This "rescue" is run by Ann Delp. Her efforts began legitimitely, rescuing pregnant mares used to make hormones for pharmaceutical companies. (See newspaper article here: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2004/052004/05172004/1321870 ) However, the conditions of the farm, and the animals on it, have deteriorated over the years.
Now, Delp obsessively focuses on rescuing foals, which are a byproduct of the racing industry. (See newspaper article here: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/042009/04232009/461027 ) I believe the reporter who wrote this article does not know much about horses, or she would have walked out in the field to do some fact checking for herself. The conditions at Eagle Hill Farm are atrocious. The 40 acre property holds somewhere around 150 horses, possibly more (estimates once reached 180 animals). Almost all of the fields are dirt, with no grass for grazing.
Although Delp generally has a bad reputation in the Fredericksburg, VA horse community, local authorities have had trouble pinning anything on her. Animal control requires food, water, shelter, and necessary veterinary and other care (farrier work, for example) to be provided for animals. There are no regulations for pasture management to maintain proper forage for the animals. Also, Delp has successfully evaded prosecution by pretending that animals in poor condition are recent rescues. Horses that have been at the farm for years, languishing in unacceptable conditions, are given new names and exploited for publicity. Delp shows off these "recent additions" to her herd and explains to the public that their previous owners did not take care of them and that is the reason they are in such poor shape. What everyone doesn't know is that these animals have been on Delp's farm for years, unable to thrive.
Another tactic Delp uses to evade trouble is to move the most underweight and despondent horses to fields off of her property. She has a free lease on two fields across the street from her farm that Animal Control, conveniently, doesn't know about. Lucky for Delp, Culpeper Animal Control calls her a day ahead of time and lets her know they will be coming to do a farm check. This allows for enough time for the saddest cases to be hidden away.
Horses are allowed to breed freely at this farm, and babies are born "unexpectedly" every once in a while. I suspect it is Delp's irrational love of baby horses that drives her to delay geldings for years.
The following unacceptable things have been witnessed:
Horses going lame from lack of hoof care
More foals dying than being adopted
Horses dying from living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions
More focus on bringing in new horses than adopting existing ones out
Inadequate forage (grass or hay)
Inadequite parasite managent (bot flies and worms)
Blatant disregard for animal comfort and wellbeing
Uncontrolled breeding of horses and other animals
Pollution of local water body from waste runoff
Hoarding of animals being disguised as rescue
The list could go on and on. It disgusts me that this organization is allowed to continue. Ann Delp believes she can do whatever she wants to these animals because she has been, thus far, unopposed. She has lied to hundreds of people, including law enforcement officers and members of the public who genuinely care about animals. She is gratifying some personal need with her pseudo-rescue, instead of providing horses with a better home.
I beg you to do something about this. Go see for yourselves and call Culpeper Animal Control at 540-547-4477 and let them know what you think. Call the Free Lance Star at 540-374-5000 and tell them this should not be allowed to continue.
Please stand up to Ann Delp. She must not be allowed to hoard any more animals.