At this New Holland sale barn, horses had no hay, all water buckets located in pens were empty and handling was rough. The crowd was large, mainly Amish. Auctioneer Mel Hoover announced that over 300 horses were to be sold, with 60 sold in the first hour. These first horses were in generally poor shape, several were emaciated, and one was infected with strangles. They sold for little money. A black draft horse blind in the left eye went for $75. In an alley investigators observed another draft horse (tag# 070) down between 2 other drafts. Handlers continued to get him standing again, but the horse continued to go back down. Investigators were told the horse was brought in from far away and was just “tired”.
The auctioneer maintains a running commentary at odds with the condition of these horses, such as, “Coggins ready and good to go.” Outside 5 horses were severely agitated and crammed into one small extremely overcrowded box stall. They kicked, bit and fought continuously. Several other severe fights between horses in similar stalls were observed. Investigators commented it seemed a miracle no horses were killed or badly injured at this auction where overcrowding is a huge problem, with nowhere near the facilities necessary to safely and humanely accommodate 300 horses.