Have you been to a horse slaughter sale?

This may seem like an odd question but I am trying to gather information. I try to visit a sale like this at least twice a year. No, it is not enjoyable, but it does keep me grounded and aware in a very real way. If you do check ‘Yes’ please leave a comment about where the sale is held. I have gone to Sugarcreek in Ohio. I would be interested in other known locations.


  1. Barbara Claus on February 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Hell yes I go to the sale barn auction!
    The more people snapping pictures and taking videos of the dark seedy side of the horse trade the better!!! It intimidates and unnerves the kill buyers.
    I have a group of friends that attend the
    Hamilton County Sale Barn auction in Strawtown, Indiana. It is bi monthly, and is a family orientented sale barn.
    The kill buyers spoil the fun, friendly atmosphere! So we spoil right back at them! The number of kill buyers is dwindling down to one or two. The goal is 0 kill buyers. I recommend that
    everyone attend their local sale barn auctions. Talk to the sale barn owners, take your horse trailer and offer to haul a horse purchased by families that do not own a trailer. I talk to the auction owners and tell them to let me know if a horse comes in that should be rescued rather than auctioned off. There is no point in passing sick and starving horses through the auction and exposing the healthy horses to disease. If you get to know the regulars that attend the auction you can find out a lot of information. The pubic has more power than they think!
    Keeping kill buyers out of the sale barns can be accomplished!!!
    College students are always looking for something to do on a Saturday night that is fun, free and gives them a cause.
    I even had a kill buyer bring me a miniature horse that he did not want to shoot!
    And I have met and hauled horses for families that want an inexpensive pet horse. There are good people at the auction and alot of good that can be accomplished with little effort. And everyone has a cell phone!
    The kill lots, are horrable places, I am not saying follow the horse trailers out of the sale barn parking lot. There are professional animal welfare advocates that get deep into the investigation of cruelty. That is best left to those groups. But as a member of the public knowing the number of horses purchased at the local sale barn for slaughter is a positive step in keeping that activity out of your community. Being informed is always a good thing. Warning innocent horse sellers there is a kill buyer in attendance is a good thing! And just being a spectator and with a cell phone camera documenting horses
    being loaded out of the sale barn stable
    into big stock trailers, rattles the kill buyers to the core, the flash of cell phone cameras has an impact and is a wake up call. They don’t have to be good pictures the flash is enough to unnerve them.
    Hopefully we can shoo them all away like flies!
    Wear a hat with a feather in it to the sale barn! I wear a distinctive hat, the bigger my feathers are, the more flies I can shoo away from our community’s horse auction sale barn. And keep the families with the cute kids coming out to hear the auctioneers rythmic chant!
    And maybe go home with a new pony!
    My approch to staying grounded is to inject a positive energy into the whole experience of the sale barn horse auction. You can truly make a difference!

    • Cheryl Larimore Helmer on October 8, 2023 at 8:00 pm

      You are an Angel!

  2. horsesreveal.com on June 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    There is a horse auction in south Alabama that I go to sometimes. It’s very upsetting to see the kill buyers there, buying all those poor horses. I just hate it!


  3. Laura Vivod on March 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    There is a horse auction in North Bloomfield ohio. Not sure of schedule but you can Google it.

    • sharla on May 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      I live in saskatchewan and every sale I go type o good horses go for slaughter I sm so against it and wish I had the money to save horses
      Just stop slaughter its not a good thing I love horses

  4. Cedar on February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Delta, Colorado

  5. Kerrie on January 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Toppenish and Moses Lake, WA

  6. Melanie on October 23, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Our mare came from Sugarcreek Auction, owned by Leroy Baker. At Sugarcreek, and most other auctions, if a horse does not have a lip tattoo, it is listed as grade Quarter horse stock. I’ll be honest, Sugarcreek is cruel and inhumane. In 2008, the USDA Administrative Law Judge J. Clifton, ordered Baker to pay a fine of $162,800.00 for multiple violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations. Then in 2010, the US District Court/Northern Ohio District/Eastern Div, increased the original penalty to $172,621.66 and issued a court order to garnish his wages & assets. Its unclear how much of this fine has actually been paid. Sugarcreek continues to move horses in the chutes by spraying them with high powered water hoses, jamming them on trailers, and stabbing them with cattle prods to separate horses for “bleeding”. Sadly, the Amish are the largest percentage of workers. The Sugarcreek owner Leroy Baker is a KB. The auction is held every Friday and most of the KB’s stand in or by the ring to chose the youngest, healthiest, heaviest horses auctioned. Our group had been happy to save a few from slaughter that day. Most horses are listed as grade, weighed prior to ring entry, and herded in with a group of horses they don’t know, there is lots of fighting. One entire ring lot was bought by a KB, the horses were herded out and into a feedlot to be picked up. Later that day, we went to pickup our horses and the KB’s had also arrived. The large lot KB buyer began forcing his horses up into his tractor trailer. He had more horses than space, but as we watched, he continued to cram the trailer past capacity. There was no Animal Enforcement Officer at Sugarcreek to tell him to stop. A mare was to be the last horse, but there was NO room, the KB beat her and tried to force her in, she was in danger of breaking a leg and was terrified. The horses already on the trailer were all panicked and the trailer was swaying, the situation was bizarre. Our group ran over and offered to buy her since he had no room, he demanded $550. even though he had only paid $150. for her. Using debit cards, she was purchased and saved from slaughter. She was not a grade quarter horse, she was a 4 year old Missouri Foxtrotter. She is now 11 years old, loved and well cared for. She has been shown, won, and adores her trail rides. She is still terrified of water hoses with hard sprayers and electric clippers which sound like cattle prods. This is her forever home and when she can no longer be ridden, she will be queen of the pasture. If you have a horse you can no longer take care of and you have tried to find a good forever home, please do not let your horse go to auction! 95% of all horses auctioned at Sugarcreek are sold into the slaughter pipeline. Please humanely euthanize your horse and have the body properly disposed of or cremated. Don’t be fooled by the AMVA saying the captive bolt is humane. Their study was performed by vets for vets (not barely trained workers) in a controlled environment (not on a kill floor with terror in the air, blood, urine and horses screaming) and with the horses head restrained (not in a blood soaked kill box with a horse thrashing it’s head). Read all the literature, both sides, make the right decision. Our horses do not need to be killed by foreign owned companies to be put on a foreign countries gourmet dinner plate. I will never attend another slaughter auction, it is to soul wrenching to know these healthy, young, companion animals are destined for a gourmet dinner.

  7. Steve on October 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Mt. Hope close to you always runs loose horses thru at the end of there monthly sale. (Second Sat) You are close to three of the largest kill buyers in the country. Fred Bauer Larue Oh, Jaron Gold, Michigan, and Leroy Baker Sugarcreek Ohio. There is a buyer at every sale that buys for someone that sends horses to kill. I’ve seen them at Keeneland and even the Congress Super Sale buying open broodmares or horses that were lame or po’ed. What to do, it’s a crapshoot. Starting by like with dogs and cats offer low cost spay and castrations, along with better education of the public.

  8. Amy on September 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Corsica, SD

  9. dusty on September 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I don’t mean to make any one mad so please don’t take this the wrong way but I have seen the effects of to many horses and not enough room on the ranges and there just isn’t enough money or people to take care of them all but if you have to kill 500 to save a 1000 from starving to death on the ranges is it not worth it that seems more humane to me please don’t get mad at me I love horses can’t make it with out them but a person can only take care of so many thanks and sorry if what I said upset you

  10. mhorses on April 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I run the web site Mississippihorses.org and a small rescue and have done a lot of research on the subject. In MS auctions are managed or owned by people who are in the business of selling horses to slaughter. A just want to say that we have assisted law enforcement with saving over 200 horses since 2008. In the majority of the cases, people tried to help and even offered to buy the horses. They wouldn’t sell them if the slaughter plant was across the street. These type of people would rather be fined and charged with animal cruelty than to have someone tell them what to do with THEIR property. I call it arrogant ignorance. Our first priority is to always try to help the owner keep their horses. There are those very few success stories however where the owner just needed education on horse care and were actually willing to learn.

  11. Cynthia Porter on March 19, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Veedersburgh indiana has auctions that people know the killer buyers by name and try desperately to outbid constantly fighting for good animals. Sometimes people even fight to save the very old and very young. Wear alligator skin inside though the killers have a big smile offer a service of riddi.g us of animals then beat them half to death loading them cause they scare horses who sense something bad about them. Killers dont do a service they rip horse owners off and try to push out the regular honest horsemen so that only the higher up industry farms profit. Their lies a.d smiles are matched by the size of their wallets and NEVER tell th where ur horses r or will be Ever!

  12. Jmartin on January 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    What do you want to do with old horses? Let them suffer and starve?

  13. Majela Urbay on January 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    New Holland in Pa just got charged with a 75 000 fine for falsifying sale papers. they sold cattle for a lot higher than reported

  14. Ann Hards on December 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    New Holland, and I purchased a horse that day.

  15. Gena Nicholas on December 23, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Catts. Kentucky…and the conditions are horrible as well as the treatment of women as buyers at this sale. The horses have it much worse than the women but not by much. The owner is a kill buyer. His name is Josh McKay and is listed on the known kill buyer lists.

  16. Afarmgirl on December 1, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Shipshewana in Indiana would be a close one for you. They just had the one Friday after Thanksgiving. I believe there is also one Friday of Easter weekend.

  17. Anne Hunter on September 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I know of a woman who goes to Sugar Creek auction every week. She buys horses that appear sound and good mind and re-homes them. Her business is called Copper Horse Crusade. Not all the horses at Sugar Creek are broken down horses. Sometimes, it is owners who have no where else to turn, due to economy, divorce, etc. Sometimes it is backyard breeders getting rid of their less than average horse or a known breeder/trainer who thinks the horse is not going to be the next big star and has no further use for the horse. Slaughter is an unfortunate solution to a problem of too many animals. Not every horse is going to be a superstar. A lot of those less than perfect horses are carting kids around 4H, or a show ring or on a trail with a less than perfect rider. Long term thought is required to stop slaughter.

    • Majela on September 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      I think owner responsibility is of upmost importance. Sugarcreek, New Hollandand all of the other auctions have been around longer than when the economy tanked. Has very little to do with that. It has to do that there is a certain number of horses to satisy a market.There is no other motivation but demand and supply. There is no way that backyard breeders can support this market. Is the big breeders. I blame the breed associations for this!

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