Thursday, October 27, 2005

Red and the Horses of Camp Pendlton...continued

This is Red...I will post additional photos.

This is happening on Camp Pendleton and these abuses, neglect and cruelty has been happening to these horses for over 6 years that I am PERSONALLY aware of and apparently since the current Base Stable Manager has been there.

5 years ago I went to the top at Camp Pendleton about the condition of the Base Stables and asked why there needed to be literally hundreds of horses on the Base from Hart Ranch/Corona Cattle.

It seems at that time that the Colonel who was under the CG was oblivious to any of this and if I remember correctly the Inspector General did a inspection and 5 years later, it seems that from the care standpoint of the horses, they failed.

My questions (just mine mind you):

Why are there over 200 "Hart" horses on the Base?
Whose care are they under?
Where are the leases?
Where are the records an each and EVERY horse from Hart Ranch (Corona Cattle) that is housed on Base?
Why are they not being vetted? Why are farriers not caring for their feet? Why are they not being wormed and given their yearly shots?
If they are, then were are all of those records?
Who is paying for the care of these animals (or lack there of) and where are those records?
Why has this been going on for something close to a decade?
Why does the Base Stable Manager still have a job?

The questions go on. So far the only call I have received from the Base in my attempt to get a meeting with General Lehnert (the CG), is a call from a MAJOR from public affairs! Wow, special! When I returned the call today, I was informed by a Corporal that the major was in meetings and would probably not be able to get back to me until next week!

Personally, I want MY questions answered. Then I want criminal charges brought against the people who are starving and otherwise not caring for these poor animals.



Thank you.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"RED" is dying - The Horses of Camp Pendleton

I named him 'RED', not overly original for a red horse to be named "Red", but his time on earth is coming to an end and I am helpless to do anything.

Red lives on Camp Pendleton. The story of the horses on Camp Pendleton is one that NEEDS to be told and one that FEW know anything about.

The stable manager of the base stable, Don Nunamaker would have you believe that the hundreds of horses that wander the base and those that use to (and probably still do) live in and around the base stable with the 'boarders' are used for their 'riding program'.

Let me tell you a little about my experience with the horses of Camp Pendleton from 1999-2001. I had a horse boarded at the base stables about that time and there were always about 80-100 head of horses that wandered around the stable area (that was one of the trashiest and most dangerous I've ever been around) at will. The thing I noticed about these horses was that they had a HEART shaped brand on their left shoulders.

Long stories wrapped into a short one for this post. HART RANCH owns these horses. "SLIM" Hart you see lives with his wife in Corona, California and he goes and buys horses from killer sales, goes and gets injured race horses and buys from people who are desperate to sell their animals for whatever reason and then he takes them back to his place and assesses them...some go into the 'movies', as they supply the Hollywood horses, some get resold, often at pretty good prices, some go to 'camps' (i.e., Camp Pendleton) and many are put into feed lots and then transported (against FEDERAL LAW) out of California and into Wyoming, then across to Canada to be slaughtered and sold for food to France.

I won't bore you with the details now, but back in 1999-2001, I use to ride the hills of Camp Pendleton (and hike) and saw many horses who were starved, injured and completely uncared for. At that time I blew the whistle on the base stable manager, the colonel who was in charge of MWR and went nose to nose with the Colonel who represented the base Commanding General.

I wanted to know:
  • Why all of these horses were allowed in the 'general population' with our boarded horses and WHO was responsible for them?
  • Why these horses came in and out in the middle of the night and why they seemed to not receive any vet care, shoeing, etc.
  • WHO was PAYING for the board on all of these horses?
  • Where was the lease agreement with Hart Ranch that showed that board was being PAID?
  • Why was there a clear conflict of interest with Hart Ranch/Don Nunamaker (they are related)?
  • Why were we being told that ALL the horses were needed to support the 'riding program'? When in fact, they never needed more then 20 horses at any given time and there were from 150-600 horses from HART Ranch on Camp Pendleton at any given time...apparently for FREE!

I remember that I contacted the human society and the media and there attempt to go on the base to check the welfare of the animals were denied...just one more government coverup.

What all that got me back then was threatened and my own horse injured.

Now fast foward to 2005, I am hiking those hills again and there are roughly 100 plus horses wandering around. RED is one of them and he is older, probably 20 or so and he is STARVING, he is at least 300 pounds underweight and can barely stand. This evening I found him and held his head, I know his time will come soon, you see if the coyotes come he will be unable to get away, he can barely walk and there is no grass on the base that hasn't died. His eyes are so soft, he must have been a great horse at one time and now he is doomed. No one from the Base care for these horses, they forage what they can and die when they become weak. Earlier this spring we came across a dead horse...newly dead, he must have been taken down after he became too week by the coyotes.

Is Red the only one in this shape? Sadly no, he isn't . There are at least 6-8 who are starving, injured or have something wrong with them...they too will die soon.

I am again looking into Hart Ranch. They have (had) a 'main' ranch in Temecula/Murrieta, California for the 'movie' horses, then Slim and his wife have the place in Corona and they will NOT let anyone go into the back areas where the feedlots are that keep the injured horses and those being readied to be shipped ultimately into Canada for slaughter.

Back in '99, '00, I remember finding out that the Colonel who headed up what was then MWR on Camp Pendleton allowed the Base stable manager (Nunamaker) to have some sort of deal with Hart Ranch to keep all the horses on the that time there was NO money being paid by Hart Ranch to keep the horses, my guess is it is the same 5 years later.

Think of how much the taxpayers have paid for these horses over the past decade at $100/head times on average 200/month. Then think about the fact that alot of these horses will go to slaughter, they aren't used for riding programs, most of them are not sound enough to be ridden and wouldn't that then mean that the Marine Corps and the goverment is now involved with trafficking of horses across borders for the purpose of slaughter, or at the very least, 'fattening' them up so to speak to accomplish the end result.

So there is some food for thought. I will pray for RED...I actually pray that I had a 'cocktail' to give him to put him down with just an ounce of dignity left in his starved body...

I have listed a link to an OLD (1996) blurp that shows you the type of person that "Slim" is...

If anyone knows of PETA reps, or others that would like to do some investigation, I will show them the horses...

Thank you for reading this and for anyone who can help.


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