Stephenville Horse Auction, TX 3/1/13

Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 13:00
Investigation Category: 

Investigators attended the monthly horse auction in Stephenville, TX. The large auction has an indoor auction ring, office and restaurant as well as a catwalk overlooking a large, covered pen area. Additional outdoor pens without shelter are located at the back of the premises. None of the pens visible from the catwalk had any food or water. There were approximately 350 horses offered for sale that day, the majority of them could be found in the “loose” horse pens in the back. Several were thin and some were observed limping. The riding horses were sold first. Afterwards, the “slaughter prospects” were moved from the outside pens to the large pens next to the auction ring by workers on horseback. The workers moved large groups of 20 or more horses through the alleys, which created problems. Too many horses were driven to the pen entrance at the same time, resulting in fighting and kicking. The worker was observed multiple times hitting them hard over face and head with a short whip. Several local kill buyers were present at the sale, driving pick-up trucks with extra-long canvas top stock trailers. Bill Richardson’s red semi and single deck trailer was backed up to the loading ramp. He had arrived at the auction at 7:00pm, coming straight from the Presidio export pens. Three rejects from the export pens were inside his trailer and kept there during the entire sale. The semi of O’Dwyer, who frequents the Eagle Pass export pens, arrived at the sale at 9:00pm and parked next to the pens in the back. The sale ended at 10:30pm. Bill Richardson was among the last ones to load. While the rejects were still in the front compartment of his trailer, he added another 20+ horses.  He left the auction with a full load at 11:47pm.