Hoover Sale Barn, New Holland, PA 2/6/16

Saturday, February 6, 2016 - 09:15
Investigation Category: 

When our investigators arrived at 9:30 a.m., the auction was already extremely busy and the mainly Amish attendants were busily test-driving horses on the track.

With approximately 450 horses for sale, the small stable was filled practically past its limit and the animals were standing with no room whatsoever to move, packed in together like sardines.



More horses, several of them slaughter prospects, were observed tied up outside in the field next to the track. Surprisingly, there were very few work horses present during this sale. Instead the majority of the horses present were Standardbreds/Saddlebreds. While the cheaper horses were crammed into the barn and secured to a feed trough, the more valuable horses were tethered to overhead beams from both sides of their halter, presumably in an attempt to prevent them from fighting with each other.

Investigators noted that in one pen, there were a total of 23 horses, all unkempt and filthy, some with halters that were too tight, that had been brought in by one seller.

Our investigators once again observed that most of the horses in the outside pens were sick with various stages of strangles infection. One particular horse was especially bad off, he continually held his head low, appeared weak, and apparently the strangles infection had already busted open as puss was dripping underneath his face.  None of these horses were offered for sale. They all wore blankets and had water and food available to them in buckets. However, some of the buckets had completely iced over in the frigid temperatures and the horses could only lick at the ice.

Investigators saw a group of horses kept separate in a pen in a field located at the middle of the track. These horses did not have sale tags.  The pen itself was extremely muddy with no dry spot whatsoever left for the horses to stand on and no shelter at all.  The horses were sinking into the mud up to their knees. Investigators observed water was pooling in at least half of the pen area.

In the back of the auction premises, investigators found a large group of mules and drafts kept in a field and a smaller barn, likely for upcoming sales. This secondary barn was also extremely muddy and completely covered in manure and frankly, appeared to have not been cleaned out in quite a long time.

Among the issues investigators noticed about the horses that were for sale this day was the fact that several were quite thin or had sores on their legs.  One horse was spotted with a wound on its hind knee and the knee itself was enlarged.

The auction started at 9:53 a.m. with the few work horses that were available for sale, several of which went to the kill buyers present. Chucky Beam was in attendance, apparently buying for Cranbury Sales Stable, as was the Maryland buyer for Brian Moore.

Brian Moore bought, among other horses, the following: 

  • a smooth mouth Belgian gelding, as is, signed EID, for $225
  • an older smooth mouth gelding the seller had used to haul manure, signed EID, for $100
  • an 11 year old gelding with a watery eye, for $375
  • an older gelding, blind in one eye, as is, for $145.