Winter Livestock Auction, La Junta, CO 3/25/11

Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 16:15
Investigation Category: 

Investigators arrived at the auction at 8:17 am, there were approximately 60-70 horses already in the pen area. Among them were a mare with a 2 month old foal and 9 pregnant mares, tagged for the loose horse sale. In another pen were 8 weanlings, all with very bad hooves.  At the west end of the pen area, there were 8 horses not tagged for sale. 2 of them were pregnant and 4 were very thin.  We noticed that there were 7 brand inspectors present at the sale. The loose horse sale started at 9:35 am. Known kill buyers in attendance were Charles Carter buying under numbers 101 and 105 and Bud Shirley buying under number 102. 50 horses sold in 21 minutes, including the pregnant mares, several weanlings, yearlings and the mare with the foal. Afterwards, the kill buyers headed to the pen area and started moving horses to Carter’s pens. No auction employees helped and all the brand inspectors were in the restaurant. The handling was chaotic. Carter’s truck was backed to the chutes and started loading horses at 11:45am. Investigators noticed that Bud Shirley’s horses were also loaded on Carter’s truck. The truck left the auction at 12:13 pm and headed east on Highway 50. The 8 horses that had not been tagged for sale were gone, too.  The ride through/registered horse sale started at 13:25pm and ended at 14:52pm.The remaining loose horse sale started at 14:53pm and ended at 15:00pm. A total of 122 horses sold, Carter bought 53 and Bud Shirley bought 21 horses. Carter loaded his resale horses into his stock trailer and headed to his feedlot. 31 horses remained in the pens, likely to be picked up the next day. Investigators left at 7:00pm.