Friday, May 4, 2007

Modern-Day Horse Rustlers!

(Disclaimer: This is a contribution to the World Without Oil game. Visit for more information)

I read it this morning in the L.A. Times, but I didn't believe it until I called my friend Laura who is one of the over 500 horse-owners who board their horses at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Last night, a virtual army of armed men in an organized robbery rustled over 40% of the Center's horses. Laura's horse, Dr. Pepper, is gone along with hundreds of others.

At approximately 3 a.m., a group of semi trucks with horse carriers pulled up to the Center and dozens of men jumped out, holding the night staff at gunpoint while they filled their carriers with horses. Thankfully, no one was hurt (physically anyway), but owners, trainers and breeders are distraught over the news.

Normally, this would just be another odd crime story, but I can't help thinking that, with gas prices rising and rising, these horses are going to become a very valuable commodity soon. The vast number of people involved says to me that this is an organized crime. Are we going to start hearing about a black market trade in stolen draught animals? What's next, the camel at the L.A. Zoo?