I have just read the articles on the horse auctions at Camelot Stables (November 23 and December 14, 2005), having stumbled on them while researching Camelot on the Internet. I was troubled by your quoting an anonymous critic, but then pleased and relieved that you went to the source (Monica Carper) for verification.
Two weeks before your article, I took my two daughters, 9 and 17, to the auction. We saw many very fine horses that were well beyond our budget, a few run down and perhaps neglected, and several that lay somewhere in between. A sad looking Arab cross gelding standing off in a corner endeared himself to us. So, without my daughters’ knowledge, I placed a silent bid with Frank Carper before we went home. The next morning I found that I had won the bid for $25 less than my $450 maximum. He was standing in our barn when my girls came home from school that exciting afternoon, and the 23-year old, 15-hand equine is now a well-loved, and loving, part of our family.
My nine-year-old rides him bareback, double, with her friends. He’s gentle. I gallop him across the fields. He’s young at heart, with the attitude of a barrel racer or calf-roper. He stands handsome in the pasture in the midst of our goat herd. He’s stately. Did we save him from slaughter? I don’t know. But in the couple of months we have had him he has muscled up, his coat is sleek, and he has settled in quite nicely. Our very rewarding horse auction experience is not unusual and in fact, on this, the eve of my daughter’s 10th birthday, we have just returned from the auction with a younger quarter horse mare to keep the old gelding company.
On the matter of horse neglect, and particularly horse slaughter, my older daughter, who loves all animals, makes a valid observation: “I’ll bet all those anti-slaughter people think it’s okay to abort babies.” Sadly, that’s the state we are in. Thanks for the article,
J. Drew Foster