2014 American Equine Summit Newsletter

All video presentations are also now available


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Blood-Horse Article on the 2014 American Equine Summit

Bill Heller, for the Blood-Horse, also attended and wrote the following article about our 2014 American Equine Summit.


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Susan Salk from Off-Track Thoroughbreds Writes about the 2014 American Equine Summit

We thank Susan Salk from Off-Track Thoroughbreds for coming to and writing about our 2014 American Equine Summit.


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2014 American Equine Summit Agenda

April 26th & April 27th

The conference is now full.
Please be advised that we will be videotaping all presentations and will post them on our website for your information and interest.

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In Loving Memory of Jilly

Jilly, a Mule, passed away on April 6, 2014. She was one of the sweetest, gentlest equines we ever rescued.

In 1999, Susan Wagner went to a special Mule Sale at New Holland slaughter auction in Pennsylvania. That day, there were 500 mules for sale. We could only afford to buy seven of them that included Jilly, along with her brother, Jack. The auctioneer announced that they were a team that used to pull a plow at an Amish farm where Jilly had sustained an injury. Susan had to bid against the killer buyers to save them and luckily she was the highest bidder. She bought them both so not to separate them.

Jilly has been happy and healthy for the 15 years she was with us, but on the morning of her passing, she was clearly in a lot of discomfort. Our veterinarian determined that she had an impaction in her small intestines and at age 30 (+) she was not a candidate for surgery. She was humanely euthanized in the field with her brother, Jack, at her side, along with us and the other six equines that lived with her in the area we call “Mule Town.” She went very peacefully. Jilly was a delight to be around and will be sorely missed. We are so pleased to have given her a second chance at life when the alternative would have, otherwise, been devastating.

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In Loving Memory of Jeremy

Jeremy, a Quarter Horse, passed away on February 21, 2014. He was in his late twenties.

Jeremy was one of two severely emaciated & neglected horses that came the sanctuary after they were seized by police during a cruelty case in upstate New York in 2007.

In early 2014, Jeremy started to experience lameness in his right hind. Our veterinarian recommended that he go to Tufts University Equine Hospital for a bone scan after he was unable to isolate the problem. The results could not have been any worse – they found an inoperable malignant bone tumor on his right femur (hip).  According to the doctor, this kind of tumor is extremely rare in horses.

We brought Jeremy home and moved him into the barn. Restricting his exercise and having him on pain meds helped to keep him comfortable. He had a voracious appetite and, of course, we all spent extra time with him and fed him lots of treats. We knew his time had come when he had trouble getting up. Everyone stayed with him until the vet arrived. Jeremy was humanely euthanized and went very peacefully.

Jeremy lived seven happy years here at the sanctuary. We loved him and were so glad to be able to give him such a good life after living such a horrific existence before.

We will always miss our sweet Jeremy.

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Equine Advocates Thanks Great Americans for Ending Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

CHATHAM, N.Y., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Equine Advocates would like thank these key players in expediting the end of horse slaughter in the United States:

  • Victoria McCullough, horsewoman and head of Chesapeake Petroleum
  • Vice President Joseph Biden
  • Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo

It is because of their tireless and dedicated efforts that horse slaughterhouses will be prevented from opening in the U.S. once Congress passes the “Omnibus” bill by this weekend.  The last time horses were slaughtered in the United States was in 2007, when state bans in TX and IL succeeded in closing the last three remaining plants.  Since then, Congress’ defunding of slaughter inspections in the federal budget is the main reason why slaughter plants have not opened in states that do not ban slaughter outright.

“Victoria McCullough announced at our first American Equine Summit in 2012 that she would take on the challenge of ending horse slaughter in the U.S.,” said Equine Advocates President, Susan Wagner.  “She took the lead from the experts speaking at the Summit, each of whom had invaluable information and experience, and helped contribute to the resolution of this hard-fought issue. She used her own funding and dedicated countless hours to get this done.”

McCullough used the data and documentation presented by John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance; Paula Bacon, former Mayor of Kaufman, TX; renowned equine veterinarian Dr. Kraig Kulikowski; Caroline Betts, PhD, professor of economics at USC and others. Much of the necessary documentation was there, combined with Dr. Ann Marini’s brilliant study on the potentially dangerous effects the drug Phenylbutazone can have on people who eat horse meat, and subsequent studies including Holland’s scathing analysis of the misinformation in the 2011 GAO Report (#11-228).

Said Wagner, “That GAO Report was like a fixed race.”

While horse slaughter is opposed by more than 80% of Americans, the GAO Report claimed it was necessary for reasons which have been soundly refuted by Holland’s study and other experts.

“This is the first major hurdle that needed to happen so that a complete federal ban on horse slaughter can now be passed,” Wagner added. “We are grateful to Vice President Joe Biden, along with the support of congressional leaders, for adding the defunding language to the Omnibus bill. Robert Redford also needs to be thanked because he has been actively involved since he first signed the Voter Card for the passage of the California Initiative banning horse slaughter back in 1998. His support through the years has had a tremendous impact on this issue. I know I speak for most Americans when I say that horse slaughter is wrong and has no place in our culture.”

The focus now moves to passing a federal ban on the transport of equines across U.S. borders into Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

Founded in 1996, Equine Advocates (equineadvocates.org) is a non-profit equine protection organization based in Chatham, NY.  Its mission is to rescue, protect and prevent the abuse of equines through education, investigation, rescue operations, the dissemination of information to the public and the operation of a horse sanctuary for slaughter-bound, abused and neglected equines. Email info@equineadvocates.org or call 518-245-1599 for more information.

Susan Bang/Emily Collins
Bang + Collins PR
Ph: 917-991-9714 / 518-771-3003
susan@bangcollinspr.com / emily@bangcollinspr.com

SOURCE Equine Advocates


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2014 Open Day Schedule

Come meet our amazing 85 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys & mules and two pigmy goats on one or more of our 2014 Open Days! Our first Open Day is scheduled for Sunday, April 6. There is plenty of time to plan your visit, so please mark your calendars. We know you will have a wonderful experience!

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Hayden, the Dun-Striped Mustang

Please view our Special Video Message on Hayden!

The story of Hayden, the Dun-Striped Mustang, has as many treacherous twists and turns as the Yellow Brick Road. Captured in 2009 during a cruel and unnecessary BLM round-up in the Pryor Mountains of Montana, Hayden survived capture, being uprooted and separated from his family, being auctioned off, being shipped from Montana to Colorado and then arriving at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY on October 1, 2013. The plight of America’s Wild Horses & Burros as told through Hayden’s eyes is our way of personalizing the horrendous fate of tens of thousands of Wild Equines in America today.  We are most grateful to Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation and Terry Fitch of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation for their amazing and graphic photography as they witnessed Hayden’s capture firsthand. There are also breath-taking shots of Hayden with his dam (mother) when he was a foal and of him with other Mustangs when they were all still wild and free. See Hayden’s story for more details.

This video was produced by Cathy Grier, a.k.a. NYC Subway Girl who also appears and sings in the video. Cathy is a New York-based singer-songwriter and activist who has received wide attention for her subterranean performances and for capturing unique glimpses of subway life via her website. She is also an animal lover and has performed for and worked with Equine Advocates on other projects involving equine protection.

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Meet Hayden!

Hayden, Wild American Mustang from Cloud’s famous Pryor Mountain herd, finds sanctuary at Equine Advocates.

Hayden, a Wild American Mustang is the newest resident at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary. He arrived on October 1, 2013. Born in 2007, Hayden was captured during a Bureau of Land Management ( BLM ) round-up in the Pryor Mountains of Montana when he was just two years old.  See photos of his round-up below. According to witnesses who were at that 2009 round-up, it was a brutal and highly traumatic experience for the horses who were cruelly separated from their families and loaded into holding pens. Hayden got his first owner at a BLM Adoption in Montana. Sadly, as is the case with so many captive Wild Horses, he was discarded by his owner who put him on Craig’s List. Someone connected to the Cloud Foundation rescued him and took him to Colorado where he went to the Horse Protection League, a horse rescue organization. He was subsequently adopted out again, but then was returned to the rescue.  At the same time, we at Equine Advocates were looking for a suitable pasture-mate for our Mustang, Nelson, whose buddy, Willie, had passed away. We were first told about Hayden by the good people at the Cloud Foundation. They made the connection for us with the Horse Protection League and before long, arrangements were made to send Hayden to New York.  Given all that he had been through in his young life, he seemed like a good candidate for a sanctuary and as a companion for Nelson.

Hayden is a gorgeous equine with a rich history. His unique color is known as “Coyote Dun.” He has a long Dorsal Stripe that runs down the entire length of his back and he has black stripes on his legs. Since his arrival at Equine Advocates, Hayden has taken to sanctuary life quite well. He seems to love the attention he gets from our staff and volunteers and he also seems to enjoy the slow pace and quiet of the farm. Although he has only been here a short time, he is already a favorite among visitors who love his friendly and outgoing nature. His introduction to Nelson will take place soon and we will be documenting it.

We are so grateful to Terry Fitch of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation and to Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation for helping us put together the story of Hayden’s past with their firsthand witness accounts and their amazing photography.  Please watch our special video message which features many of their dramatic images of Hayden in the Pryor Mountains.  The video also shows Hayden as he is today as an important member of our family here at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary.  Stay tuned for more updates about Hayden and his new role as an ambassador for the Mustangs and Burros who have also lost their freedom and families at these violent and terrifying round-ups at the hands of the BLM.


 Baby Hayden:  Photo Credit:  Ginger Kathrens / The Cloud Foundation.  Hayden as a foal when he was still wild and free in the Pryor Mountains of Montana
Hayden at Equine Advocates.
Love that Hay!  Photo Credit: Karen Wagner.
Wet & Wild!   Photo Credit: Nousha Salimi.



Photographer Terry Fitch was a witness to the brutal 2009 round-up on the Pryor Mountains in Montana the day that Hayden was captured. You can see the contractors and BLM personnel herding Hayden and his family into the chute, as the helicopter that chased them, hovered above (1st photo – top left). We will be posting more of Ms. Fitch’s amazing images that captured the terror experienced by these exquisite equines. This is the same horrible treatment experienced by all of our precious wild horses and burros who are captured and stripped of their families and their freedom without a thought. As Americans and as tax-payers, our voices have as much right to be heard as the special interests whose goal it is to exterminate and eviscerate America’s wild herds. We have a right to demand that these animals be humanely managed in the wild. It can be done and it has been done…and at half the cost to tax-payers as the round-ups.

          Photo ©Terry Fitch

          Photo ©Terry Fitch

In photographing and documenting the horrors of this BLM round-up which show how Hayden and other members of his herd were chased down by helicopters and cruelly separated, Terry Fitch said the following:

“The Pryor Mountain round-up of 2009 was a particularly emotional event for me.  This was my first round-up ever.  As a matter of fact, as a U.S. taxpaying citizen, I did not even know this was going on in my own country!  I’ll never forget the 6-week trek ‘out west’ that my parents took me on when I was only 14.  The typical ‘horse crazy’ girl, I was just awestruck when I saw a wild horse in the distance.  My little eagle eyes combed the horizon searching for the next horse and my heart would actually skip a beat when I spotted one.  Little did I know, 30 plus years later, that I would be so heavily involved with trying to preserve these magnicent creatures.  Who would have thought?

It was a truly sad day to see the world-famous Cloud and his band being rounded up.  What I did not realize, at the time, was that I also saw Hayden along with his family members rounded up.  My very first glimpse of the small band was at 4:06 PM on 9/7/09 with a helicopter hovering just above their heads in the distance.  Approximately 6 minutes later, they were inside the trap.  Hayden was never to see freedom again.

This round-up was the event that changed not only my life, but my husband’s as well.  Having been involved with horse rescue for a decade, our focus shifted.  It now included the Wild Horses – those horses that I so longingly searched for, as a young girl across the horizon.  Now as an adult, I understand the danger that they face.  Hayden is, truly, one of the lucky ones.  I am humbled that my photos are able to help fill in some of the puzzle pieces of his past.

Below are the full images



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