Confiscated horses up for auction

Saturday, July 19th 2008, 11:58 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Almost a year has passed since the state's Horse Racing Commission arrested 100 people in Thackerville for running an illegal horse operation. Eighty-five horses were taken into state custody, 40 of those were auctioned off Saturday.

The state also confiscated three large trailers and lots of tack, which was also up for auction. The horses were in good to excellent condition when they were seized, according to officials. They were transported to Oklahoma State University where they were then cared for.

"The horses we have today still have useful careers, whether it be racing or pleasure," said Constantin Reigel of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission.

The money made from the auction will go to pay off debts the state incurred while caring for the horses. The executive director of the state's Horse Racing Commission said Saturday's auction will not be the last.

"There are other tracks that are currently under investigation," Reigel said. "Sooner or later, we'll get the message out that illegal horse racing won't be tolerated in Oklahoma."

Saturday's action made $180,000 in sales.