“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Amazing Alex Brown

This is just the latest in a string of the wonderful things Alex brown does in the name of Barbaro, but it's worth a look.
Alex Brown, the King of ABR, has been under more scrutiny lately, not for all of the wonderful things he does, but for the people he seems to support, and the horses who seem to be the fallout.
I noticed quite some time ago that Alex seems to gravitate towards those who can run a decent scam. It seems pretty strange to me that with all the good rescues that are around, he would choose to defend the ones people are questioning. But time and time again, Alex does just that. Whether it's EPONA, or some silly girl fund raising for vet expenses and then euthanizing costs for her mare. (By the way, the mare hadn't been gone for 12 hours, and she was fund raising for the last $40, and talking about getting ANOTHER horse! Alex offered his sympathy, and inferred that those who felt this person should not even be thinking about another horse were cold and somehow callous to her situation. Yeah, let's encourage THIS girl, who by the way, still has two horses, to get another one!), or Christy from AC4H, Alex has closed threads, chastised members of his board, and made statements that are enigmatic at best. He will post that someone is "no longer posting". Well, have they been banned? Are they just gone? Do they just choose NOT to answer questions? Or in his latest, he has posted that the person in question has been "run off" the board. What does that mean? And if they have, are the concerns voiced by those who have supposedly made her flee any less valid?
I've been reading up on Alex for awhile now, trying to figure out what makes him tick.
To say he came into his ABR fame completely by accident seems accurate. He started the board as an experiment, and had about 6 hits a day. Then, the unthinkable happened. Barbaro took the step that would change history-both for him, and the very, very fortunate Alex Brown. Alex just happened to have struck up a friendship with someone who had inside information to what was going on with Barbaro, and began posting on his experimental board. Suddenly, things took on a life of their own-the board even crashed due to the heavy traffic of those desperate for updates on Barbaro.
So began the rise of Alex Brown. Described in one article as a painfully thin reclusive type, sitting in a bachelor type apartment littered with coffee containers and empty wine bottles for hours on end behind a computer, ruling his on line kingdom, it makes sense that Alex finds himself the omnipotent ruler. One horrid stroke of terrible luck for Barbaro, and suddenly, Alex Brown is King. His loyal subjects hang on each and every word. The article stated that one word from Alex makes or breaks a rescue. I agree. Alex may believe he is being subtle, and has even stated that he takes a "hands off" approach on his board. But those who have received the "warnings" or who have been banned by the mighty Mr. Brown would say differently. The King is very much involved.
There is even a running joke about the "land of the banned". There are so many who have been banned for so many reasons. Alex, at his very best, even banned a long time and well liked member for erroneously stating that a horse was a half sibling of the great Barbaro. Certainly an action worth losing posting privileges over. He will ban for disagreeing with him, for breaking his forum rules, I think he would ban someone for it being Tuesday for lack of a better reason. And his more faithful followers will agree that it is indeed Alex's board, and he can do as he wishes. Alex isn't from America, so I think free speech is a bit lost on him.
Alex is certainly intelligent. He walks a very fine line, being very careful with how close he gets to his "FOB,s". Unless you have been totally out of touch with reality, the FOB's are the Friends of Barbaro, a really interesting group of people who came together on the ABR board looking for updates on their beloved Barbaro. They claim responsibility for all sorts of things from raising funds for research into Laminitis, to saving a vast number of horses from slaughter in the name of their sainted horse. The stories of some of their antics are sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad, and sometimes frightening. I know Alex enjoys the adoration-who wouldn't? He obviously likes running his little kingdom with an iron hand. But he knows that with so many bizarre and extreme personalities involved, he needs to be careful how he markets himself and his board.
After all-that's what he's doing. Alex has used the ABR board as a vehicle to further his agendas. Whether it be his writings, interviews, or the book he has now written, the FOB's have been an integral part of it. Alex stated when he began writing his book that the FOB's were a "built in fan base". He knows he can count on them buying his self-published book without question. He also knows that they are considered by many to be a bit on the quirky side to say the least. So, he needs to keep the faithful happy, but keep a respectful distance between them and the Great Alex Brown. Alex has alluded to the insanity that is often a part of the FOB's, but is always careful to defend it in part. He has to. Who else can he run to when he is feeling picked on? His loyal fans are the ones to come to his defense when he posts about those who have treated him badly in his blog, or when he is "attacked" on ABR. They can be counted on to write letters at his behest. If Alex suggests it- the FOB's will do it.
And when he no longer has a need of these intensely loyal fans? Well, Alex has taken care of that already. He has set a tentative "closing date" for the ABR board. Of course, it will be after the book is out, and he is sure he won't need his adoring fans. And he has not chosen a firm date-you never know-the King may choose to keep his throne should his turn as author fail.
But for now, King Alex continues to rule his Kingdom. He defends those others would question, and questions those others would defend. How can someone be so short sighted as this man is? With each rescue he backs comes the responsibility for the horses that end up there. Alex is very careful in this area. He does not want the liability for a single horse-yet he will take the accolades for the many "saves".
He recently changed servers from Mzinga to Delphi. During that move, the archives from his message board were lost. So many horses- and the trails to them gone now. A coincidence? Or another amazing move by the King of ABR? Alex knows it's good to be King. Does he ever think about how his actions affect the horses? They're a side effect of the experiment, after all. Too bad THEY don't have Delphi accounts. Of course, he'd just ban them..... they're not going to buy his book.

By RH2


  1. Isn't it, though. Not so good for the horses, though.

  2. Excellent article. I still get an ikky feeling about some of the individuals that were taken on a financial and emotional rollercoaster due to ABR. They've quietly disappeared and we may never know the truth.

  3. Excellent article, you nailed your description of the "King"