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  • Last modified 24 days ago (Nov. 21, 2019)

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Rescue stable a haven for thoroughbreds, work horses

Staff writer

When Greenwood Stables owners Saje Bayes and mother Amy rescued a quartet of racehorses from a kill pen last week, what stood out was the money won by two of the mares — one with $200,000 and the other $195,000.

More recently, they were used as brood mares, Amy Bayes said.

“They’re 16 and 17 but they could still have babies for a couple more years,” she said. “Apparently he just didn’t want them.”

The owner bought the mares back from the kill pen, but planned to put them down, so the pair went to Greenwood Stables, south of Peabody, instead. Saje hopes they will be adopted soon.

While Amy and Saje frequently take in thoroughbred racehorses, standard-bred ones are more common, Saje said.

“There are always horses that need us at the kill pen,” she said. “We try to get them a home first on our social media page. We can’t take them all, but a lot of them time we help a lot of standard-breds because they’re such an underdog breed. Nobody ever wants them.”

Greenwood takes between 15 and 20 horses from the kill pen every week, most of which find new homes soon after.

That’s still a fifth of the horses brought to the kill pen, Amy said.

“It’s the worst part of the job,” she said. “We go through and pick which ones we try to save because we only have so many we can save.”

Since Greenwood Stables takes in so many standard-bred horses, they are often given away as long as there is a good owner available, Saje said.

Amy and Saje say they also buy between four and seven horses at auction each month to save.

While finding new homes for the animals is a priority, maintaining the balance between charity and business is also important, Saje said.

“We try not to have too many pets, but it’s still a rescue,” she said. “You have to run it like a business, but you don’t want to be money-driven.”

Greenwood Stables has been working with the kill pen for four years, which has the advantage of an established working relationship, Saje said.

“It is kind of a complicated relationship, but we all know where we stand with each other and just make it work,” she said.

The pair keeps in mind that the kill buyer is operating a business as well, and doesn’t revel in sending horses to slaughter in Mexico, Saje said.

“That’s kind of what kill-buyers are,” she said. “They clean up other people’s mess.

“Everything he gets in is because of previous owners, or the horse is lame, or it’s just bad luck.”

Last modified Nov. 21, 2019

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