Abandoned & starving Thoroughbreds - Whispering Creek Farm, KY

Horrible. Approximately 20 malnourished & neglected horses at the center of an investigation opened in March. At least one horse is missing.

Also, maybe I am missing something or am guilty of over-romanticizing, but this quote from one of the horse owners, Amanda Scarsella, kind of rubbed me the wrong way. (I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt - cut/paste quotes aren’t always recorded exactly as spoken or may not translate well. It just seems a bit cold, like she’s more worried about catalog pages than starved animals).

“It is a giant web of crap,” Scarsella continued. “It is not just that my horses were starved and one possibly stolen; it is maybe you’re not going to be breeding this year and your mares’ pages are damaged because your homebreds aren’t going to make it to the track.”


I have been following this and wondering when it would make it to BH.

I get the quote but agree it does come across the wrong way. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, these horses are a product and that product’s value is diminished by a lack of race record.

I imagine it was said in the heat of a moment in a very emotional/stressful situation.

How awful for everyone involved. Bad enough when horses go missing, it’s a whole different level when you come up on a farm that has starving horses with several dead.

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In this case there are starved & dead horses & horses they have gone missing.

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Just vile. And he’ll get off with a slap on his wrists.

I think the point of her comment was that not only was damage done to the horses, but damages were also incurred by those connected to these horses, whether personal or in a business sense.

I guess she didn’t publicly mourn the correct way.


Agree with On The Farm.

Her comment didn’t bother me at all-- actually, I fully understand. She isn’t looking for sympathy, she is feeling very very angry. A starved gelding would still be terrible, but starving a mare and losing a year (plus) on a healthy broodmare in her prime is awful. Mares only have the chance to produce a limited number of foals. Racing prospects who don’t make it to the track hurt a mare’s progeny record and may devalue her future foals.

The mare may get healthy and fat again in a few months, but the economic damage of the starvation will take longer to overcome.


I did qualify my statement…and I do understand that there is unavoidable economic impact that has to be taken into consideration. I’m wise enough to not be only about the warm fuzzies of breeding performance horses.

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