“Almost on a daily basis, we see something about a horse being neglected,” Marty Irby, senior director of rural outreach and equine protection at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), told The Dodo. It’s hard to even put a number on how many former show and racehorses end up in destitution. “I’ve seen more in the southeast than anywhere. There’s a lot of show horses and racehorses there,” Irby said.
Some show and racehorses are bred in large operations, almost similar to puppy mills, Irby said. “It’s a shame because so many of these horses are a means to an end,” he said. “They don’t care about the horse — they treat it like an object, not like a living creature.”
For instance, last summer in Lexington, Kentucky, a breeder tried to abandon 43 horses after she was done with them. And many unwanted horses in the U.S. end up getting shipped elsewhere for slaughter.