued it.. not that her horse is slaughter-bound. 🙂

        1. Tane M

          Ahhhh, ok, that makes a heart feel better!!! I truly do respect all those out there who rescue from slaughter. I wish this country never went back to accepting slaughter of these beautiful creatures.!!!

      2. Cheryl

        Well this is a terrific story Tane IS THIS the same question I asked my self all the time but last year I rescused a racehorse mare and her foal from slaughter… and there great! full health maybe her feet will never be the same but and I may not be able to ride her but she has a permanent home were she can be a horse and that is all I want for her and I don’t know I will do with her foal yet.
        but this story to brought tears to my eyes!!

    2. Susan

      How can you possibly send a horse to slaughter when it’s your horse? Have you no feelings? People like you shouldn’t be allowed to have a cat, dog , horse or any other living creature. These are God’s creatures, not yours! How dare you play God! If you have a pet take care of it, nurture it, love it till God calls it home.

      1. Shirley Mix

        Susan I could not agree with you more. Why get a pet or own one. I had to put down a donkey last week, it was not an easy decision, we both cried our eyes out. But is was for him he had gotten lame all the way round, and could hardly stand up.
        I still have three horses one of them cannot be ridden. But he is safe here.

  206. syb miller

    so glad to see this story and such a happy ending — mindy lovell is an awesome person, just incredible!


      How wonderful you are to do this. Here in the U.K my family also help the thoroughbred ex-racers – my daughter in law took in Prince Dayjur when he broke down and a lovely mare we call Evie who just didn’t have the speed to be kept in training. They both live in a 4 acre meadow with two pony companions – Prince Dayjur is fully retired but Evie is being gently ridden and re-training in dressage. The cost of grazing feed vets bills farriers etc., are all met out of her own pocket – just for the love of them. If only we could do this for all the discarded horses.

      1. Iris Fader

        God Bless you for helping these sweethearts you are and your family are guardian angels to these beautiful creatures. I wish the owners of these racehorses would just think they are not a meal ticket they are living creatures with a heart and soul and not to be discarded when they are not able to make money anymore they deserve to be in a beautiful pasture with love and people and other horses to live out the rest of there lives in luxury for all the work they have done. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart and I wish there where more people like you and your family may you have a wonderful xmas and prosperous new years

    2. Linda Merideth

      This is a wonderful ending for a beautiful horse who justly deserves it. I volunteer for the Animal Welfare League in Mississippi, and I know first-hand how cruel society can be to our animals… is such a shame, as they certainly don’t deserve it.
      I wish I could donate for the future care of this sweetheart, but the AWL ( doesn’t receive a penny from our city, county or state and we are aggressively battling excessive overpopulation of both dogs and cats in Washington County….we are always short of funds and have an outstanding vet bill. But I will definitely keep Press Exclusive in my thoughts & prayers!! I wish her the very, very best!!

    3. Olav Skov

      god bless you for saving her…. and to those responsible for her suffering I quote johnny cash ; god´s gonna cut you down!

      1. Kathleen Kennedy

        Could not have said it better myself! I totally agree with you! God Bless the people who help the innocent ones!!! I cannot believe what some people do to animals… it is beyond my comprehension…

    4. moi

      MWUAH! Awesome rescue group! Someday I plan to take it a horse from you <3 Racing horses is irresponsible and more light needs to be shed on this and this story so people stay away from the race track!!! People with conscience will and those who don't will rot in hell, just like the horse owners. THIS LIFE IS SHORT then you pay.

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