Polish Arabians Seized at Canterbury Farm in Maryland

A comment I originally posted on a LinkedIn group.

Some of the best Polish Bloodlines around–and a prime example of over breeding for years and years, creating a flooded and false market that could not handle an economic turn down of any measure. As a person who promotes consciousness in the horse industry, including marketing and breeding practices, this saddens me.

I am also a lover of the amazing, intelligent and people loving Arabian horse. What is also very disturbing is the message boards I read that were for the most part directing the blame at the rescues, the Humane society–and everyone else; instead of the breeder, and even more, the epidemic of over breeding.

And how about everyone in the Polish Arabian Breeders group that might have reached out to her, instead of blaming those that are stepping in to protect the horses? If she was in tough financial times (as some reports indicate)–perhaps others might have helped, if they knew. Apparently KORONA, the Polish Arabian group/society is stepping in to see what they can do.

Everyone ( message board supporters) seems to be more worried about preserving the bloodlines at this point and the ability to adopt “breedable” horses, than the well-being of the horses. All of this should be a wake-up call to those that breed excessively, without the long term well-being of the horse at heart, including those organizations and associations that support this behavior by their silence and turning their heads the other way. More foals mean more registration dollars and on and on and on.

This industry is in desperate need of real change. For the love of the horse.


10 comments to Polish Arabians Seized at Canterbury Farm in Maryland

  • PamS

    Half of these horses are betweent he ages of 18-35.
    Rather than over breeding, they have been treasured.
    Imagine the horror of watching your treasured dowagers and scared young ones chased into trucks through torn down fencing. I have been to this farm. THANK GOD the two mares of mine that were there have come home BEFORE this intrusion. How much kinder it would have been to work with the horses in their familiar environs. I have been to the farm, and the horses were loved. Coming out of winter, many older horses are not going to look their best, but the pictures I have seen of the young stock are far from emaciated. This is a world renowned and respected breeder NOT an ignorant, irresponsible breeder. This could have been handled MUCH better than it was/is. These are bloodlines that go back 7 generations. It is foundation stock that should not be lost to bleeding heart PETA pathetics. No one is sending a dime to the rescues. Instead a donation fund has been set up for a legal fund for the owner of the horses. These are priceless genetics being bandied about to elicit funds for a rescue. Sickening.

    • 1horselover

      Pam, you are totally incorrect, I volunteer at one of the rescues which has some of these poor horses. Our vet says all the ones we have are between 4-10 years old. They are NOT old and they have NOT been “loved.” They are woefully undernourised, barely tame enough to handle, terrified of people, half-wild, have terrible skin conditions that were totally treatable, their feet have not been trimmed in over a year, it takes hours to catch and treat them, they have not been handled. Their manes and tails are in tangled knots, their ribs and hipbones stick out, and they have sores on their faces where ill-fitting halters were left too long. It is REPREHENSIBLE, INDEFENSIBLE, and an INSULT to the breed and to all horse people everywhere. And YES, people who care about the HORSES, not their “bloodlines being lost,” are donating to the rescues. If the owner, or people like you, cared about the bloodlines, how did you let this happen? If you know her so well, why didn’t you DO something? Just the vet bills and feed bills to bring these horses back to health will be astronomical. This woman was irresponsible to let this happen to these beautiful animals, and you should hang your head in shame instead of defending such actions. What does PETA have to do with it? The ASPCA and the Humane Association were called in BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME NEGLECT OF THESE ANIMALS. I can’t imagine what kind of horse owner you are, if you had two mares there and did nothing.

      • Marie

        I could not agree with you more, horselover. I’m sick and tired of people ranting about the breed and crying and screaming, “Oh no, they’re going to geld the stallions!” or “What about their papers?” There are thousands, probably tens or hundreds of thousands, of horses who go to slaughter simply because there are too many horses, and here this woman is contributing to the problem. There needs to be stricter laws about breeding, at least until the overpopulation problem becomes more manageable. Thankfully, most horse rescues don’t permit you to breed a horse you adopt.

        PamS, YOU are sickening, especially if you saw what was going on and did nothing. Have you even seen pictures of the horses? Malnourished, unhandled, hooves and teeth in need of care. Even their most basic needs were not provided for. You care nothing for the horses, only pedigree and money. This irresponsible breeder doesn’t deserve a dime. How is letting horses reproduce at will responsible? She could’ve done many things before it got to the point where horses had to be put down and seized, such as contacting the media and asking for help, or offering the horses at cheaper prices. Forget preserving the breed, how about preserving the quality of life of the horse itself, first?

    • Destiny

      No there not, I have not seen any horses over the age of 10yo come out of that place. The colt I got is barly 2yo. and my freind got 10 horses 6 are 10yo the rest are 2-4yo. And 18 is not old for an Arabian, I have a Crabbet arabian gelding thats 24yo and im still showing him in 3-day eventing with no end in sight. most of the horses in his blood line lived untell the were over 50. But no matter which way you spin it this is bad!

  • Blair

    I’m sorry, but I do not buy the excuses I keep seeing people post that just because they’re old and we’re “coming out of winter” that horses are expected to look skinny.

    For one, 18? Not old! Especially for an Arabian! (Or so I’m told)

    For two, either she has the ability to care for these horses (if it was one that was a bit skinny? Okay…maybe she’d get a pass for having a hard keeper. But she has MANY who are underweight and not all of them are “old”) or she doesn’t. Yes, older horses aren’t as easy to keep weight on as younger ones but you know what? With the right care, it’s possible in almost every case! I know a 35 year old (at least, the vet’s guessing by her teeth) with organ damage from prior starvation, bad teeth (but the vet is afraid to sedate her to float them), and a heart murmur. Despite that, she gets fed several times a day in senior, hay pellets, and chopped forage and all the alfalfa she can gum. You would never guess she’s the age she is or that she arrived in the condition she did (she was turned away from New Holland as being unfit for sale and they’ll run almost anything through there!).

    So the age thing? Just gets my hackles up.

    And winter? Come on, it’s MAY. And I live in MD…my heater’s been off for at least a month. This past winter? Wasn’t /that/ bad. Certainly not as bad as the previous winter.

    And nobody’s saying she’s ignorant. I think the fact that she isn’t just makes this situation all the more tragic.

    Plus, at least one of the rescues involved has nothing to do with PETA so I’m not sure why I keep seeing people saying this is just a plot by PETA fanatics to take this woman’s horses.

    Sorry to hijack the post.

    • Marie

      Agreed, this certainly has nothing to do with PETA. It’s just an insult slung around by people who hate on animal lovers. Not sure why, I have nothing against PETA.

      My gelding lived to be close to 30, and even in the winter he was fat and happy. Never showed a rib a day in his life. Why? Because he was loved and provided for, something these poor horses never knew.

      The fact that none of the younger ones have ever been handled, aside from being very dangerous, only shows how badly they were all neglected. A yearling should not be dangerous to halter.

  • Patty

    Please see my new post in reference to the above comments. http://www.horsemarketingbook.com/category/commentary/

    I appreciate the discourse and hope that changes made in the way people think and operate their horse businesses.

    Thank you,

  • Karen R

    I do not understand how this could happen – I am not in the horse business but know folks who are – how could you not liquidate your stock when you start having financial trouble? How is worth preserving a blood line if the animals have to suffer? Clearly, she had it together at one time as the images on the website and some of the other links to associations and breeders. Perhaps she is “well-respected” but is she “well-liked” as it does not seem that anyone stepped in to help her? And now, we want to come down on those who would help the animals move on to a happy life – I’d like to adopt one but in all that I am reading, these animals are going to sit in various rescue organizations’ fields while the legal wrangling over how the “rescue” was handled continues. Perhaps if the associations had stepped in to try to sell them cheap – perhaps they could have homes and jobs. So, rather than “risk the bloodlines” – it was better for them to languish in dusty cobweb stalls with inadequate feed and care. Clearly, the $ fell short in recent years and the animals (who can’t speak) just hung out – making do with what was available. The reason these animals sat on her farm for so long had everything to do with the almighty $ – waiting for some way to get out of the financial mess she had to be in with the investment in MD property and horses she had made when the economy was “good” (although- is it ever?) This is a sad example of the over-inflated sense of the monetary value of breeding horses. Horses should be bred to be loved with a job to do – these animals appear to have neither. There needs to be responsibility in the industry.

  • Destinee

    This is a verry sad sichuation. She allso had about 30 some horses here in VA. I was fortunate to get one of these horses. Hes about 1 1/2-2yo, I named him Jasper, I have only had him for a weak, but so far he is the best and smartest horse I have owned. Show him something one time and hes got it. I had him walking on the trailer with no problem in 5min. and walking allover a tarp in 1. He falows me everyweare and hes a beautiful Rose Gray. Jasper and my Crabet Arabian Apollo,tha I rescued 10yrs ago, are best freinds. Apollo is 24yo and is going to make a perfect mentor for jasper. All of the horses I looked at were verry well behaved and if you can adopt one of these horses I would definetly recomend it.

  • Betsy

    Well, all charges except 10 (failure to provide shelter in some of the paddocks) were thrown out. Apparently, some of the photos were tampered with, and some were not even of the horses seized, but were proven to be of prior horses that the rescues had rescued. Aside from the unconsitutional seizure.. I don’t forsee the prosecutor putting much credence in those rescues or ACOs in the future.

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