Why do horses end up at the auction?
Here is a little hint for you- it is not because they are broken, useless, no-good/crazy animals. Simply put, it is because their owners do not do the right thing by these horses.
A little story for you:
As a general course, I frequent Chronicle of the Horse Forums. There has been an ongoing thread about retired Standardbreds and where they go once their racing days are over. I posted about Ben, and found out some really shocking details.
I found out that Ben sold for a fairly high dollar at the yearling sale - so much so that the lady who was interested in him thought he was way out of her price range (I don't know the final $, but we're researching that).
I found out that Ben was expected to have HUGE potential.
I found out that in BC last year, there was some kerfuffel regarding standardbred racing, and a bunch of old-boys in that scene sold out and left for greener pastures, or just retired from racing entirely. Ben's owner also has a bunch of horses in Cali, and was headed down that way with a bunch of his stock. Ben did not make the cut, apparently, and was dumped.
<insert angry face>
I can only assume why Ben found himself at the auction. He had/has 2 old popped splints that are up high near his knee- one of which was freeze fired. Who knows how he got them- worked too hard too soon, perhaps? maybe he wacked himself with his opposite leg? who knows. Was injury the reason he didn't make it on the Cali-bound roster? Or maybe the owner didn't have the money to get him to Cali with the others? Its all speculation - but one thing we know for sure, Ben got a one-way ticket to the auction house.
But a little time off, tlc, and a chance to grow up - and he could've been given another go. Or he could've found a home. But instead, he went to auction, where he was damn lucky to get purchased by J & M Acres Rescue.
Ultimately he did find a home with me, and I found out that I got an amazing naturally talented gelding out of the deal. But what if J & M hadn't chosen him? What if they hadn't been there?
Ben is a clear example that perfectly fine, even VALUABLE horses can land in the auction pen.
Lucky for Ben, he has a bright, shiny future ahead of him. He's the minority. So many of these horses don't get that chance.