Cranbury Sales Stables, formerly known as "Camelot Horse Auction," is a small auction in New Jersey, which holds a weekly sale selling different small animals and horses. The auction is held on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m., starting with tack and equipment. Horses are sold at 8:00 p.m. The business also advertises on Facebook, posting photos and videos of the horses before each sale. They are also linked to an online networking/broker page that advertises their horses to private individuals.
This system has proven very profitable for the people who own and manage the sale – they obtain these horses cheap at other auctions and then resell them at often inflated prices to their customers. Horses sold through the ring for $600 or less, or sold via the Facebook networking page, are sold “as is” with no guarantee.
Multiple complaints have been made to Animals’ Angels about the condition and treatment of the horses at this auction.
Our investigators arrived at the sale on June 7th at 6:00 p.m. It was noted that while the inside pens were well lit and clean, the stalls, which were approximately 5’ x 10’, were dark and filthy, filled with urine and feces. It was obvious they had not been cleaned in some time.
On this day, there were 26 horses, 8 donkeys, approximately 12 poultry, 5 rabbits, and 8 ducks present.
The majority of the horses were tied to posts which kept them restricted and therefore unable to access the water in the troughs. Several of the horses kept in the stalls were likewise restricted and unable to reach the dirty water in the buckets that had been provided.
The small animals and birds were kept in wooden crates and cardboard boxes, some completely closed, offering very little air flow, for hours without access to food or water.
There were two horses of particular concern to our investigators. One was a 12-year-old Belgian gelding who was quite thin, with ribs clearly showing. He had scars all over his body, legs, and face, and had apparently been a farm worker.
Another horse had something obviously wrong with his hind left leg as he could not lower the leg to place the hoof on the ground. Investigators were told this horse had come from an Amish farm.
The handling of the horses and donkeys through the ring was adequate. No equipment was used, instead the animals were led through with a lead rope or reins. Likewise, the loading after the sale was also done in the same manner – with the animals being led by hand. The small animals, on the other hand, were treated rather roughly.
Four of the horses going through the sale were purchased by the Strain Family Horse Farm out of Connecticut. Online research revealed that there are several complaints against this farm.
Our investigators spoke with one of the representatives, “Bill,” who advised they buy from these auctions and then “polish up the horses” to resell them for double and sometimes triple the price. The Strain Family Horse Farm has been frequenting Cranbury Sales Stables since it was Camelot Horse Auction at least as far back as 2011.
Despite the fact that they are clearly engaged in interstate commerce, no DOT number was found on the Strain Family Horse Farm truck, which is a violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Animals’ Angels will continue to monitor the activities at Cranbury Sales Stables and report all violations observed.