Winter Livestock Auction, La Junta, CO 9/24/10
Investigators arrived at 0830 and found approximately 80 horses in the pens. Many of the horses were mares with foals and most of the mares appeared to be pregnant. One of the mares had an enlarged knee, about the size of a cantaloupe; she was pregnant and still had a three month old foal by her side. Kill Buyer Bud Shirley & Dennis Chinn were in attendance at the auction. During the loose horse sale, 56 horses ran through in 15 minutes. Investigators discovered that all the mares and foals were from a dispersal sale of the Garcia Ranch, which is located in the San Juan Valley of Colorado. The mare with the enlarged knee was the last of the Garcia horses and was purchased by a kill buyer.
Investigators called the Garcia Ranch to inform them that many of their horses including the pregnant mares were bought for slaughter. The reply from them was “we are fine with that.” This is a prime example of irresponsible breeding. At 1910, Carter began loading. Carter’s driver was using an electric prod on the horses and was moving the horses quickly as it was getting dark. A total of 168 horses were run through the sale. Carter’s representative purchased 77 horses, and Shirley purchased 39 horses.