Parade horses put up for adoption in hopes of avoiding slaughter

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NEW ORLEANS — The Humane Society of Louisiana is working with Cascade Stables to facilitate the adoption of 19 horses that will appear in parades during this year’s Carnival season.

According to a news release from the Humane Society, the adoption program was started last year to ensure that none of the horses brought into the city and leased to the Carnival krewes for parade season would later be resold at sale or auction barns and possibly sold for slaughter.

There is also heightened concern for the welfare of horses this year after a video was widely shared on social media that showed one rider in a recent parade violently kicking and striking his horse.

The rider, who appeared as a guest of the Nu Generations Riding Club in the Oshun parade, was subsequently cited for cruelty, disbarred from the club, and had his horse confiscated by the authorities. The Nu Generations Riding Club has also been banned from riding in any more parades this season.

For many years, Cascade Stables purchased more than a dozen horses each Mardi Gras season from brokers and then leased them to different krewes during the two-week period of Carnival.  If the horses were not adopted, they were sold back to the broker who could conceivably resell them at an auction barn where they would meet an uncertain fate.

“We learned about this horse leasing and reselling program last year and asked Barbe Smith, owner and operator of Cascade Stables, if we could help promote and facilitate the adoption of the surplus parade horses last year, and we received a very enthusiastic response from everyone involved. With the help of our volunteer adoption team, we were able to find great homes for all of the 17 horses that appeared in last year’s parades.  This year, we have 19 wonderful horses which also need homes,” says Jeff Dorson, HSL Director.

To encourage the adoption of the horses, the Humane Society has created a page on Facebook called, “New Orleans Mardi Gras Horses Available for Adoption.”

The adoption fees for the horses range from $650 to approximately $1500.00, and applications can be made online.