Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yesterday, I was Angry

So angry that I was literally shaking. Today, I'm just feeling washed out and defeated.

We made, we thought, real progress in getting one of the larger trainers at Finger Lakes to list his horses with us. This is a trainer who was a real pig last year over an old warrior of 10 or 11 who needed a safe landing. He gave us absolutely no cooperation, but, eventually, through the work of several people on an internet forum, this horse was purchased and delivered safely to the Old Friends facility near Saratoga, NY.

This year, his barn manager, a lovely young woman, has called us several times, asking us to list horses for sale. The horses were beautiful, well cared for and in good health. Word is that this trainer does care well for his horses, recognizing that a healthy, fit horse is more likely to win. She listed them at reasonable prices for OTTB's right off of the track, and they have sold well. We were so pleased that we now had a pipeline to get these horses into second careers.

Last week, we listed eight of them. All of them were, characteristically, well kept, well fed and, in general, well looked after. They included one nine year old gelding who was absolutely stunning, but would be a hard placement because of his age. I was working hard to get him placed, and having some success. Most of them were listed at $1,000, which is a reasonable price for horses of this quality. Especially since there was a little wiggle room, for negotiation.

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from the barn manager. She was very upset, but had to tell me that the trainer had ordered her to raise the prices on all of these eight horses. Not by just a little, but by thousands of dollars. Some are now listed at $3,500, and the lowest prices are $2,000. That's the price for that old warrior. Now, these horses don't stand a chance of being sold. He will hold them for the remaining couple of months, paying for their keep all the while. I'm betting that some of them will end up, at the end of the season, being shipped to Puerto Rico, to race there. At the end of their careers there, there is a good possibility that they will be euthanized, and dumped into the ocean.

I was so angry that this trainer's greed had ruined any chance for these horses to find a home. I have changed the listings, but, I have done it in such a way that any interested buyers are aware of what the old price was. Hopefully, if people are interested in the horses, they will call and try to negotiate to the old price.

I spent the whole evening thinking of what I was say to this trainer when and if I saw him. How I would tell him what a poor excuse of a human being he was, and how despicable his greed was. I thought that, maybe, it would do more to mock him, rather than castigate him. Maybe, giving him the nickname of Peewee, for his small brain size would do more good than yelling at him.

But, this morning, I can't feel any emotion except despair. Confronting him in any way isn't going to change anything. He proved that last year, when people were begging him to give that old campaigner a safe landing. He's just a son of a bitch (I'm sorry for the bad language, but, he is), and nothing is ever going to change. I just hope I don't see him, because I don't know how I can bring myself to even speak to him.

My heart just aches for those eight horses.

The old warrior that we have listed this year.  What a beauty he is.

13 comments:

Sharon said...

At night, a person has a different perspective on things than in the cold light of day. I'm so sorry, Louise.
Greed is terrible, I hope that guy gets his just reward... and soon!

Tina said...

Makes me so sad, sometimes it's so hard to win and loose some of those battles, and nothing really can console one on that, not all the previous successes, nothing, because you can't do anything for those particular horses in that given moment. I feel your despair, and your anger, and like Sharon said, greed is terrible. I just hope and pray everything will turn out alright. What a shame! Maybe it's time for a letter to the editor or something like that, making people aware of other's greed and lack of regard for animal welfare.....but who the heck am I try to kid? We all have seen how that goes over in justice and society...shame on some humans. Shame on them!

Canyon Girl said...

I'm so sorry too. Are you familiar with the story of the starfish: When thousands of them landed on the beach and a boy threw as many as he could back in the ocean. A man asked: "Why are you bothering, what difference does it make, you won't be able to save them all?" The boy answered as he threw one back: "It made a difference to that one." I know this is a small consolation when the life of these beautiful animals are at stake. I hope that guy gets his and that you will be able to let this disappointment go as you continue with your great good work for the horses. Lots of hugs, Inger

AJ-OAKS said...

Oh Louise I feel your anger, despair and frustration. Greed is downright ugly and always will be. On FB when the kill broker horses are listed it makes me sad because the horses have no idea what is in store for them if they are not bailed and angry as all hell looking at the smiling people riding/holding the horses because all I see is their greed. They don't care how they get their money whether it be through bail money or blood money, so long as they get that almighty dollar is all that counts to them.
It would do no good to say anything to that worthless piece of shit who owns those horses whose prices he has increased. All that can be done is to put out the prayers that all the horses will be bought by loving, caring people.
The Old Warrior is one fine looking gentleman!
I truly believe that we all have to answer in the end! In the meantime, we do what we can and save as many as we can. WE can look ourselves in the mirror and like what we see. Can't say that about the greedy people.
Hugs to you! Keep up your hard work and faith.

Vicki Lane said...

Of course you are sad -- but please keep on doing your best for the horses. I hope there'll be a good outcome for them all. Life can be overwhelming . . .

Wishing for my turn said...

so sorry for your stress...sending you (((hugs)))
hopefully things will work out...Old Warrior is a great looking horse!!!!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

sending you more hugs!!!!! from North Wales...........

if all else fails..... give him a huge slap!!!!!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Oh Louise, I'm so sorry to hear this, and can certainly understand your anger at this so called human being. It's really sad that money is the motivator here and not what's the right and best thing to do for the horses that have given so much. I will hope that his heart is softened and that a positive outcome for these beautiful horses is found!

Upupaepops said...

Louise you know my sentiment about those that take advantage of animals.

This lovely bold upright bay fellow would find a way into my home if I could. How correct is he. I bet he could make FEI dressage simple.

Bless you for your love and compassion. Continue to work on wearing down this trainer. I have pity for his BM, she likely feels used .

I would not bet on her being with him next season.

Terry said...

Oh Louise, I'm so sorry.

Woodswalker said...

Thank God for people like you, who try to defend the creatures others would harm. You do what you can.

Gale said...

OMG, if I didn't have a barnful of donkeys and had the money, I'd pay it just to look at that "old warrior" everyday. What a shoulder! Sure do hope someone will save him. Don't see too many like that!

barefootheart said...

What a very sad story. I can't say I'm too surprised though. For many, racing is a business like any other, and horses are just garbage when they are used up. We had a standardbred track near us at my former location. Many, many standarbreds don't get the homes they deserve in spite of groups that try to do their best. It's a similar story for greyhounds. I've heard that the rise of casinos and lotteries has cut into racetrack gambling and will eventually decrease the number of horses in the trade. I love to see a beautiful racehorse, but I wouldn't be sorry to see this sport end.