I grew up with a grandfather who took me to auctions from the time I have memories at all.
He and I visited auctions all over West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Since the late 80’s, I have watched what happens at these sales. Observed the prices, the people and mostly. . .the horses.
Those years have given me insight that has been invaluable for Heart of Phoenix and our work.
My grandfather bought and sold ponies from and at these sales. It was part of the culture he knew, and he did not think it was unkind until I was long since grown.
I remember the last auction he and I attended in about 2007. I was thinking about “rescue” a little then, and he wanted to go along. He was in his late seventies.
He left with visibly upset, and he never went again. It was then he saw it as I had begun to see it. . .
Most rescue followers may not remember, but in the beginning years of Heart of Phoenix, we frequently attended a small auction that ran in Cattletsburg, Kentucky. Of all of the sales I have visited, which are many, this place would be nearly impossible to top in horrors and filth. It has since been demolished, but before it closed, we documented the auction pretty heavily in photos, and our members rescued multiple horses from the spot over the years.
Once it closed, the ability to pull from a local auction was no longer open to us.
We have watched the rise of broker lots through the years, and we have observed the traders and meat buyers getting rich while rescues struggle and sink and horses suffer, and we think back to the days of real auction rescue…which we do not see enough of these days. . .in the midst of high prices “feed lot” bail and transport and QT and so on and so forth. This process is one we have never and will never take part in.
But we have never forgotten the value and worth of true saving directly from an auction and the value of getting in before a kill buyer or middle man gets involved too much. . .
So Plan “Action” was born for 2018.
We have found an active Kentucky stockyard that middle men who resale to kill buyers frequent, where prices are low and unkindness is high. . .
Our heart if always with the Neglect cases brought to us by law enforcement, but our goal is to reach as far and wide as we can, and getting back to what brought us to rescue to begin with, which was auction horse rescue, really means a great deal to us, and we hope it will to you, too!