State

Retired prison horses up for auction

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Twenty-five retired horses will be available for sale at the 11th annual Arkansas Division of Correction Horse Auction next weekend.

This year’s auction will take place at the Saline County Fairgrounds in Benton. The preview will be on Friday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday, March 12, the gates will open at 10 a.m., with the auction starting at 1 p.m.

The ADC’s horse program utilizes department staff and inmate trainers to breed and train horses in support of the department’s security mission. Horses begin their training at age 2 and begin their active service at age 4. The horses are utilized primarily by officers supervising field utility squads, regional maintenance squads, and manhunts.

The ADC’s primary purpose for the auction is to find “Good Homes for Good Horses,” ensuring that the horses can retire with dignity after years of faithful service to the state’s prison system.

One of the horses available this year is “Shawnee,” a 6-year-old gray gelding that has Poco Bueno Haythorn/Hancock breeding and is eligible for registration with the American Quarter Horse Association.

This year’s auction will include a salute to veterans and featuring an empty saddle ceremony in remembrance of ADC K-9 Sgt. Joshua Caudell, who served in the Army National Guard for eight years. Sgt. Caudell, 29, was fatally wounded the morning of Feb. 28 while assisting the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office in Maumelle.

Media availability will be from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 11, and from 5 a.m. through the end of the sale on Saturday, March 12. Outlets must RSVP with Department of Corrections’ Communications Director at Cindy.Murphy@arkansas.gov.

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