Oh good. I'm so glad to hear this!
I remember the Ellsworth situation very well. And as I quoted above Whitney Tower's article details much of the abuse and also incidents he saw personally involving Ellsworth and Swaps. Tower details the Passin problems and speaks about the attempt to buy Main Chance Farm. One of the issues that Tower makes clear is that for a long time there was shoddy record keeping in the breeding operations so much so that people refused to send mares to his stallions because they weren't sure who the sire of the foals were.
I would say that Tower's article in Sports Illustrated detailing Ellsworth's problems is probably the source of the view of when and where Iron Reward died and given Tower's stellar reputation it has never been thoroughly challenged. You may grit your teeth in frustration about the report, but that is the source that people quote.
Thanks for the update
Sounds like it
Thanks for the info. These type of situations so upset me as I have had horses for years and my last two guys are 32 and 25 yrs old respectively.
That's good to know. You might want to let pedigree enquiry know this as it is listed as further information under Iron Reward and is Also in the referenced Sports illustrated article. As the article pointed out the younger horses on the farm were supposedly cared for, but the older horses were being systematically starved.
One further issue I have is with the horse Silver Cliff. The horse was placed through the Thoroughbred Retirement and then was rehomed by his other adopters. Normally in any agreement I have seen, if an adopter cannot for whatever reason keep an animal they were required to turn the animal back over to the charity and they are expressly forbidden to re home the animal themselves. And the reason of course is to try and prevent a situation like this from occurring where the horse is placed through Facebook, etc.
No problem. If ownership is an issue, it is very difficult to get the animal help. Sadly what I found is if the owner doesn't sign the animals over, the animal has to be in dire circumstances to be called abuse in most cases. Which seems to be ridiculous, but that is the reality.
I also added a bit about the issue of abandonment in the comment which to summarize is that it is a factual determination and in my experience involves a waiting period and a certified letter to the owner in order to declare an animal fully abandoned. I have seen this most often with an animal left at a vets office. In some states the requirement for declaring an animal "abandoned" involved a shorter time frame with a vet than in other circumstances. This was true in CT. Not sure obviously in KY.
I didn't see that, but am not surprised. And Paulick's article was horrific. I don't know the law in KY, but in NC trying to get an animal that is classified as livestock out of an abusive situation is a nightmare.
Most animal control is in the Dept. of Agriculture and there is a lot of discretion as to what constitutes animal abuse and much is left to the discretion of the sheriff's dept. in the area. Further many vets are not willing to involve themselves in these situations for whatever reason.
We had a situation near where I keep my horses of several horses starving to death and the sheriff would come out and sometimes the owner would be forced to get hay etc. in for the horses. There was little follow through and we would continue to call. This went on for about two years and ended because I bought the horses and removed them from the property. Even though the animals were thin, the sheriff refused to hold the owner for animal abuse.
I have been told by people who work in this field that many southern states are light years behind in animal abuse cases.
To help with an animal abuse issue, one needs to have the owner sign the animal over to the sheriff's dept. This makes it easier to get the animal help. If the owner doesn't sign the animal over, then the issue of what constitutes abuse becomes the question. And from my personal experience, many law enforcement do not want to make that call for fear of being sued and sadly the animal suffers. I could be wrong, but it sounds like from some of the articles the question of who owns the horses is part of the problem in getting these horses off the grounds.
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