Investigators returned to the weekly horse sale at New Holland Sales Stables on March 21, 2016. Upon arrival at 8:40 am, they immediately noticed that there were several horses with multiple cuts on their faces in the loose horse pens, injuries likely sustained in transport. A Paint was especially affected with a bleeding forehead injury as well as another serious cut above his left eye.
Outside was a severely neglected horse that should have never been accepted by the sale barn in its condition. The hooves were severely overgrown to the point that they were curling up and one eye was so infected that it was swollen shut. It appeared very weak. The horse was also lice infested; the overall condition was just deplorable.
One of the auction employees noticed investigators looking at the animal and immediately grabbed the horse to take it outside to shoot it. While it is a good development that suffering horses are euthanized by the auction, we do feel that horses in that bad of a condition, with such obvious signs of neglect, should be reported to local law enforcement upon arrival rather than accepted for sale by auction management.
It is also concerning that action was taken only when auction workers realized that the horse had been seen by investigators, at which point it was shot rather than being attended to by a vet. After the horse was shot it was immediately transported to the auction’s dumpster and discarded.
The horse sale started with the regular kill buyers in attendance. Horse peddler Cranbury Sales Stables was present with a tractor trailer and two pickup trucks with stock trailers. Of particular note: there was a horse inside the single deck trailer belonging to Cranbury Sales Stables that was very agitated and kicking against the trailer sides. However, due to the completely enclosed trailer model it was impossible to see what was going on inside. Trailers of that type should not be used for horse transport since it is much safer to be able to easily look inside and view the animals en route to check on their condition.
Cedar Ridge Farm from Louisa, VA was also present as were Brian Moore and Bruce Rotz.
Animals’ Angels will once again reach out to New Holland Sales Stables to discuss the noticeable deterioration in the condition of the horses arriving at the auction and being accepted for sale, and potential ways to improve the situation.
We strongly believe that if auction management, as well as their veterinarian, would take a stronger stand against neglect and abuse, much suffering could be avoided altogether and in addition, the owners delivering these animals to New Holland would be forced to face the consequences they well deserve.