When investigators arrived at the auction at 9:10am, there were approximately 75 horses in the pens. The” loose” horses started running through the ring at 9:30am. 65 horses were sold, several were lame or thin, several had open cuts and one mare was crippled on her right front (possibly a broken fetlock that was not cared for). Most of the horses were purchased by local kill buyers Charles Carter and Jeff Smith.
The ride through/registered sale started at 12:30 PM. 30 horses were sold, 12 were purchased by Carter and Smith. At 1:25 PM, 12 additional loose horses went through the auction ring, one was lame on his front and one appeared to be suffering from Cushing’s disease.
Carter and Smith’s horses were moved to the west end chutes at 2:00 PM. Carter’s semi truck/trailer backed to the chutes and they started loading at 2:15 PM. A 3 year old stallion was loaded with the other horses and horses could be heard kicking and fighting in the trailer. 44 horses were crammed into the single deck trailer and no dividers were placed. The loading was finished at 2:40 PM and the truck pulled out of the auction parking lot at 4:12 PM. The truck headed east on Highway 50 towards Lamar, CO. At 5:00 PM, the truck pulled into Lamar Truck Plaza. At 5:20 PM, the truck left the truck stop and continued south on US 286 towards the Morton slaughter horse feedlot.