Friday, February 20, 2009

Saving Horses a passion for Brown

Saving Horses a Passion for Brown

Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009

HOT SPRINGS - Alex Brown likes to ride horses and write about horses, but is passionate about saving horses.
"I feel like I've got my PhD in this," Brown said of his effort to save horses from slaughter.
Brown, 43, is chronicling his daily f ight through his Web site, www., dedicated to the legacy of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro by improving horse welfare, finding a cure for laminitis, a circulatory disorder of the foot, and ending slaughter.
Brown's journey has brought him to Oaklawn Park, where he gallops horses for trainer Steve Asmussen.
"Everything I'm doing is a consequence of following Barbaro," Brown said. "Previously, I had spent the best part of 20 years in racing completely oblivious to horse slaughter and really little regard to horse welfare in general."
Barbaro was euthanized in January 2007 after developing laminitis, which developed after the colt broke multiple bones in his right hind leg shortly after the start of Preakness in May 2006.
Brown became attached to the story while galloping horses at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, where Barbaro was based much of his career.
An Internet marketing professor at the University of Delaware, Brown already was blogging on a site for local trainer Tim Woolley when Barbaro won the Kentucky Derby.
Two weeks later, the site unexpectedly became a mainstream news source.
"We built the traffic up to about 150 page views going into the Preakness," said Brown, a native of Manchester, England. "Then obviously, we know what happened in the Preakness. My initial reaction was to stop the project, because I wasn't going to exploit a very bad situation."
Brown said he was messing around on the site the following day and realized "everybody was Googling Barbaro and getting nothing."
Brown said after he broke a story concerning Barbaro's surgery, the site crashed after receiving 3,000 visits within an hour.
"Basically from then on, I just committed deliberately to providing updates if I could get them," Brown said. "That's how the project began."
Brown said he has a contract with Barbaro's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, to write a book, Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy.
Brown said three-quarters of the book - 150 pages of pure text - is already on the Internet.
"It's more to establish that Barbaro is great, and then talk about the good things that have occurred as a result of Barbaro, which would be horse slaughter, horse rescue, issues related to horse racing," Brown said.
A little over a year ago, Brown cut his roots and left Fair Hill (he had been based there for 20 years) to tour North America to get a better handle on those issues at a local level.
The easiest way to do that, Brown said, was to work for a trainer and move when the horses moved to another track.
Brown galloped horses at Penn National and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania and at Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Kentucky before going to work exclusively for Asmussen in November 2007 at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas.
Brown also galloped horses last year at Woodbine in Canada. Now he's at Oaklawn for the first time.
Although he's in Arkansas, Brown still runs his Web site, which, in the past two years, has raised more than $1 million to rescue approximately 2,700 horses from the horse slaughter pipeline.
Brown said the site has had almost a million messages posted.
One of the site's recent success stories is Clever Allemont, who won Oaklawn's Rebel and Southwest stakes in 1985 for trainer Lynn Whiting and owner Cal Partee of Magnolia.
Clever Allemont was discovered in a kill pen late last year in Kansas.
Roughly a half-hour after the story was posted on Brown's site, a forum reader donated funds to purchase Clever Allemont from the dealer who sells horses for slaughter.
Clever Allemont is now at Old Friends, a facility for retired thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Ky.
"If any horseman can argue to me that Clever Allemont should be slaughtered, I don't think so," Brown said. "The fact that slaughter is an option puts horses like that at risk. It was purely by chance that a horse rescue was going to that kill pen to go look for a palomino pony, and the kill buyer talked to that rescue and said, 'Look, I've got this old thoroughbred, I really don't want to send him to kill. Will you take it?'
"Even the kill buyer's compassionate enough to realize that horses shouldn't be slaughtered."
Slaughterhouses in Texas and Illinois have closed in recent years, but they are still prevalent in Canada and Mexico.
"The issue is quite complicated, and I think the pro-slaughter lobbies have done a good job convincing people slaughter is necessary," Brown said. "But as a horseman, I know it's not necessary and I certainly know it's not right."
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Animal Welfare Institute Establishes Abandoned Horse Reward Fund

Abandoned Horse Reward Fund Announced!
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE ESTABLISHES ABANDONED HORSE REWARD FUND Washington, DC (January 29, 2009) – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) announced today the establishment of the “Animal Welfare Institute Abandoned Horse Reward Fund.” Under the program, individuals providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who abandons a horse in violation of state law will be rewarded with up to $1,000 by AWI. “We’ve heard time and time again from those defending horse slaughter that the fight to end this cruel practice has led to an increase in abandoned horses. The truth is that the number of American horses going to slaughter now is the same or higher as before the domestic plants closed under state law. In fact, killer buyers seem to be buying more horses than when the plants were open,” said Chris Heyde, AWI’s Deputy Director of Government and Legal Affairs. Under the program, individuals with evidence should first contact their local police department, provide as many details as possible about the horse abandonment situation and let the department know about the Animal Welfare Institute Abandoned Horse Reward Fund. In such cases, eligibility for rewards and specific reward amounts will be determined by AWI. For complete terms and conditions of this reward fund, please go to“If horses are being neglected or abandoned and the law is being violated, individuals need to be held accountable. Caring for a horse or any animal is a lifelong responsibility and not something you toss aside when inconvenient. We hope our reward fund will assist in bringing criminals to justice,” said Chris Heyde.The Animal Welfare Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to pass a federal law to end horse slaughter. While the few remaining horse slaughter plants operating in the US were shut down in 2007 under state law, the absence of a federal law means that American horses are still at risk of being slaughtered for human consumption, and more than 100,000 horses were exported to Mexico and Canada in 2008 for that purpose. In Canada, horses are often shot to death while in Mexico some plants still use the “puntilla” knife to stab the horse into a state of paralysis prior to being slaughtered while still fully conscious. The meat is then sold to high-end consumers in Europe and Asia. Congress is currently considering the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503), which will protect American horses from this brutal trade.For further information contact:Chris Heyde, 202-446-2142Liz Ross, 202-497-6780For over 58 years, AWI has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill. Please join us in our ongoing campaigns to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Sign up for AWI eAlerts to receive the latest news on what you can do to help us protect all animals:

Live Feed on John Holland, Paula Bacon and Laura Allen Feb 7th

LIVE FEED ON SATURDAY FEB. 7TH 3PM With John Holland (Senior Analyst for AAHS) and Paula Bacon and Laura Allen!
Saving America's Horses on WFL Endangered Stream Live, Talk Radio for the Protection of AnimalsThe Hidden Cruelty of Horse Slaughter and the Fight for Federal Support to Make it Stop.Host Katia Louise interviews an expert panel of guests on the continuing sordid practice of horse slaughter as currently sustained by the United States. Horses suffer unimaginable cruel treatment in the process of their transport out of the US to Mexico and Canada where they experience barbaric slaughter. Listeners will learn the truth about one of America's darkest secrets and how to take action to stop this cruel and rapidly growing business of exports through the support of current, yet disregarded bills lingering in Congress for the past 8 years. Guests include Paula Bacon representing Americans Against Horse Slaughter and as former mayor of Kaufman TX, she helped to shut down the Dallas Crown, a US horse slaughter plant now operating in Mexico, among the worst malign abusers of cruelty in this brutal practice. Also joining us is the renown author on the issue of horse slaughter, John Holland; senior analyst for Americans Against Horse Slaughter. Holland has authored and coauthored studies on the relationship of horse slaughter to the rate of abuse and neglect in horses and has written dozens of articles on the subject of horse slaughter and its politics. Plus we have Animal Law Attorney, Laura Allen of the Animal Law Coalition who's been fiercely active in the support of getting legislature passed for the Prevention of the Equine Cruelty. These panelists are fighting to abolish horse slaughter and the export of horses for slaughter with support more stringent enforcement of laws to prevent abuse and neglect.Call-in number: (646) 727- 2170. Calls will be accepted live during the show. The chat room at the show's WFL Endangered Stream Live Blog Talk Radio page will be open throughout the broadcast for simultaneous discussion and to help answer questions. Registered listeners may connect and talk straight from their computer from anywhere in the world. (learn more) Listen live on Saturday, Feb 7th at 3pm (PST) at WFL Endangered Stream Live Blog Talk Radio.Listen anytime on demand. Links: