Every November, people looking to unload or stock up on their supply of dead and injured horses gallop to the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
For auction organizer Timothy Blentelneck, the event is a wonderful tradition that officially marks the start of the winter and Thanksgiving season.
“It’s a fabulous yearly ritual in which horse owners can salvage some money from their horses that either died or had an accident during the year,” Blentelneck said. “It is also a great chance for aspiring horse owners to get some experience caring for horses without shelling out a lot of money. If you can’t care for an injured horse, you have no business owning a healthy horse. And if you can’t care for a dead horse, you have no business living on this planet.”
Animal rights advocate Melanie Halterbottom said the practice of selling injured and dead horses is disgusting, and doesn’t serve the purposes that organizers purport it does.
“I happen to know that at least 95 percent of people buying these dead and injured horses have no interest in learning how to care for a healthy horse,” Halterbottom said. “Most of the injured horses are brought home and tortured by teenage children, which are the main consumers in this auction by the way. And the dead horses are almost exclusively used for a unique Thanksgiving dinner dishes, including filet 0′ filly, pony pie, cream of colt, and steed potato casserole.”
Marion businessman and horse devouring enthusiast Bill Gilligan said there is nothing wrong with enjoying horse meat on Thanksgiving, or any other day of the week.
“2,657 horses die every 10 seconds in the United States, and most of them either rot in the field or are used as household decorations in Montana,” Gilligan said. “I consider myself a new age Native American. They used every part of the buffalo, I use every part of the horse. On Thanksgiving, for example, I fashion the mane of the horse into a fabulous hat. The four hooves are hidden around the house for the children to find. Each child that finds a hoof gets one cup of premium mare-inara sauce. We make bronco butter, ‘chicken’ naglets, and sweet and sour stallion. Everything is covered in horseradish sauce. It’s a great day.”
Blentelneck said he does not have an opinion on equine dining.
“Look, I’m not here to tell you what to do with your dead or injured horse once you’ve bought it,” Blentelneck said. “The last time I checked, this was still America, even with that Kenyan prince running things.”
At the end of the day on Thursday, 7,510 injured horses found new owners, and 10,056 dead horses found new homes.