Investigators observed the red semi and canvas top single deck trailer of Bill Richardson leave the Presidio export pens. 4 rejects were loaded in the front compartment of the trailer. Richardson is one of the largest suppliers of slaughter horses to the Presidio pens, shipping multiple loads each week. Richardson has been in the slaughter business for a long time and has violated the Commercial Transport of Equines to slaughter regulations several times. In 2006, he was fined $30,000 for transporting multiple horses blind in both eyes, downers, horses with severe injuries and unable to bear weight on all four legs. Some of the injuries were so severe, that the horses had to be euthanized immediately upon arrival at the plant. USDA inspectors reported “legs being grounded off” and lacerations so deep that bone was visible. Unfortunately, Richardson was not impressed by this fine and continued to conduct business as usual. Horses continued to die in his trailers and his fine increased to $77,825.
When investigators followed his trailer from Presidio, they noted that the driver was driving extremely fast, with speeds exceeding 85 mph. It was a team of drivers operating the truck, since they had delivered horses to the export pens that same morning and then drove back north after only a short break. The truck turned onto I-20 East and started heading towards Whitesboro, where Bill Richardson operates a holding facility. However, at 6:37pm, the truck left the interstate and started heading to Stephenville on 281 South. At 7:00pm, the truck arrived at the town’s monthly horse sale and backed up to the loading ramp. By now was dark, but investigators managed to take a quick look inside the trailer. The rejects were all standing, one was thin and another one appeared to have a swollen knee. They remained inside the trailer for the entire duration of the auction. At 11:20pm, the drivers loaded horses purchased at the sale onto the trailer and left the premises. After a brief stop at the local truck stop, the truck continued heading towards Whitesboro. At 3:00am, the truck finally arrived in Whitesboro. It was completely dark and investigators were not able to film anything and therefore decided to return the next morning. The trip took approx. 15.5 hours, which is extremely long for these already weakened rejects.