Morgans heading for slaughter

This week there are 8 Morgans in the broker pens-they will ship to slaughter this weekend, unless someone saves them.  Hopefully, like Salem Red Alert was saved a few weeks ago, these Morgans will be saved. 

Forever Morgans has worked to place Morgans heading to slaughter, but needs foster homes and forever homes to continue.  Does anyone have room?

Several have papers:  

WYP Gwendolyn foaled 2000 #0152721.

Morgan mare Bay broke to ride and drive note with this mare from prior owner states proven brood mare good mother, used as family horse traffic safe 100% sound good broke to drive and that they drove her to Church, bank and Walmart.  For pictures and details go to:

C Echo C Lemon Twist foaled 6-18-2000.  Palomino, connected star, strip, snip left hind pastern. Palomino Morgan mares dam and filly both are broke to drive single and double mare is broke to ride and is gentle and quiet.   For pictures and details go to

Another registered Morgan was identified: Coachman’s Bold Venture.  Pictures and details at:

His pedigree can be seen at:

Morgan gelding approx 15 hands reported to drive.  For pictures and details:


Morgan mare reported to ride and drive. For details and pictures go to:

Morgan gelding.  For details and pictures go to:

Black morgan mare quiet and gentle reported to be broke to ride and drive For details and pictures go to:

30 Responses to Morgans heading for slaughter

  1. leslie says:

    There’s a video for Gwendolyn, too:

    Looks like she could be something fancy.

    I wish I had a farm…or a sympathetic barn manager.

  2. MeNMandolin says:

    According to Allbreed, Gwendolyn is a Noble Command granddaughter, with solid Waseeka breeding top and bottom. She is lovely.

  3. jns767 says:

    She is beautiful – I would love to have her :(

  4. MeNMandolin says:

    Lemon Twist also has some great names in her pedigree: Shawalla breeding on the dam line; old UVM horses and the 1980 world champion Morgan mare on the top line. Also Primavera Tia Maria on top. Her quality shows in her and in her filly.

  5. RaeOfLight says:

    I’m sure this will be an unpopular opinion. But while rescuing a Morgan may give someone the warm and fuzzies, does it benefit the breed? If we keep these “extra” horses cycling around in the market, isn’t it only going to perpetuate a downward cycle in the prices of horses owned by people who are actively investing in the breed?

    I’m not trying to bash anyone who’s involved with rescues, or anyone who’s rescued a horse. Just thinking through the economics. I had a conversation recently with a woman who’s involved in Arabians. Thanks to the “market bloat” of Arabs back in the 90′s, they’re facing a situation where there are a number of Arabs being rescued on a regular basis. Well bred, etc. But the rescues are driving down the value of all Arabs. She said breed would be better off if the majority of those horses being rescued were just culled, bumping the supply/demand ratio back up.

    As much as I would like to see the Morgan breed grow, maintaining or adding to the number of Morgans registered doesn’t accomplish that if the demand doesn’t grow along with it.

    Just food for thought…

  6. Tea says:

    Well, perhaps people are not going to agree with me either but I don’t think that rescuing a Morgan will lead to diminished prices just like rescuing an off the track TBs doesn’t reduce prices for those breeding and selling TBs. If someone is interested in your breeding program and you have success in whatever field of sport you participate they will buy from you. There is no comparison. The last TB I bred and sold was sold far and above what someone would pay for a rescue TB.

    The same comparison can be made to dogs. I know someone with a rescue dog and a breeder purchased dog. The bloodlines were important to her for that purchased dog.

    The Arab market bloat was just that…bloat. Bloated to the brim with people who had no idea what end of the horse did what but had deep pockets ready to purchase. It was a touted as an investment. The Arab industry churned out all sorts of horses. When things came crashing down around everyone’s ears, I’m sure it was a shock when the euphoric haze of the boon finally lifted.

    An interesting point about the Morgans is that I’ve noticed that many times the breeders of these Morgans have no idea that their horses have ended up in a kill pen, and often want them back.

    Just my opinion.

  7. MeNMandolin says:

    I do not think the motivation for horse rescue is to “benefit the breed,” and it is surely not an economic decision. Some people focus on rescuing horses of a particular breed because they have come to know and love the breed characteristics. The rescue may not help the breed, but it helps that horse, and likely saves it from a terrifying trip to slaughter.

    Many forces lead horses to the kill pen, and many of the horses there are not culls. I do not own a rescue, and I know there are many abuses in the equine rescue world. But those who continue to breed when there is no market, or backyard breeders who keep breeding their mares do more to contribute to the overpopulation than the horses already born. I do contribute to humane euthanasia funds so that some horses can end their lives with dignity.

  8. leslie says:

    Does it drive down prices? Probably not. The people who are looking to buy top show horses or breeding stock aren’t waiting around to find them in the kill pen, you know? It might affect low-end breeders, because if I can pay $1,000 and get a trained horse out of the kill pen why would I pay $1,000 for a two-year-old with minimal show potential from Backyard Morgans, Inc? But I kind of doubt that it has much of an impact on them since so few people rescue, and if it does, oh well, one less low-end breeder in the marketplace.

    To put it bluntly, I kind of don’t care. If I hear of a Morgan headed for a terrifying end in a slaughterhouse because its previous owners no longer wanted to pay for it, I’m not going to stop and think about the commercial breeders and how this will affect their bottom line. Again, I don’t think that it DOES affect their bottom line, but I’m really not all that concerned about it.

    Also, we’re nowhere near the crazy 80s of the Arab world. We’re not even as bad as the Arab world when they’re being conservative.

  9. leslie says:

    “She said breed would be better off if the majority of those horses being rescued were just culled, bumping the supply/demand ratio back up.”

    I want to respond to this, too. First off, what does she mean that “the breed” is better off? Does it mean that the Arabian-owning elite are still able to sell living works of art for absurd prices because there’s an artificial shortage of these horses when the less desirable can be sent by the double-decker trailerload to the nearest feedlot? Because the Arabian horses who are getting a pickaxe to the spine in a Mexican slaughterhouse certainly aren’t better off when they don’t get rescued. Is “the breed” the horse, or the people who profit from them?

    Secondly, I’m not actually opposed to culling your herd, if you feel there’s a need to do so. It’s my understanding that this is common practice in Europe where the studbooks are very tightly controlled, and not all horses will make it. If you take an objective look at your foal crop and decide some of them are not up to the standard of your breeding program, have your vet euthanize them. DON’T put them through Cochran (or New Holland) with no reserve and then let them go for $25 while telling yourself, “he’s going to a great home! Probably some kid’s 4-H project!”

    If you would rather send your horse off to a terrifying and potentially agonizing death at someone else’s hands rather than pay for humane euthanasia at your farm or let your horses live out their days in your pasture, then don’t breed horses.

  10. Tea says:

    Leslie, well said. The outlandishness of the Arab world in the 80s was so out of control. There is no comparison to breeding and selling in the Morgan world, even it at it’s most energetic, to the Arab world in it’s hay day.

    Your question of is the breed the horse or the people who profit from them is an interesting one. For this line of conversation, sadly, I can only come to the conculusion that the person who thinks the breed would be better off if rescues were killed is on the side of the folks who are in line for a profit.

  11. MeNMandolin says:

    Back to the slaughter-bound Morgans: Gwendolyn is now showing as “pending,” so she may be safe. C Echo C Lemon Twist and her four-year old filly are still available/in peril, as are several other Morgans with and without papers. Just spread the word to those who might provide homes. Often a sponsor will step up to help with the sale price, quarantine or transport. The homes are hard to find.

  12. Chris Nerland says:

    I would like to comment on the “Backyard Breeder”. It has become a shorthand term for someone who breeds indiscriminately. I think that has just enough truth in it to sting. However, it isn’t just the backyard operation that produces mediocre horses. The genetic shuffle means that if you breed WC X to WC Y you ain’t gonna get WC Z every time (despite the hype). If you go to Cochran or the Buckeye auctions, you will certainly find some nonentities by ‘Buck” out of “Cookie”, but you will also find some rather well known pedigrees. When I first saw the Buckeye catalog, my comment was-”So this is where the big farms sell all those other foals from the back pasture!” Now, there are some very nice horses that go through the Auctions, but it isn’t the Backyard Breeders who are cranking out 20 plus foals a year! Not every foal is a WC just because they come from a big name farm and have a weird name with a multi-letter prefix. I am thankful we are not like the AQHA with some farms producing 100s, but our big farms are as much (or more) a part of the problem as the backyard breeder who produces 1 or 2 a year. I submit that your average Morgan Horse backyard breeder is less likely to sell their foal at auction and far more likely to have that foal placed in a good home than the farm that holds a production sale w/no reserve. Their foal is also likely to be calm, intelligent, sound and capable of being handled by a child or an older adult. The Morgan was meant to be a family horse, not a showring hothouse flower. It is to the breeds credit that so many of the showring horses can retire to a calm useful existence. The horses needing rescue fell through the cracks. But tell me, aren’t the nonentities just as deserving of rescue as the well-pedigreed ones?

  13. leslie says:

    You’re right, Chris. I’m guilty of throwing around the term “backyard breeder,” but I agree that commercial breeders are probably bigger contributors to the problem.

    I would also agree that no horse is inherently more worthy of rescue than any other. But there’s something even more painful about seeing a horse thrown away when you know exactly how much that horse gave its previous owners in the show ring (or breeding shed, in so many cases.) It’s purely emotional, not logical, but there it is.

    Simply put, you can’t save them all. If you have a vacant space on your farm for one rescue, it makes sense to choose the one that is going to be most compatible with you and your farm. I guess you have to harden your heart a little and say no to some horses, or you risk becoming a hoarder and having to have the horses rescued from you.

  14. auctioneer says:

    I take great offense to Leslie for saying Don’t send your horse to Cochran or New Holland. We DON”T have meat buyers at our auction and no horse has ever gone to slaughter from our auction, including the $25. weanling. If you will check the records I think you will find that 95% of the horses that end up in the kill pens come from the Amish. You don’t want them slaughtered but you would kill an animal just because it doesn’t meet your standards.
    Before you bash us get your facts straight.
    Penny Cochran

  15. MeNMandolin says:

    The commenter’s name appears above their comment, so Leslie did not make the comment you attribute to her. Just to clarify.

  16. auctioneer says:

    Her name is above the comment

  17. MeNMandolin says:

    Isn’t it Chris Nerland who makes the reference to Cochran? I am new to this forum and may be mistaken. I just wanted to try and help some Morgans, as the Saddlebred folks seem to do successfully for their breed. No luck in that so far.

  18. RaeOfLight says:

    The quote auctioneer was referencing did come from Leslie.

    I’m leaving the thread open for now, but in my opinion this topic has seen enough discussion.

  19. Chris Nerland says:

    I did, but my reference was not in relation to Cochran or Buckeye being “killer” auctions, but in reference to the variety of horses going through. I noted (correctly) that you can have very nice horses at those auctions. If I was looking for an excellent riding horse, trained to the maximum, for a reasonable price, I would go to the Cochran auction, because I have seen them there.
    I suspect that the horses featured in the rescue came from Amish owners, particularly as some of them were noted to drive single and double and to have harness marks.

  20. Montehorse says:

    Cochran does have nice horses that run through their auction. It is always a “risk” to put your horse through. You never know who will pick them up. I am not saying that running your horse through an auction is a good thing. Sometimes it is the only alternative for people who lose their jobs during in a bad economy.

    Some of the larger barns run through some very nice horses that may not be “open” horses. My last horse that I purchased, and sold, won the Grand National Carriage driving Championship in England. I paid very little for her. She was not what I wanted, but I waited for the right buyer.

    On another note…there are many Amish families that attend the Cochran auction every year. Not all Amish owners are abusive. It is their way of life, and unfortunately animals are used for work. When they can’t work to a certain extent, they get rid of them. Many end up at the kill auctions.

    It breaks my heart to see so many nice horses being run through the auction and ending up slaughter mills, though. People need to take responsibility for what they are breeding. Large breeders need to limit their breeding programs. Small breeders need to have a reason to breed. Many people in the Morgan world breed horses that are too hot (we want that Park horse). This is very undesirable to so many people.

  21. Flmorgan says:

    These horses can make great family trail horses or lesson horses for Riding Academies like ours. We take in a few rescues and either rehome them or use them as school horses if they work out. Most do. Not everyone is interested in a fancy show horse but love Morgans. Some of these Rescue horses are well trained and have shown up back in the show ring again. If anyone needs school horses I would look at some of these Amish horses. Sometimes with a little work you have a horse that will make some money for you.

  22. Peppermintpatti says:

    I would like to chime in on this thread to say I have bought horses at both Cochran and Mid A. One of the horses I purchased from Cochran won several world championships for us and is still kicking butt for his new rider.

    Last year I purchased the most beautiful filly from the Mid A sale, her breeding is remarkable. She won a large class of hunter pleasure three year olds earlier this year and will be showing at nationals.

    Not all the horses at auctions are show quality but that is not to say that you can never find an incredible prospect for a wonderful price. Family horses and brood mares are also abundant at these auctions.

    I have made purchases from both individuals and auctions and must say my luck is pretty much the same. The one positive thing about buying a horse from an individual is the opportunity to do a pre purchase exam.

  23. eseybold21 says:

    If anyone is interested im going to start a new topic along the lines of “show” and “backyard”. Throughout the 42 yrs we have been in business we have seen a lot of changes in the breed in a lot of ways. Some good, some, well kind of sad. I would like to hear everyones opinion!

  24. IED says:

    “I’m sure this will be an unpopular opinion. But while rescuing a Morgan may give someone the warm and fuzzies, does it benefit the breed? If we keep these “extra” horses cycling around in the market, isn’t it only going to perpetuate a downward cycle in the prices of horses owned by people who are actively investing in the breed?”

    Well, though it’s been stated by others, more than occasionally horses slip through the cracks. Yes there are a lot of culls that end up in bad places, but there are good ones that end up in bad places. Not a Morgan, but an example that comes to mind is Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand who wound up on a dinner plate in Japan. I think we can all recognize that Ferdinand wasn’t a cull, no?

    Farms and owners send horses through Morgan auctions like Cochran for various reasons… lately I would imagine the economy is playing a big part. Horses aren’t selling like they used to, particularly the mid-range priced show horse ($15-35k or so). Sometimes, owners simply need to cut their losses and send a horse on their way so as not to continue paying $1000+/mo in board/training etc. bills. It adds up very quickly and can gouge a serious hole in your pocket when you’re trying to sell and can’t move the horse. The Morgans are a very niche market, particularly the Morgan show horse. It’s not like selling a jumper… there aren’t hundreds of thousands of people that do Morgan show horses like there are people who do jumping, dressage, combined training, et cetera. Hence, the auctions.

    There are horses that go through the auctions who are culls, certainly; there are also some exceptional horses that go through. I know people who have purchased WCs through Cochran… horses with no issues and who are there for no reason other than unfortunate financial circumstances.

    And truly… who is to say that those horses being rescued aren’t worthy of a home? Even if they are the ugliest, most deformed creature, if they are kind and do their job, there is a use for them. Chances are simply that it won’t involve breeding! (One can only hope)

  25. MeNMandolin says:

    Gwendolyn, Lemon Twist and her filly, and several other Morgans have been found homes. Of course, there will be more next week. No, they can’t all be saved from slaughter, but some can.

  26. leslie says:

    Sorry, Penny. Not trying to bash your auction. I’ve got no beef with Cochran and my point would have been the same if I’d just left the name out of my post, which I guess I should have done. I DO have a problem with some of the people who carelessly put their horses through an auction (any auction) without a reserve and don’t bother to screen the buyers at all. I went back and reread my post, and I don’t think that was unclear. But I’m sorry that you saw it as an attack on Cochran, because that wasn’t my intention.

    If you want to take the wayback machine to maybe 2008 where we discussed Cochran on this very blog, you’ll find that I once actually said that I doubted meat buyers went to Cochran, and was corrected by a big name breeder who said that they did indeed show up, but that the Morgan folks would usually bid to save any horse that was in danger of going to them. So I don’t know. But even without the meat buyers, sending a horse to someone who paid $25 seems ominous to me. Putting a reserve on your horse just seems like the responsible thing to do.

    “You don’t want them slaughtered but you would kill an animal just because it doesn’t meet your standards.”

    Well, theoretically, but I’d rather not do either, which is why I have never and probably will never breed a horse. But given the choice between humane euthanasia at home or the likelihood of a terrifying, painful end in a slaughterhouse, you’d better believe I’d choose the former for my horse.

  27. Chris Nerland says:

    I just wanted to thank MeNMandolin for her efforts. We are all very happy to hear that some were saved. No, we cannot save them all, but quietly heroic people are out there doing their best. Any of us involved in animal rescue know that saving “some” is what keeps us going. The heartache is great but the rewards are greater.

  28. dressagemorganrider says:

    I am very happy to hear that all were saved.

    A few of the recent AC4H/Forever Morgans horses that came from New Holland or other low-end auctions *were* well-bred, proven show horses who had fallen on hard times. One had sold at one of the big all-Morgan auctions last year or the year before for high 4-figures, not a lot in the Private Treaty world, but above average for these sales. Another still had sales video up on YouTube, of it being shown in a Park class (not very happily.) Definitely more money was being asked for that horse than it would get at New Holland. For both the latter horses, I wonder if they proved to have some “issue” that made them unsafe or unsound.

  29. Flmorgan says:

    Probably more economics as it is fall and maybe the horses won’t be used so the Amish farmers don’t want to feed them for the winter. Most were driving horses. Unfortunatly horses are like cars to them and when they want a new one there goes the old one. Some could have some soundness issues. I’m glad they were all saved.

  30. auctioneer says:

    Leslie, what irritates me is that people get on the internet and spout off about things they know nothing about.
    I will say this one last time, WE DON’T HAVE MEAT BUYERS AT OUR AUCTION. The breeder who said we did proved their ignorance. We do have one man, who purchases alot of horses, not only at our auction, but the Signature Sale, Buckeye,Mid-Atlantic, and even Copper Dragon. He is not a meat buyer.
    As far as reserves go, every horse consigned to our auction has a reserve. It is up to the consignor to either accept or reject the final bid. They don’t have to sell. If you had ever been to one of our auctions you would know how we operate. We don’t play games with reserve not attained, or bidding the horse up to make it look good for everyone. When each horse leaves the ring it is either sold or no sale and everyone there knows it.
    There is nothing wrong with selling or buying at auction. It is used everyday from cars to antiques, property, and everything imaginable is sold at auction.
    There is a big difference between the registered horse auctions and the weekly stockyards sales. And I don’t like being compared to them. That is all I am going to say on the matter.

    Penny Cochran

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