Free Horse - When Beauty is Dangerous

. Sunday, July 13

Meet Champ

Just look at those beautiful eyes! How could you not fall in love with a pair of eyes like that?  Champ is a Palomino Appaloosa, he's 2 years old, he's broke to ride and has the sweetest temperament you could ever wish for.  Champ is about as perfect a horse as you can get. In fact, his sire was the one used by Breyer as the pattern for one of their model horses.

Champ can be yours today, for free.

Yes, you heard me right. He can be yours for nada, zip, zilch, zero! You come get him or have him hauled to you, and he's yours. Actually, if you don't take him, he will be "put down." Yep. This beautiful, perfect horse is on his way to be euthanized, destroyed, put to sleep, killed.

But, Why?

I'm so glad you asked! It's not an easy thing to accept, and it's not any easier to talk about. You see, Champ has a genetic disease called HYPP. This genetically dominant disease is well known in the Quarter Horse world and is directly traced to a specific sire called Impressive. Impressive was the most sought after sire for those breeding Halter Show horses, and the line is well known for perfect conformation and heavy musculature.

However, all that perfection with muscles caused an anomaly in the way the horse's system rids itself of excess potassium. It collects in the muscles and causes seizures and paralysis, and this can happen at any time for no reason.  When a horse seizes or becomes paralyzed, it literally drops to the ground and goes into a full body seizure or just doesn't move. If the episode of paralysis includes the lungs or heart, the horse dies. Just like that.

Because of the sudden, unpredictable nature of the disease and the lack of a cure or treatment, it is very risky handling a horse with HYPP. A 1200 pound horse seizing and falling down on top of you, whether you are walking beside it or riding it, means you are likely to become very injured - or dead. This beautiful horse is very dangerous to be around. What's worse, he could be found dead one day, just like that. It's heartbreaking.

The current owner bought this horse two weeks ago, and was told the reason he was available was because the horse was not registered. After a few rides, there was a noticeable roar to the colt's breathing, and you could watch the muscles over the rib cage spasm. The colt was taken to the vet and tested for HYPP, and the results came back P/P. This means that both parents were positive for HYPP, and the two were knowingly bred anyway. It also means that this colt is "hot" and definitely has active HYPP.

Knowing all this, if you still want him, he is yours.

This post is a direct result of the intense discussion about the ban on horse slaughter in the US going on right now on A Different Menu at the Olympics.


Anonymous said...

Yes and Id like to add that as the owner of Champ ( who incidently has won HUGE at the championship horse shows in classes for his near perfect conformation), is EXACTLY the kind of horse the "rescue" crowd sees in a kill pen and holds up to the world as a BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT, GENTLE, WONDERFUL, QUARTER HORSE (ooops he's actually a non colored Appaloosa) thats being slaughtered for NO REASON. Then one of them drags him home and holds him up as a poster child for an example of the nice quality horses that are being slaugthered and in need of "rescuing" from the evil horse killers.
Well....what a load of BULL! Sure he looks healthy, hes sound of limb, and sweet as apple pie, but like nearly all slaughter horses will be in that kill pen for a REASON. A damn good one at that in this case.
Champ is another example of the unrestricted breeding thats allowed in this country that causes this sort of tragic story. While the self rightous anti-slaughter crowd narrows MY OPTIONS they do NOTHING about the REAL issues at hand.
Because of the financial loss on Champ I wont be able to afford to buy a replacement horse for my daughter. So...there ya go, one more GOOD HOME for a horse bites the dust because a NON HORSE owning do gooder decided that ALL horses are wonderful, perfect companion animals that have the RIGHT to be a financial BURDEN to SOMEONE for the next 30 yrs regardless of the fact that the animal has no valid usefulness. wanna send me $850???? Ill put Chance down and send you the reciept from the vet, take the rest of the money and get my heart broken daughter a horse she can safely enjoy. Everyone wins! Chance, me, YOU, and my daughter too. WHAT? you wont step up to that plate? Hum........... then maybe you should have kept your mouth shut about the system that took care of these sceanarios? ya think? NON horse owners have NO PLACE poking their nose into the business of those of us that DO! thats for DAMN SURE. For that matter other HORSE OWNERS dont have ANY RIGHT to decide whats best for MY situation! Coarse the far majority of them feel the way I do about this subject. See most of us at one time or another have found ourselves in one of these shit horse situations and WE KNOW what its like, and none of YOUR people coughed up the money to BAIL us out of it!

Theresa Komor said...

UPDATE: Champ is now with a woman very aware of his illness. She plans to show him in halter classes only.

cmwheeler said...

Er...Anonymous? You seem to have changed the horse's name midway through your rant. I highly doubt you are the actual former owner of Champ (NOT Chance, btw), so I wonder why you felt the need to make such a vehement comment. It is a shame that such a lovely animal is destined to die because of a genetic anamoly. I don't know nearly enough about the situation to make such bald statements as you have, perhaps it would be kinder to the animal if he were to be put to sleep. Perhaps, yet, he might still be able to experience love and care at the hands of a compassionate rescuer, and is that not a valuable lesson for a child? All things die, but is not some measure of grace in that dying a very good thing?

Theresa Komor said...


This whole post is as a result of the debate about banning horse slaughter in the US, and how that has backfired on the horse industry. Anonymous was and IS still very upset about Champ's HYPP status, that's why the typo on his name, but found him a very good home (gave him away) with a woman that has full knowledge of his illness.

That's about as happy an ending to this story as you can get, and believe me when I tell you that I cried the whole time writing this post. Champ is about the sweetest horse I've ever met. I thought about taking him, but I know I couldn't handle seeing him have a seizure or finding him dead in my pasture.

All the way around, the situation with Champ is heartbreaking. I hope that you can be a bit more understanding of it, and take the time to read the discussion on A Different Menu at the Olympics. You can follow the link to it in this post.

pamibe said...

This is a heartbreaking story... and I'm so happy to find that Chance has a home with someone who understands his limitations.

He has been gelded, correct?

The person that bought him didn't know his lineage or didn't realize the situation...? I would have much to say to the seller - and my lawyer probably would as well...

Theresa Komor said...

Yes, Chance is a gelding and no chance of passing on the disease. Whew!

No, the sellers presented the horse as a Pleasure Horse prospect, which usually means Zan Par Barr or SkipperW type bloodlines, so HYPP didn't cross her mind. There was some story about why the horse didn't have papers, and I think it was because he's actually an Appaloosa but with no color. I don't know much about that sort of thing. He's such a beautiful horse that not being registered wasn't much of a consideration. And, the sellers said absolutely nothing about suspecting HYPP.

I'm not sure, but I think the horse is now on his 4th or 5th owner, but the woman who has him now will likely keep him a good long time.

Theresa Komor said...

Jeez, even I'm doing it! The horse's name is Champ!

Anonymous said...

Yes, the horses name is CHAMP, as in "Champion" as he was coined by the original owners after having won the huge halter competition in my state. Yes I AM or at this point WAS the owner of the horse.
My point in allowing Theresa to tell his tale was two fold. To show how the ban on horse slaughter has indeed backfired on the horse industry and this is just ONE of the ways in which it has. In the past if an owner had a dangerous animal such as this they could haul it to a sale where they wouldnt lose all of their investment. Not to mention like I pointed out to put Champ down would have been another $250 making my loss even greater than it was. This isnt like paying a vet $30 to euthanise your dog people. Not to mention completely illegal to bury in many states and let me tell you having one compost above ground takes MONTHS of breathing very foul air even on a large farm. Nevermind the threat of bringing in scavengers like packs of coyotes close to your other livestock.
All this makes more and more people shy away from horse ownership. Too much trouble should something not turn out quite the way you had hoped. Its devalued the common everyday horse by eliminating the per pound value, and in case your not informed the "rescues" are now all full and turning horses away. People are literally dumping horses in much the same manner as they do unwanted dogs. Horses are still being slaughtered across the border in Mexico and "our" horses such as Champ just have a LONGER haul than before and no humane standards like they did in this country. The biggest difference is what the kill buyers will pay for a horse. The long hauls + high fuel costs insure that owners are paid little to nothing for their unwanted animals. Again...makes people rightly look at a horse as a major liabilty instead of an "American Icon"