Investigators attended the monthly horse sale in Middleburg, PA. Upon arrival at 9:30am, they noticed that there were already approx. 130 horses, 12 minis and 2 donkeys inside the pen area. As usual, the “loose” horses were held in the darkest area of the barn, crammed together groups of 5 horses/pen. No food or water was provided to these horses. Several were observed with swollen knees, overgrown hooves, fresh cuts and ribs showing. A Belgium draft horse was observed with a fetlock injury. A stallion was put in one of the small, single horse pens. He was extremely agitated and covered in sweat, scratching the pen floor and pushing against the fencing. Outside, members of the Amish community were test driving horses.
The sale started later than usual due to technical problems. Loose horses sold at an extremely fast pace, all of them were in and out of the ring within 15 minutes. An unknown buyer was bidding for Brian Moore, whose semi and single deck trailer was parked next to the auction barn. Loose horses sold for as little as $5, while prices for Amish buggy horses were as high as $3,900. Buyer #5 was observed buying most of the limping and emaciated horses between $5 and $15. Brian Moore had little competition due to the fact that Rotz Livestock was not present at the sale.