Animals' Angels

Oklahoma Investigation

Animals' Angels
PO Box 1056 Westminster, MD 21158

August 2013  


  Spotlight on the Sooner State

Animals' Angels recently returned from an extensive and lengthy assignment in Oklahoma. Investigators were anxious to revisit the properties of some of the state's largest and most notorious kill buyers and feedlots. These prominent figures were not to be overshadowed, however, by the unassuming characters wanting to share time in the spotlight. Throughout this newsletter, we will familiarize you with some of the horse slaughter contractors in the Sooner State.


JOE SIMON (DOT 1413419)


Joe Simon's presence in the slaughter industry spans over 30 years. Simon operates his violation-loaded slaughter businesses in Minnesota, and Oklahoma under the names Joe Simon Enterprises, JS Horse Company and Double JJ Horse Company. Simon operates his rodeo businesses in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Oklahoma under the names Dakota Rodeo Company, Western Trails, and Joe Simon Rodeo Co, where he sells and supplies bucking stock horses. We believe that many of these horses will also have an eventual destination inside a slaughter plant, as his website boasts shipping "horses anywhere in the country, Canada and Mexico". 




Double JJ Horse Company alone, ships thousands of horses through the export pens in Presidio, TX for slaughter at Inter Meats in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Despite a laundry list of violations ("What is the price tag for suffering?"), Simon's slaughter empire seems to continually expand, as investigators observed several holding facilities at his disposal. An article in the International Pro Rodeo Association's magazine boasts the Simon family being "known to handle up to 10,000 horses a year".  


Simon has 3 ranches in the Stillwater/Perkins area totaling 2200 acres. One is used as a horse buying facility, the second is used to house part of their bucking stock horses (other bucking stock horses are housed on his 500 acre ranch in Minnesota), and the third also has more bucking horses, and a roping arena.




Simon's feedlot (JS Ranch) is located next to the Perkins Livestock Auction. Investigators learned through a confidential source, that Simon uses the pen area to hold some of his horses. Investigators were able to observe several horses, but they were at a distance too far from view to determine condition.


Joe Simon's Feedlot/Perkins Livestock


Joe Simon's Feedlot/Perkins Livestock





Jerry Varner, along with his wife Helen Marie and their children, own and have run Mid America Stockyards for 40 years. The Varners are immediate family to Representative SkyeMcNeil, who co-authored and sponsored HB1999 - legislation to allow the slaughter of horses in Oklahoma. To add conflict to this interest, McNeil continues to help with her grandparents' livestock business. McNeil has been a part of the business since she was ten years old. While state law prohibits legislators from introducing bills that would benefit immediate family members, an exception is made if the legislation could reasonably assist other individuals in the same profession. HB 1999 was approved by the Governor on March 29, 2013.




Investigators attended the large bi-weekly horse sale, where the majority of the horses, including a branded Mustang, sold to kill buyers. Mid America is a large, modern facility with restaurant with extensive indoor and outdoor pen systems. Investigators noted the indoor pens were extremely hot, as the fans were not being used, and no water was available for the horses. The horses observed were in crowded pens which, in addition to the heat, resulted in an agitated environment with horses showing their displeasure by kicking and biting. The outdoor pens were open and sheltered, each equipped with water troughs and hay. Although approximately 85 horses were outside, investigators paid particular attention to restless Haflinger mares trying to protect their young foals from other horses, and a branded BLM Mustang. From research of the brand, it was determined that the Mustang was born at the Teterville Long Term Holding facility in KS in 2003. It is unknown how she ended up at an auction with such strong kill buyer attendance. Buyers for Jeff Smith, Heritage Livestock and George Baker were present among other unidentified kill-buyers.  


Mid America Stockyards


Mustang with freeze-brand at Mid America


Mid America Stockyards




George Baker is one of the nation's most active kill buyers. He owns Baker Stables in Stroud, OK, and ships as many as 890 horses a month to the Mexican slaughter plant in Juarez through the export pens in Presidio, TX. Prior to revisiting the property, investigators received public documents indicating that many of Baker's horses are rejected by Mexican authorities for injuries and sickness. In May 2013 alone, documents indicate shipment of dozens of horses with injuries, shipment of blind horses as well as horses suffering from colic. It was also noted that several horses listed on May's paperwork were in fact missing at the time of inspection by the Mexican veterinarian.  


While at Baker's extensive collecting station, investigators noted approximately 350 horses, mules and donkeys in outdoor pens. All pens had hay and water buckets with some pens having access to a natural pond. Shelter was available in the pens, but not accessible to all of the horses. One pen contained mares and foals, with some of the mares already tagged for slaughter. Their foals will likely suffer the same fate once they reach 6 months of age. Investigators were troubled to see one horse laying flat on the ground without movement.


The handling of the horses on Baker's property was disturbing at best. Investigators watched as several truckloads of horses (arriving from Mid America Stockyards) were unloaded. Workers gathered horses using ATVs, moving them towards the loading ramp through a covered chute. Once in the chute, investigators observed slaughter tags being applied. Workers were seen hitting the horses on the head and face with sticks at full force in order to make them move into the crowded holding pens. Within an hour, investigators watched as 33 of the horses were loaded onto one of Baker's transport trailers. Investigators followed the driver as he departed Baker's property. The driver was behaving in a paranoid manner, giving incorrect turn signals and switching lanes multiple times. Based on the route the driver was taking, investigators determined that this solo driver was headed to the Presidio Export Pens. To note, the Presidio pens are 750 miles away from Baker's collecting station. It is impossible for a solo driver to legally complete this drive without accumulating "Hours of Service" violations. As of the time of this report, Baker already had 23 said violations. Per the FMCSA website, Baker's company rates at 99%, with 100% being the worst possible rating. Animals' Angels investigators have reported this incident to FMCSA and other relevant authorities.


Horse down with no movement at Baker Stables


Baker Stables
Baker Stables




John Carlson owns, and ships slaughter horses under the name Triple Crown Ranch. He also runs the Sulphur Horse Sale with Bill Richardson. Carlson ships as many as 480 horses a month through the export pens in Presidio, TX to the Inter Meats slaughter plant. Like George Baker, public documents reflect that many of Carlson's horses are rejected by Mexican authorities for sickness and injuries.


Carlson operates his collecting station using pens at the Lincoln County Livestock Auction in Meeker. Unfortunately, it appears as if circumstances have worsened since our last visit.


Read our 2012 investigation on John Carlson here...


Investigators noted that the 80-100 horses had hay and water, but still no shelter. The entire pen area was surrounded by high manure piles, blocking the view to some of the pens. While most of Carlson's horses appeared of good weight, investigators were able to document several extremely thin horses, with one appearing to be dead. In one overcrowded pen, a small foal was laying beneath its mother for protection from the other horses.


Carlson's Triple Crown Ranch


Carlson's Triple Crown Ranch





Although Bill Richardson is based out of Whitesboro, TX, he has strong presence in the Sulphur area, as he and fellow kill buyer John Carlson manage the horse sale. Bill Richardson operates his horse businesses under the names BnR Quarter Horses, and B and R Ranch. Richardson ships approximately 300 horses a month through the export pens in Presidio, TX for slaughter at Inter Meats plant. No stranger to violations, Richardson continually accumulates fines for violating slaughter horse transport regulations.  


The Sulphur sale is a bi-weekly auction held on the premises of the Sulphur Livestock Auction. Investigators noted that this was a very modern auction consisting of a small building with an office, an auction ring and a restaurant as well as a covered pen area with several loading ramps.


The pens had metal water troughs installed, however, several were empty during the sale. Investigators observed approximately 50 horses inside the pens, with several thin in condition. The pens were not overcrowded and no fighting was observed. The handling seen was adequate. The horses went through the sale at a fast pace, with the majority being sold to kill buyers


Sulphur Livestock Auction


Sulphur Livestock Auction
Cecil White's Collecting Station




Cecil White began actively shipping slaughter horses through the Presidio export pens around September, 2012. Since then, he exports approximately 300 horses a month to the Camargo plant. White uses the Welsh Livestock Auction, which he owns, as a collecting station. In addition to this location, he sells horses in Diamond, MO under the name White's Equine Sales.


Upon arrival at White's collecting station, investigators noted between 100 and 150 horses in the outdoor pen system adjacent to the auction house. Very few horses were thin, with most appearing in good condition. Individual pens were equipped with automatic waters, but no shelter of any kind is available.


White does not own his own trucks/trailers. He uses Paul Fenske as well as Troy Parrish and his drivers, to transport horses to the export pens for slaughter.


Cecil White's Collecting Station



 Final thoughts --


Oklahoma certainly deserves more of our attention. Thousands of horses are pushed through this state every month -- it is a major thoroughfare for the Mexican slaughter trade and kill buyers operate with little impunity. This recent look into the operations of these kill buyers is only the beginning. We plan to monitor this state and these operations very closely. We greatly appreciate your continued support of Animals' Angels as we maintain a spotlight on these atrocities.



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About us

Animals' Angels works to improve conditions for farm animals. We closely cooperate with law enforcement and government agencies to fight animal cruelty. Our investigators are out in the field nationwide, visiting auctions, feedlots and slaughter plants.



Animals' Angels Inc.

PO Box 1056

Westminster, MD 21158



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