Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Past the Grandstand

Rescue Groups Striving to Rescue Louisiana Horses

Contains graphic photos 

In January 2012, a mass rescue effort, including teams from Remember Me Rescue and the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association, helped rescue dozens of starving  thoroughbreds – though it was too late to save several horses – from terrible living conditions in Many, Louisiana. A year later, the town has changed, but the situation is similar, if not more horrific. 

Currently, a large number of starving horses are suffering at Ryder River Ridge Farm in Natchitoches, Louisiana – about 40 minutes northeast of Many. Ryder River Ridge Farm is owned by Firal Ryder, a man who greatly loves his horses, but due to ill health, is in a nursing home. His son, Clay Ryder, is now in control of farm operations.

Remember Me Rescue and the Louisiana Horse Rescue Association have attempted to help these horses and when Donna Keen of RMR was prohibited from entering the property, she promptly arranged for a helicopter to fly her over the farm. While in the helicopter, Keen photographed the horrific scenes below on the farm, which included not only starving horses, but skeletons and fresh graves. While the LHRA now has many of the horses from the farm in custody, several horses remain and continue to suffer.

Earlier in January, Clay Ryder finally commenced negotiations with authorities, despite the fact that these horses have been in these terrible conditions for over a year. The state police became involved following the helicopter fly-over and also flew over the farm prior to walking the farm and discussing the situation with the sheriff’s department. The situation, which is marked by lies and cover-ups, has since become a state police investigation.

As aforementioned, several Thoroughbreds from Ryder River Ridge Farm have been surrendered to the LHRA, but dozens of horses remain on the farm. With undying determination, Keen has made offers to take those horses into RMR’s custody, but has not had success. Nonetheless, Keen has strove to let a larger audience be aware of the dreadful situation, as evident in her interview with KTBS, the news station that originally covered the situation.

The investigation is ongoing, as it has been for at least a year. The LHRA and RMR continue to strive to help these horses and to achieve justice, along with the help of horse lovers that have contacted authorities and the media. The Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and Remember Me Rescue can’t do this on their own. They need your help. These horses need your help.

Photos courtesy of Donna Keen 


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Older Comments about Rescue Groups Striving to Rescue Louisiana Horses...

Correct spell: Billie Jean http://i1303.photobucket.com/albums/ag141/Yayabucket/2854C024-1AE7-4883-9C21-3A66FAE90574-3060-0000016D31388932_zpse33f77bf.jpg
Aw, the filly is so tiny. Very sad stories--hope she makes it.
One of the surrendered 3 year old fillies dropped a foal in the middle of the night in the middle of the pasture. We had no idea she was in foal-- showed no signs. That shows how bad off these horses were. The mare rejected the foal (a filly) and we are bottle feeding her and have named her Billy Jean. The link is a pic of her. She is wearing a medium sized dog coat.
To keep up with Billy, the worst off who had to be lifted with a tractor and slings to get him on h is feet and who almost died at least 3 times since at the rescue, go to the following Facebook page. He is doing amazingly well and I am convinced is now out of danger. All in 6 weeks. http://www.facebook.com/BillyTheMiracleRyderRescueHorse and if you win some money this season, maybe you could throw a ten or twenty dollar bill to the Louisiana Horse Rescue ;)
Oh no!! I just read stallion easyfromthegetgo is still on the farm, is thin and blind. He is 14 years old. :( :(
Also, Louisiana Breeders have a board meeting tomorrow night. Perhaps if anyone wants to try and call someone, you could maybe try calling to get his breeders license taken away. www
A new video of the horse named "billy" going out to play: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhcUMhJcZuk&feature=youtube_gdata_player
They wouldn't be starving if horse slaughter was easier
  • ziggy.pop.37 · That is aburd. He could have easliy run these horses through the plethora of auctions that supply the pipeline to slaughter. He choose to starve them instead. · 1760 days ago
  • yayasister · ANyone who eats horse meat from horses in this condition deserves anything they get. · 1754 days ago
There is talk that one of the remaining horses on Ryder farm has died and someone dumped it on the neighbor's property. The neighbor called the state police and they haven't done anything. My only suggestion is to call Natchitoches Parish D.A. Van Kyzar, 318-357-2214
Ugh... Mean not gross/graphic. Yes, their condition is horrible.
Forgot links don't light up. Go to YouTube and search "richmondplantation" they are informative and sad but not all videos are horrible. The poor filly elouise died shortly after they made her video.
Things don't move quickly in Louisiana. I'll ask more tomorrow when I go. FWIW, there are YouTube videos that truly express what went on here:
The legal problem with horse seizure as I wrote before is that horses are classified as livestock and seizure rules are different for them as compared to domestic animals like cats and dogs. Many times law enforcement in many states are hamstrung by this distinction. I have run into this in my state of NC in aiding a horse rescue. If the owner signs the animals over, it is much easier. Also for cats and dogs who are seized, there are kennels or shelters to house them. Many places do not have the facilities to house a large number of horses or other livestock so they have to work with the property owners as there may not be any place to put them.
We have problems like this here in TX, maybe one day people will wake up to the atrocities going on around them! So tragic, I hope the "owner" does the right things and signs over remaining horses! Maybe the sheriff's department needs something thrown in their face. Is there a petition? I know it's just a piece of paper, but it can sway people! Maybe being brought to a local judge would help? Good luck out there, let us know what we can do to help!
Well, that was a sight. They are all at a farm near my house-- all covered in bot fly eggs, rain rot and are all sort of semi-feral. So we worked with the 3 year olds today since they are getting too old to not know about humans. They move about as a herd really though are getting better. Billy, the worst off (if you have seen the pics, he is the one who nearly didn't survive and is getting close to being out of the woods) is sweet. I can't believe a person could let these beautiful souls get so bad off. And the couple who house them tell me how much better off they are. Right now, these horses need food, time and love. I'm going to go at least once a week to help.
  • grandstand · Thank you for personally helping these poor horses! It is a sad, awful situation but fortunately for these horses, there are people like you that help them. -Mary Cage · 1760 days ago
For centuries horses were a disposable commodity.....That is a subtle message still transfered today. THAT needs to be overcome.
yayasister- thank you for personally helping these horses. Horses are harder to deal with for many local humane societies than pet animals like dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. Our local humane society is a largely no kill shelter (only euthanizing very ill or very elderly animals) and step in to help any animals in need. But they do not have facilities for larger livestock so depend on the help of local farmers to house rescued horses, sheep, cattle, and other larger beasts.

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Mary Cage, a 21-year-old avid fan of horse racing, has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published in America's Horse, American Racehorse and the Appaloosa Journal, as well as with the websites of The Blood-Horse and The Equine Chronicle. She has also had photos published with Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Daily News. In addition, she works as one of the social media coordinators for the Texas Thoroughbred Association and has interned at WinStar Farm with a marketing focus - with projects involving photography, videography, giving tours, data entry, etc. 

In her personal horse experience, Mary has been around horses all her life and has won several Appaloosa National Champion and Reserve World Champion titles in the show ring. She has also worked as a hotwalker and groom.

Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a writer/photographer and marketing/communications specialist. She is currently attending the University of North Texas, where she is a journalism major with a concentration in advertising and a minor in marketing. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan and transport you to some of racing's biggest events through her photos and words.

University of Louisville College of Business Equine Program

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