Investigators arrived at the Shipshewana horse sale at 8:52 AM. Little activity was occurring but, horses were steadily coming in. By the time the sale started there were approximately 100 horses, 12 ponies and one mule.
The loose horse pens were crowded and there was no food or water available for any of the horses despite the temperature in the barn was in the mid 80’s. There were four or five thin horses (BCS 2). One thin horse was in one of the back pens away from the auction barn and was not part of the auction.
The “loose” horse sale started at 10:49 AM. The usual kill buyers were in attendance as the sale proceeded quickly. The sale ended at 11:05 AM with approximately 40 horses and 4 ponies sold in 16 minutes. The horses bought by kill buyer Gold (Roping J Ranch) were taken to the back pens in the back barn. Investigators remained to observe the loading of these horses, however, the horses were not loaded as of 6:00 PM.
Two horses were sold separately from the other horses in the back pens, possibly due to some type of injury or other issue. One of the horses, a paint, appeared to have problems with putting weight or using her rear legs.
As the bidding began the auction owner told a bidder he knew, “You don’t want this one. She walks like we do.” It is apparent that Mr. Lambright was aware of the horse’s condition but sold her anyway for $40.00. During the loose horse auction, selling prices ranged from $5.00 to $290.00. There were two no sales.