Speaking of the Caroline ride, this year's injury reports have started to come in. At least one woman is in the hospital today with a broken nose, cheek fractures and two broken ribs. Her accident was the result of her horse rearing and throwing her, though what caused the horse to freak out is unknown. I'm sort of glad to have missed the Caroline Ride. Although I've always wanted to visit Wisconsin's largest trail ride, parade and hoedown, I've heard the drinking, noise and crazy behavior can be very bad. On top of that, this year the trail conditions were reported to have been wet, muddy and chilly. If you went, what was your experience like?
Next up: As hoped, the remaining four Clintonville horses have now been moved from the property near highway 45 to a new location near Green Bay. We have gotten conformation that all five horses are still owned by Barb Thiry. Undoubtedly, her new enablers will get sick of her pretty fast-- I'm betting she gets kicked out by April. We'll be watching to ensure the horses stay safe. Once again, I have to say I'm just disgusted that Waupaca County officials haven't done more about Thiry's long, long history of animal hoarding and neglect (hopefully more on that, including pics, soon). This case in Ohio is very, very similar and yet those cops managed to rescue six horses almost immediately. More proof that the only thing preventing the cops from doing more is the cops' own laziness.
An early blizzard hit South Dakota and Wyoming this weekend, burying horses and cattle under drifts fifteen feet deep, and driving them through broken fences with 60mph winds. Hundreds of cattle are reported dead. Many people are currently without power. Prayers to those folks and their animals.
Saint Francis Horse Rescue in Rosholt, WI hosted "Camp Hope" this weekend, a retreat for grieving children. St. Francis volunteered their horses and donkeys to kids for free, so they could ride 'em, pet 'em, learn about 'em, and even fingerpaint on them. Thanks for all you do, Saint Francis.
Up in Minnesota, a call for help has gone out. Erin Hurd-Shafer is looking for help finding homes for three Arabians in Michigan. Here's what she has to say:
"These horses are not my own, but I have been contacted and help was requested to find these horses a home. They are FREE, and if not placed in 3 weeks owner will shoot them as owner has no money or means to care for them any longer. They have no hay, and their pasture is over grazed. They're in decent shape, will need worming, farrier attention as well as dental."
"Here are the details:
Location: NORTH BRANCH Michigan
Ages: all are under 10
sex: there are 2 mares, and 1 gelding
Breed: ARAB (they are not registered and all paper work was lost in a flood)
Training: These horses have no training, they are trained to lead on a lead rope only, and right now they have not been handled in 2 years so they are a bit shy. NOT WILD. I was scratching and petting the mares, the gelding was a little bit more shy but he was approaching us. If I had been able to spend more time with them I have no doubt that I would have been able to halter them."
"These horses will need an EXPERIENCED handler and home, and will require experienced persons to get off the property as they've never been in a trailer before."
You can contact Erin Hurd-Shafer via her Facebook profile.
Speaking of Michigan, this article talks about that state's dying horse racing industry. State Rep. Kevin Daley (R-Lapeer) wants to introduce legislation to help fund, and hopefully resurrect, the sport (and the gambling) which he says will help farmers and the economy. Personally, I don't think we should attempt to keep propping up dying sports that have a long history of sketchy animal care. There are still plenty of horses being funneled into the Canadian slaughter industry because of horse racing (harness and Thoroughbred) here in the north.
I'd like to touch on a horse welfare issue before I go. The Heemsah Memorial Wild Horse Race took place again this year in Washington. It's a "cultural celebration" where people attempt to throw down, saddle and ride wild horses as fast as possible. The winner is the one that can drag his horse across the arena to the judge first. Here's a photo gallery.
THIS IS NOT OKAY. I hate it when cruelty is called "culture" and passed off as a charming tradition. Bullshit. Slavery, cutting off women's genitals, bullfighting, human sacrifice and many other terrible things are also "traditional." That doesn't mean we should allow those things to continue, much less celebrate them.
The wild horses in this "race" are yanked off of their feet, thrown to the ground and held there, dragged and yanked and hit. It's not even as civilized as the average rodeo. Please don't attend these events! If one takes place in your area, tell your local officials that cruelty isn't "culture." And if you were wondering, yeah, this is the same area that the Omak Suicide Race takes place in (don't even get me started on that one, just watch the video).