According to information published by The Humane Society of the United States, approximately 100,000 horses are sent every year to slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico. And the USDA has documented that "92.3 percent of the horses sent to slaughter are in good condition and are able to live out a productive life.”
The goal of OPEN is to rescue as many of those at risk horses as possible and help, if even in a small way, reduce the number of horses that are unnecessarily killed.
By Valerie Jackson, OPEN president
On a cold Saturday morning in January, Diane Royall, our ranch manager and I left Sequim at 3a.m. with my horse trailer in tow, intent on making the long drive to Sunnyside, Washington, on the other side of the state.
We had a strict 9a.m. appointment with a kill buyer. If we weren't there in time, he said we would have to come back on Tuesday, and there was a chance the horses we wanted might have been shipped to a slaughter plant in Canada.
We had raised enough money to save two horses, and we brought more cash of our own to possibly save two more. We not only made the meeting in time but managed to stuff 4 horses into my 3 horse trailer. Two of the mares were pregnant, so in the end we saved 6 lives that day. Vannah was one of those mares, and she gave birth to a healthy colt in May.
Midas was adopted by a woman who wanted a foal to raise and train as her next gaming horse. Her main horse is 17 years old and she is planning for the day when he will have to retire. When that day comes, she’ll have Midas ready to take over as the top horse.
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