Lou Dobbs's European Warmbloods Ain't Gonna Tend Themselves!

Lou Dobbs's European Warmbloods Ain't Gonna Tend Themselves!

Lou Dobbs's European Warmbloods Ain't Gonna Tend Themselves!

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 7 2010 9:26 AM

Lou Dobbs's European Warmbloods Ain't Gonna Tend Themselves!

Isabel Macdonald writes a new brief on Lou Dobbs's use of undocumented labor to tend to a lifestyle that, let's be honest, is pretty entertaining in itself. I don't think it's a brand new story -- I believe MSNBC reported some of this in 2008 -- but Macdonald's details and interviews are worth the read.

Every November, all five of The Dobbs Group's show-jumping horsesmust be transported from their summer stables in Vermont to theirwinter stables in Wellington, Florida. The workers are transported tothe tropics too, returning to New England with the horses in April.They ride in trucks each way alongside their expensive equestriancharges, tending to the horses' needs throughout the thirty-two-hourjourney. Their return to Vermont marks the start of a new annualcircuit of horse shows—an exhausting schedule during the spring, summerand fall months that entails constant travel between their Vermont baseand horse shows around the country. At these shows, it is not unusualfor the grooms who care for Dobbs's horses to rise in the middle of thenight or in the predawn hours to clean, brush and prepare the horsesfor a training session or early morning competition.

For years, undocumented immigrants from Mexico have been relied upon to meet these labor demands.

A 36-year-old Mexican immigrant I'll call Marco Salinas was workingwith a group of horses in a stable at the bustling Wellington WinterEquestrian Festival when I approached him for an interview. (Fearingdeportation or job loss, Salinas, like the other workers interviewedfor this story, asked that neither his real name nor the name of hisemployer be used.) Several hours later, when he finished his ten-hourworkday, Salinas recounted how he had come to the United States fiveyears ago for a job. Seated on an outdoor bench near the stable, theMexico City native told the story of how he had crossed the Yuma Deserton foot, from the Mexican city of San Luis Río Colorado and into theUnited States, eluding the border patrol.

Advertisement

Read it all, as it drops, conveniently, 48 hours before Dobbs, who's one of the talking heads in the Citizens United doc Battle for America, gives a fairly high-profile speech at a Tea Party Convention in Richmond.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.