Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:49 PM
By NATALIE WHEELER
For the Capital Press
United Horsemen, the group behind a proposed horse slaughter facility outside Hermiston, Ore., wants to build a $3 million horse rehabilitation, training and education center on the same 300-acre property.
According to president Dave Duquette, the facility would host an educational program, with 30 to 40 college students learning from horse trainers, and an indoor equine-assisted therapy arena for individuals with handicaps.
Although the center is planned to be built a quarter-mile away from the horse slaughter facility, Duquette said the two entities will not be connected.
The two possible facilities do, however, comprise United Horsemen's controversial solution to the recent drop in horse prices and the reinstatement of horse slaughter facilities in the United States. The slaughter facility would be joined by space for rehabilitation and training of unwanted horses.
Unwanted horses entering the center would either receive rehabilitation or reining-style training. Unrideable horses, because of age or condition, would have veterinary care and time at pasture. All horses will be spayed or gelded.
A horse will be euthanized if deemed critically ill. Horses unable to be rehabilitated would go to sale and, if unable to be sold, sent to the the proposed horse slaughter facility.
"It's our goal to improve horse welfare," Duquette said. "I want to bring the value up of these horses and send them to homes."
Horse trainer Christian Rammerstorfer would be a consultant, adding other horse trainers to oversee the project. The program would also work with veterinarian Don Peter and Pendleton's equine-assisted therapy organization, Dream Catcher Therapeutics.
United Horsemen, a non-profit horse organization, has not yet raised the $3 million needed for the 100-acre center, which Duquette said will be funded through private donations.
Duquette, who currently trains quarterhorses, said he has talked with colleges such as the University of Florida to bring students to the center.
"They have the attitude that if you build it, we will come," Duquette said of college involvement with the training center. "Which is fine. I know we'll have no problem with the whole thing running and funding itself."
Posted By: sharkskeeponcomin On: 3/21/2013
Title: Never in all my life
I read the article and I cant believe it. I am really trying hard to understand how this works, the EU has Banned export of meats last night, so they wake up and do an article on we are gonna go right ahead and slaughter and teach people within this new building all about horses and then when we see fit we are gonna kill of the rides. So i noticed it said rehabilitate or reining training. There are such a tiny number of horses that can pass reining training so that will rule many body types, breeds, and sizes of horses out. Sounds a little narrow minded. Rehabilitating does that mean that since horse owners who couldnt afford them obviously couldnt ride or train them? I am tryin to follow this, seems to me that a high percentage of these animals will go down the tubes. Next why would you pick Florida riders to have to fly across the states to spend time at this center? Cause no takers here? As well I am curious, why would any rescue try to feed animals and then send them to the sale barn and those who dont go to homes get killed. Is this gonna be next to Skye McNeils familys auction house? Just wondering, and the 3 million dollar investment for a non-profit business works legally how, do the investors gain their money back and if so, how? Lastly how many people realistically are you going to sell these reiners too? cause its pretty specialized and without papers on their cast off horses you all call them where can they shown or be useful. Been in horses a full lifetime 4 generation horse trainer, we have the trophy room to prove it. Our family has shown four registered breeds and all have been successful in many divisions. So we are just pondering how you explain to disabled riders that pretty horse over there will be cut apart because we cant ride it? I dont think that makes much sense. What college would actually get involved where the slaughter and auction part of this comes into play? Finally, these young trainer wanna be's you are just teaching them to have disposable horses, because if this one doesnt work out you kill it off, thats not horsemanship-you teach people what they can do with horses and then the responsibility is a lifetime and if you choose not to keep it you find it another home not kill it. I am not an activist but I can see the holes in this business.