In April of 2016, I made a decision to try to help the horses that came through the auction in New Holland, Pa.
I met and talked with the owners and dealer's, many of which were unsure at first, but agreed to what I asked. I knew these horses were vulnerable to falling into dangerous situations and that very few people could actually attend the sale in person.
I started with a quick description and some photos, then posted them to our Facebook group page "Horses Of New Holland" each Sunday evening. The news of these efforts spread and the membership grew rapidly.
People within the U.S. and internationally started to follow us. People volunteered to help members who couldn't attend in person by answering questions and proxy bidding on their behalf. This lead to 12-15 horses being purchased weekly for people from all over. We then introduced video of the horses, which people embraced as they could get a good sence of the horses personality.
Resources for transport, quarantine and a guide on how to navigate the auction to attend in person were added to the group page. A list of area rescues that pull horses from the auction was added. Attendance and membership grew!
A group page to help rescues and trainers called "Horses Of New Holland After" was created. Horses that had come through the auction and were now ready for a new home could be posted here. People who wanted an already quarantined and vetted horse, with more information than is offered at the auction, could go to that group page to find their new best friend.
All was going really well for the horses, but prices started to go up, and kill buyers and flippers were being exposed. People now knew if a horse had just come through the auction and hadn't really been used as a trail horse / show horse as the flippers claimed. Their fabricated stories became harder to sell. Kill buyers broker programs were also now not as profitable, and there was a lot more competition for them with attendance now way up. These two groups began to complain about our coverage and networking. The auction held out for awhile, but eventually gave in to the kill buyers threats and demands to keep their business coming in. As well as we were doing, our 12-15 wasn't enough compared to the 40-60+ the kill buyers bought every week. The auction owners made the call, photos and video were banned. This certainly slowed us down, but I couldn't let it end there.
I'd offered to work with the auction to get them an online presence and guide them along that road, but there was no interest. So, Horses Of New Holland Before was created. The purpose here was to get the horses sold prior to ever coming to the auction barn. They would be safer on many levels and their owners had an alternative with rehoming them.
All these things have lead us to the point of creating our online sale. Horses Of New Holland (Auction Alternative). So many people across the country have found themselves in unforeseen circumstances and need to re-home their horses, often on short notice. Dealers spend $700 - $1000 per sale, when hauling a load in from out of state. Buyers have to take off from work, drive to the sale to bid, and make a decision with little information in less than one minutes time. Horses get stressed and often injured in transport, are exposed to a variety of illnesses and traumatized by the crowd and other horses in the barn. This is a better way for the buyer, seller and horse!
This will be available across the country, not just locally. Unscrupulous auction houses, flippers and kill buyers...its about to get real.