09/24/2012 3:11PM

West Virginia Racing Commission rejects owner-trainer's appeal in slaughter case


The West Virginia Racing Commission has rejected the appeal of Mark Wedig, the owner and trainer that Mountaineer Park ejected under its anti-slaughter policy.

The commission denied Wedig’s appeal Sept. 17, following a Sept. 14 recommendation by hearing examiner Jeffrey Blaydes.

Blaydes had presided over a June 29 hearing in Newell, W.Va., where Wedig’s attorney, Lawrence L. Manypenny, had contended Wedig didn’t violate the policy when he retrieved racehorses Canuki and Cactus Cafe from Viande Richelieu, a Quebec slaughterhouse, because the horses were not slaughtered.

“It is clear from a review of this policy that Wedig’s contention is correct as it relates to the first sentence of the policy,” Blaydes wrote. “Obviously, the two horses were sent to slaughter, but Wedig brought them back alive to the United States. However, the second and third sentences provide further limitations upon an owner or trainer. The second sentence indicates that an owner [or] trainer must perform ‘reasonable diligence’ to determine if a prospective buyer plans to ‘put’ a horse to slaughter. Moreover, the third sentence of the policy states that all owners and trainers must ‘avoid the appearance of acting inconsistent with this policy or in any manner that harms the image of the horse-racing industry.’ . . . It is clear in this instance that Wedig has violated these more broadly worded goals of the policy.”

Blaydes also concluded that Wedig “intended to violate the anti-slaughter policy and did, in fact, attempt to violate the policy,” which Blaydes said put Wedig in violation of state racing rules.

Wedig, who did not testify at the hearing, paid Barbara Price $300 for the two horses on April 23. In early May, the horses shipped to Richelieu in a slaughter consignment purchased by Fred Bauer. Questioned on or about May 12 by Mountaineer officials after horse-welfare advocates expressed concern about the horses’ whereabouts, Wedig said he did not know where the horses were. He retrieved them alive from Canada by May 19 and presented them at the June 29 hearing.

Vicki Morgan More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to meet the boys when they get to Texas!
laura ban More than 1 year ago
What a horror of a human being! I truly believe what goes around comes around in this world and one day he will get everything that's coming to him! .... You're right AZ WILDCAT, it is hard to find a name for this guy that would be fit to print, lowlife is good.
Mary Johnson More than 1 year ago
Laura, there are many more like Wedig. There is a trainer at Beulah Park that kept Cactus and Canuki for a few days before I picked them up. I have known this individual casually for a number of years. We talked about the slaughter business at the tracks. He told me that Dale Baird, who raced at Mountaineer and is now deceased, sent more horses to slaughter than he actually raced. However, Baird is a "hero" at Mountaineer. So, although the racing officials at Mountaineer did the right thing this time, they have looked the other way over the years. Sad, but true.....
Melissa Sackett More than 1 year ago
Yes, Dale Baird is a "legend" in my mind for all the wrong reasons. Can you believe some people want him in the Throughbred Racing Hall of Fame? I stopped following the story......I hope that he didn't get in and never does. Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Slaughter is would be more like it. I read that he wouldn't even bother talking with rescue people who wanted to talk to him about taking some of his horses so they wouldn't be sent to slaughter. What a completely worthless, compassionless, POS!
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
I can't even think of a name that can even fit this lowlife.
Melissa Sackett More than 1 year ago
Melissa Sackett More than 1 year ago
I meant SLIME
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
ITA - There hasn't been a name invented that would be bad enough to describe this horrible man.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I could put about six of them together for ya Joy to help describe these types of people. I'm sure you wouldn't speak them with your christian values.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Send hin to the slaughter house.With all the place's to send or give the horse's too this dirt bag tried to make a few buck's.Put him out of the game for good.
Susan Williams More than 1 year ago
Lets not forget the profit he made when he sold them back to those that originally wanted to buy them. He bought them originally for $150 a piece and then sold them for $2250 a piece. One hell of a profit and what I consider highway robbery. If he was a smart man he would have donated them to those that wanted them safe and asked for forgiveness. I am glad he got the boot and hope he is shunned and treated like the pariah that he is.
Mary Johnson More than 1 year ago
Cactus Cafe and Canuki are currently with me and they will soon be entering Remember Me Rescue in Texas. Wedig did bring the two horses back from the slaughter plant in Canada and he did so because the horses were rejected by the plant due to drugs being in their system. Wedig was forced to do the right thing. He has been a kill buyer middleman for years and Mountaineer officials have chosen to look the other way.
mike More than 1 year ago
good to hear. sad to think about how many times he wasnt caught though. what an absolute scum Wedig is.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Thank You! It seemed like he was in uh oh mode from the article and doesn't care what happens to these animals. Hop he gets banned.
moondance27 More than 1 year ago
You're exactly right Thomas, after the plant rejected them they had to contact the owner of record, which was Wedig. he only retrieved the horses because he thought it would help him get his license back
Mary Johnson More than 1 year ago
Wedig is done in racing, at least for now, but please know there are hundreds more just like him. One of the others is Mr. Danny R. Bird who handed Deputy Broad off for slaughter. They are at every track across the country.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I understand fully Mary. I started my career as a trainer in Boston. It was very difficult seeing the killer (Craig Price) come through the backside. Even though my horses that weren't so fast went on to carrers as pleasure horses or show ponies, many were not as fortunate. Due to the small purses and high costs of taking proper care of the horses, I kept a small stable in new england and used my experience to become an assistant in new york and kentucky. Proud that none of my horses ended their careers hopping around. Would never ponder the idea of slaughter no matter how empty my pockets were. The world needs more people with kind souls like you. I'm sure the horses do. Thank you again. God bless.
Mary Johnson More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Thomas. It is nice to know someone appreciates the effort I have put into this over the last five months. It wasn't easy at times and it cost me thousands of dollars but I would do the same thing over again in order to bring these two wonderful horses to safety. I have fallen in love with BOTH of them.
Maureen Richardson More than 1 year ago
Thank you Mary. You have made my day.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Mary. Take excellent care of Cactus Cafe and Canuki. They deserve it, they have been through so much. Lots of love is what they need now. I am thankful they will both have a happy future with you. Mr. Wedig has a lot bad karma coming his way for these two horses and the others who have, unfortunately, come across his path. At least there is a happy story in the end for Cactus Cafe and Canuki. I wish we could say that for the other horses Mr. Wedig has helped slip through the cracks.
Mary Johnson More than 1 year ago
Joy, I'm not keeping them. I already have 5 of my own!