Winter Horse Auction, La Junta, CO 4/25/14

Friday, April 25, 2014 - 09:00
Investigation Category: 

Investigators arrived at the monthly horse sale at 9:00am. It appeared to be a very slow sale day and only a few pens in the extensive pen area were occupied. The majority of the horses had access to hay and water and were in good condition with the exception of a bay horse with an injury on its left hind leg. The leg was swollen and skin abrasions were visible. 

The “loose” horse sale started at 9:30am. 22 horses, 1 burro and 1 filly were sold. The horses sold “by the pound” and at a fast pace. Prices ranged from 0.32-0.50 cents/lbs. Kill buyers Jason Fabrizius and Charles Carter were in attendance, buying most of the horses that went through the ring.  Jason appeared to be very nervous and continuously looked around the auction ring. The sale ended at 10:00am and tack sold next. The investigators left the auction ring and waited outside for the riding horse sale to start. Suddenly, they were confronted by the auction manager, who wanted to know the purpose of their presence. He stated that they “wanted no problems” and that “everything was done the right way” at his establishment and that the investigators would be removed if they caused any issues.

 Afterwards, the investigators checked on the horses again. There were only a  few riding horses in the pen area. 

All the “loose” horses had been moved to large pens on the right side of the auction barn. A stud had been moved into the same pen with several mares and was trying to breed them. A lot of fighting and kicking was observed. The riding horse sale ended at 12:15pm. Shortly thereafter, Jason started to load his horses. As usual, his handling was aggressive and impatient,

 forcefully using a whip to make the frightened horses move into the trailer. 

At the same time, Charles Carter loaded his horses on the other side of the property. All loading was finished at 12:50pm and both Carter and Jason Fabrizius left the premises. 

There was no more activity.