A Guest Blog by Stephanie Lambert
6, 2012 1:23pm
"I hear that you are trying to speak up for Ravishly. I am glad that she has an
advocate. Do you have any actual information or are you just picking up others
"No, I have been in contact with Adena, Michael Iavarone, the woman who placed
her and am going from there. I just want to tell of her story and get all the facts out there and how many
hands she went through and what exactly happened and how we all failed her. To
tell her story is to give her justice."
"I know about her last 12 hours but I will only share if I do not get quoted or
dragged into discussions, I am so tired. But am happy for someone to accurately
know and do this."
"What is your name?"
"Stephanie. Can I however use the info to backtrack, I won't use your name, I
Promise. Thank you so much."
"So I had a secret buyer at Unadilla, since they are getting touchy about my
presence. He saw the three tb mares, they were all very nice girls, came in together. Ravishly was the thinnest.
There were all new buyers, no regular faces. It's part of the KB's hiding their
identity, since we bid directly against them."
"It's really become a war, we have become an adversary. We used to just be a nuisance. Now we are bringing them down. So they hate us. Step carefully."
"So, there were few buyers, but one bought Ravishly for $50. She did not sell to
a 'kill buyer'. Do you know what that actually is?"
"Not yet, but I am learning."
"One person per state is designated as a shipper who is legally allowed to
transport across the border. So that it's not a free for all. So technically, she did not sell to a KB. This is an important distinction, because the EU is stepping up their regs. No
one violated the regs, this was all legal.
Problem was the buyer was actually purchasing on behalf of a renderer."
"Renderers are just doing their job, usually picking up DEAD horses. He sells to a company INSIDE the United States that makes dog food. Those companies only care that the horse was not euthanized.
She was not. She would have been Shot. Technically this is faster and more humane then slaughter.
But I know that is not a comfort."
"Somewhat at least."
"The renderer left with four LIVE horses that night. He cannot KILL them there.
She and the other horses were DEAD within 12 hours."
"But they did NOT ship to Canada. It will be an important distinction if you pursue this. Nothing illegal was done ... Just Immoral. The other two tb's sold elsewhere. Not to him. We are trying to find them.
At least she did not live for days in a kill pen, overcrowded, injured, scared. It was quick. But it hurts."
"Thank you for telling me."
"This is why I have no sleep, no clean clothes, no money. My conveniences are nothing compared to saving a life."
"I am starting to being to understand."
"I am happy that you will take up her torch."
"This is the first time I have ever had a Mare go to my heart. I feel like she is part of a Holocaust."
"I am still working on prosecuting the people who dumped ****, Yes, it's awful."
"I know, I cried over her."
"My mare ^^^^, dumped, pregnant, at auction..."
"She sold to kill but kill didn't want her, with her bleeding head and
misstep ... She is happy now, getting fat. I literally cannot take them all."
"I wished I lived closer I would be there every day."
"So speak for Ravishly. Tell her tale. Tell it accurately. It's awful and needs to be told."
"I am going to tell it far and wide. I want it accurate. I want the truth. She deserves the truth."
"The sad truth is that we know what happened because we were so upset that we
made calls the next day to try and buy her back... But it was too late..."
"OMG ... I so wish you had gotten her."
"And this Friday, at Unadilla, will be more tb's being dumped."
"Sick, Sick, Sick."
"It's called the forgotten auction for a reason."
"I feel so helpless."
"But you know, sadly, you will get more attention for her gone, then I could
alive. Each of our horses is a miracle but no one seems to see that. I've been up since 2am ... not getting enough sleep ... too much to do."
"Someone, somewhere is responsible, starting with the farm who did not do a
check back after 90 days. That CAN be changed. Less than 10 months after her last check she was dead."
"I can best relate what I know is true."
"No, the woman who had bred her told me so herself, as if it were nothing."
"Oh, really… Does she still have one? Get her."
"Thanks for telling her tale."
"I will not ever use your name, I promise. I will just tell the story."
"I will stand by what I have said but I am so tired and overwhelmed and it's not
important anyway ... the truth is what is important. xo"
That is the last 12 hours of Ravishly's life as best as I know.
But it did not start out that way. She was Born February 15, 2001 at Adena
Springs Farm, sold for 75,000 dollars at auction and raced for IEAH Stables. She was their first winner. She was 8-0-1.
and earned & 27,199. Her last race was in 2005, Ravishly had been running
in claiming races at Aqueduct, Belmont, Monmouth, and Saratoga. Her last recorded race was 2/18/2005 at Aqueduct.
She was then sent to Saratoga Glen Farm to the care of Kathy and Dan
Barraclough, where she was to become a broodmare until 2011. Her foals were
from Desert Warrior, Ten Most Wanted, Midas Eyes, Frost Giant, and Wild Desert
in 2011. I was told she was "retired" from being a broodmare because
her offspring did not produce the results they had hoped for. From there she
was given to a girl as a private "pet" horse.
Here is what was posted
on my FB page from Kathy Barraclough:
<<<<Kathy wrote: "My husband Dan and I own
Saratoga Glen Farm and were entrusted by IEAH in September of 2011 to find
Ravishly a good home which we did. We had loved and cared for Ravishly for the
better part of six years. After watching the performance of her first two foals
the decision was made to stop breeding her. We found her a home with a nice
family. As with all of the horses we sell or place, we told the new owners if
there was ever a time when they could no longer care for her or lost interest
in having a horse we would gladly take her back, no questions asked. We
continued to check on Ravishly for three months after giving her to her new
owners. While it is tragic I think it is unfair to hold IEAH responsible for
something that happened 14 months after she left their care. Dan and I liked Ravishly
so much that we actually purchased her yearling from IEAH. We are saddened by
Ravishly's death but after a horse leaves our care it is impossible for you to
force others to act in a humane and responsible manner.">>>>
I do not know if there was a contract on this horse as a
giveaway. I do not know if there was a contract from IEAH Stables to Saratoga
Glen Farms putting them in total responsibility of the horse either. It was not 14 months either; it was less than a year. The "Good" Family
she was placed with was the Family who underfed her, allowed her to become
injured from Barbed Wire and took her to the auction and sold her to the
renderer for 50 dollars.
Here is my correspondence with Michael Iavarone in response to
an email I has sent to Adena Springs. I do realize it was an inconvenient time,
but as I was also in the Northeast I dealt with it.
I received this email from Adena who asked me to respond. Although we are
dealing with difficult conditions in the northeast I am glad you brought this
to our attention.
is a very tragic ending and certainly one we could have never envisioned. This
mare was very well taken care of by us, and was healthy, and sound at the time
she assumed new ownership. She was not bred at the time we gave her to the farm
that was keeping her for us. We have been selling off or giving away our mares
and horses as part of a dispersal plan.
We have given away many horses to become pleasure horses over many years. This
is the first time anything like this has ever happened. We are terribly upset
by the incident and are going to do a full investigation as to what took place
from the moment she was no longer under our ownership. I will also have my
staff follow up on other horses we have given as pleasure horses in the past.
Our hearts go out to Ravishly and we thank you for showing compassion for these
wonderful horses. We will certainly keep you in the loop as we gain more
With that being said I would like to know if you would like to be on the list
of people who would like to accept retired race horses? Right now we do not
have any but I know some owners that are looking for people like yourself.
Regards, Michael Iavarone
I feel that it was condecesnding at best, and I am almost certain he already
knew what had happened to this horse, actually from my sources I am positive he
knew. IEAH should already have "Check Backs " in place for his horses...sigh....I
have other corrispondence but it is not to be put on a public forum.
From Saratoga Glen Farms she was placed with a "Good"
family, Within one year this family brought her to auction, with 2 other Mares.
She was thin and had a barbed wire injury on her leg.
Ravishly was not passed around from home to home, she was with
the family that she was "Placed" with and "Checked" on (for
only 90 days) and told that she could be "returned". Yet when asked, "Why she did not simply bring the horse back?" the
reply was," I did not know I could," The question was asked,
"Why she did not try to find a home for her?" and the reply was,
"I did not think anyone would want her with that barbed wire injury on her
The last correspondence I received is this from Saratoga Glen
<<The manner in which you chose to address this issue was
appalling, and as is typically the case your knee jerk reaction will have
unintended consequences that you did not foresee. IEAH has always allowed to us to take care of their horses in the best
possible fashion. They continue to pay us board while we re-school and re-home
their retired geldings and mares. We typically place between 5 and 10 horses per year. Why would public entities such
as IEAH, Ramsey, Adena, Joe Torre, etc risk the bad publicity that people like
you generate when 1 out of 20 horses they have been re-homed ends up at slaughter. >>
It seems cavalier and cold to me, I think that when this much
money is made by the industry, BY the HORSES themselves, the least they can do
is hire someone to be in charge of the placement of horses and check-backs.
Ravishly was underweight and hurt. It was obvious and a check-back would have
discovered it. She could have and should have been saved.
The two places in this whole story that could have saved this
Mares life was a check-back policy of 6 months and 1 year as standard practice.
If you are only placing 5-10 horses I do not see this as life altering. It is
standard practice in the Canine Breeding world and there are many more dogs out
there than there are Horses. I bred GSD's for over 10 years and I could tell
you where every one of them are, it is called a notebook, a computer, and a
phone, If even by a phone call someone had reached out to this child she would
have known to have given the horse back, the second place is to have Contracts
in place, which not only protects the Farms and Stables but also allows charges
to be brought against the "Family" who did not return the horse and
broke the contract.
I can only state the facts here, I can only speak the truth, A
beautiful mare by the name of Ravishly was Shot, Murdered, rendered, thrown in
a vat and boiled down for God only knows what. She once grazed in fields and
ran on the sweeping turns of Belmont, she nursed her young, she slept out in
the stars, she gave kisses for peppermints ... She was Loved ... Then she
became part of the Holocaust of the Unadilla Auctions.
I have tried to tell this story with just facts and as little
emotion as possible, but I cried for 2 weeks for this horse, I lost sleep,
weight and almost my love of Horse Racing. It is through the efforts of Adena
Farms, Rosemary Farm and many others that have placement programs, rescue and
go to auctions to save as many horses they can that saved my faith and gave me
Please donate where you can. Offer a home where you can. Boycott
rendered products. Help change laws. We need to be the voice for the helpless.
We need to do right, because it is right.