Crippled Horse and Her Baby Saved from Auction Barn


Written by Natalee Cross of Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue in Oklahoma

Irene and Ali came into our rescue program unexpectedly one April evening. The date of their arrival was a very unusual one for me, as I found myself drawn to the Jones Livestock Auction. This is a very rare occasion for me, because I know that I can’t save them all and with the overwhelming number of cruelty cases that I get in, I just don’t have the funds to purchase horses. However, for reasons that are very clear to me today, I found myself walking through the livestock barn in Jones on this particular Thursday night viewing the horses. As I reached the last stall in the barn, I found this pair. Irene, a 17-year-old paint, had just given birth to her daughter Ali two days prior to being taken to the sale barn. This newborn filly was being exposed to all types of illnesses at the sale barn. And her mama was crippled, blind in one eye, had a huge abscess on the side of her face and was very underweight. Other than the fact that she didn’t like the other horses looking at her baby, she was just the sweetest girl and seemed to scream “help me!”

That was all I needed to see. I knew then that I was staying for the evening.

Irene was one of the last horses to come through the sale and not even the ‘kill buyer’ would bid on her. No one offered up a single bid, and then the auctioneer looked at us, since he knows who we are and what we do, and we immediately said, “Yes. Of course.” No one was willing to save this special momma and her baby, but we did so without hesitation.

They Came Home With Us

Safe at Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue

We brought them home and had our veterinarian examine them immediately. Baby Ali had diarrhea and we were concerned for her life, as we know she was exposed to strangles (a highly contageous and serious infection). We immediately treated her for the diarrhea and prayed that she would survive. Momma’s huge abscess turned out to be caused by strangles, so our veterinarian immediately drained the wound and flushed it out.

Irene was placed on antibiotics and the next several days were crucial. We watched over the two very closely and baby Ali started thriving, trying to eat with momma, growing and doing great.

Just one month later, Momma had gained 100 pounds and was just the sweetest girl you will ever meet, always greeting us with a friendly nicker. Ali began to run, buck, play and grow like a weed. In fact, Ali was almost as tall as her momma in just a few short weeks and quite a flashy girl.

We knew we had to find the right home for this pair with a family who would look past Irene’s handicap and offer her the loving, forever home that she and her foal so greatly deserved. After all, Irene didn’t ask to be put through all that she has. She only wanted someone to love her and her baby.

Today, Irene and Ali are living in Halstead, Kansas. They are well loved and spoiled rotten.

Ten Years of Saving Lives

Over the past 10 years, Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue has saved 841 horses and counting. Most of them have been victims of severe neglect or cruelty and the Cross family is devoted to nursing each horse back to health in body and soul.

As Blaze’s Tribute Equine Rescue is readying to receive more mothers and foals this spring, they’re counting on the World’s Biggest Baby Shower for Animals for help. This event brings together small but powerful rescue teams from around the world in a collective mission to save the animals others deem unreachable. 

Please visit the baby shower today to help the horses.





Related Stories:

More Than 30 Miniature Horses Rescued from Massachusetts Farm

Starving Horses Abandoned by Owners

Wild Mustangs Fighting Crime


Jade H.
Jade H5 years ago

Paul and Carole D - the way we stay in it is because of stories like this! For every one that we don't save, we still have those that we do. Yes, there are days when everyone of us wants to just close our eyes and ears and say NO MORE - I CAN'T DO ANYMORE! However, our hearts don't close - so we take a shower to wash off the ugly energy, get dressed, and go back out there to stop this insane cruelty to other living creatures. When I said to a friend years ago that there were days when I just was so exhausted and felt like I just kept standing out there in a 100 mph wind trying to keep my candle lit... her response was classic when she said, "Well, honey, THAT'S what LIGHT WORKERS DO!" She was right. Blessed Be!

Paul & Carole D.
Carole D5 years ago

Does anyone else have problems sometimes reading these stories? No, really? How do you handle the sadness? Sometimes, I have to just close the page. I know it is happening, but, these stories and the pictures I get in the mail, the commercials for animals.....sometimes, it is just overwhelming. How do you all keep in the loop without going "nuts?"

Susan T.
Susan T.5 years ago

Thank you so much for taking that cirppled mare and her newborn foal. My heart aches for these innocent souls. Now it is bright and sunny for these two. you are an angel, my Friend!

Pinke A.
Pinke A5 years ago

Thank you from my heart,for being the angels for them! So they can have some love and happiness after all the horrible experience.
I hate people,who are treating them so cruel and disgusting way!

Betty Schueler
Betty S5 years ago

I don't know why I read these stories. Even with the happy endings they are so sad and say nothing for us as a species. Why wasn't the owner charged with abuse? Doesn't the state have laws that require animal owners to get timely veterinary care for their animals? And why did the auction house allow a horse with strangles into the barn? In this story I see hundreds of people ignoring a horse in desperate need and only two people doing anything about it. It sickens me.

Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg5 years ago

Thank you for your compassion and good works!

Kamryn M.
Kay M5 years ago


ann paveletz
.5 years ago

I would call that your presence at the auction "divine intervention"God bless you with a long and healthy life because of lot of horses are depending on you. Ann

Rose Balcom
Rose Balcom5 years ago

Thank you for rescuing them!

Veronique L.
Veronique L5 years ago

Thank you for this happy-ending story!