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Killer Buyer: Adventures of a New Mexico Horse Dealer

By Carolyn Bertin

Prologue

Fear of cholesterol. Who would have thought it would lead to wholesale slaughter of horses?

In the early 1990s diners in France and Belgium ran the price of low-cholesterol horse meat sky high. In New Mexico, horses began selling for 55 to 60 cents on the hoof -- the same price beef cattle brought.

Horses about to be loaded into a semi cattle truck headed for a Ft. Worth slaughter house. The white stallion once ruled a herd on the Rainbow Plateau of the Navajo Nation. Photo courtesy Carolyn Bertin.

"Killer Buyer" is a true story set in the years of 1992 through 1996. During this period the free range horses of Navajo country had more to fear than the slaughter house. These were also the worst drought years in living memory. Pushed by the poverty of Navajo ranchers, pulled by the lure of the European meat market, they left by the thousands in double decker cattle trucks, never to return.

A Spanish Mustang mare, 3 years old, from near Chinle on the Navajo Nation. Behind her is an orphan filly a few weeks old that she met at a livestock action. She adopted and mothered the filly, despite her precarious hold on life. Photo courtesy Carolyn Bertin.

We invite you to read about the horses you see in the photos above: the white stallion from the Rainbow Plateau, the Chinle mare and orphan filly. We tell their stories, and those of many more, in "Killer Buyer: True Adventures of a New Mexico Horse Trader."

Livestock Crossing --->>

Horses in Love --->>

A Tale of Three Fillies --->>

The Blizzard --->>


    

© 2004 Carolyn M. Bertin. All rights reserved.