December 2014 Issue - page 1

Vol. 21 No.12
Our 21st Year
December 2014
Holiday Shopping Guide …
pgs. 10-17
Health problems—equine and human—don’t
deter Zone 2 champs … pg. 8
Jennie Brannigan’s bad luck streak comes to an
end at Fair Hill … pg. 22
Todd Feaser tops East Coast Equine Comeback
Challenge … pg. 20
It was PA Derby Day déjà vu at the Breeder’s
Cup … pg. 4
... and much more!
Horses Bound for Florida
Seized in New Holland
by Suzanne Bush
Three emaciated horses
were seized in the parking lot of
the New Holland sale barn on
Sunday, July 27, 2014. For two
of the horses, New Holland was
the end of a tortuous road. The
third horse, now called Anasta-
sia’s Ally, is thriving at Days End
Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine,
MD and will soon be available
for adoption. Who bought these
horses, and who sold them? How
could anyone be so oblivious to
their conditions? Where were they
headed? The sad story of these
three Arabians is another chapter
in an all-too-familiar tragedy.
Patty Sherwood of McClure
in Snyder County says that she
was never in possession of the
horses, but was an intermediary.
She says that Charlie Fisher pur-
chased all three Arabian horses
from New Holland in May, and
subsequently asked her if she
knew anyone who might be inter-
ested in buying them from him.
Sherwood has a Facebook page
titled Miracles Happen for Hors-
es, in which she posts pictures of
horses that need new owners. She
says that her organization is em-
phatically not a rescue. Instead,
“our goal is to help save horses
before they make it into the hands
of Auction Barns, Kill Buyers and
the Slaughter Pipeline.” She said
that she knows Fisher’s father
Carl, and has posted pictures of
some of his horses in the past.
She contacted a rescue group she
knew in Florida, and they agreed
to take the horses.
“I didn’t know anything
about the horses, all I had was
pictures of the horses,” she says.
“They (the Florida rescue) were
very interested in the horses, but
wanted pictures. I forwarded the
pictures on to them. (In the pho-
tos) the horses were very thin, but
in my estimation they were very
bright eyed, they were alert.” She
said that she thought the horses
would be fine once they arrived at
the rescue.
But the horses were not fine.
One horse went down in the trail-
er, and the other two were barely
able to stand. Fisher had arranged
for the horses to be transferred to
another trailer for the trip to Flor-
ida. The exchange was supposed
to take place in the parking lot of
the New Holland sale barn. Since
there are no auctions on Sunday,
there was virtually no other activ-
ity in the parking lot.
When Fisher discovered that
the one horse was down, he called
Dr. James Holt, who is a veterinari-
an, and who has been affiliated with
the New Holland sale barn for sev-
eral years. Sherwood says she’s not
sure exactly what happened next.
“I was never in the truck or trailer,
and I never saw these three horses
in person. I believe the SPCAwas
called on Monday.”
A Tip, Two Dead Horses,
“It was an anonymous tip
given through our Facebook page,”
that led to the horses, Susan Martin
explains. She is Executive Director
of the Lancaster County SPCA, and
is also a Humane Police Officer.
She learned that Holt had the hors-
es, and she contacted him. Martin
filed numerous charges against
Fisher, his wife Lori and Sherwood.
The charges included animal cruel-
ty and transportation of a disabled
animal. Even though Sherwood
had never been in custody of the
horses, and had never seen them in
person, Martin says that she was an
accomplice to the abuse.
“Patty Sherwood was the one
who actually physically accept-
ed payment,” Martin explains.
“It doesn’t matter by law. She
admitted in court that she knew
the horses were in bad condition.
That makes her an accomplice.”
Holt euthanized two of the
horses within 24 hours of their
arrival in New Holland, and the
third was immediately transferred
to Days End. Sherwood says that
the pictures she forwarded to the
Florida rescue before Fisher drove
them to New Holland didn’t
show horses in serious distress,
although she did admit that they
looked thin. She doesn’t under-
stand what happened to the three
horses. She says she never had
anything but the pictures of the
horses. “I’ve been getting hate
mail. How I got accused of starv-
ing and transporting them, that’s
totally beyond me.” She says that
this whole thing has been a night-
mare for her and her family.
“One of the papers even
wrote that I wasn’t available for
contact. Nobody has ever contact-
ed me,” she says. “I just started
getting citations in the mail. I’ve
had people giving me a lot of grief
for having a dealer’s license. It’s
the law.” Sherwood believes that
people assume that anyone with
a dealer’s license is a kill buyer.
But she says the law requires her
to have a dealer’s license in order
to act as an intermediary between
buyers and sellers of horses. “I
really feel like I’ve been beaten to
death over all of this.”
Waiting for Judgment
The Fisher’s and Sherwood
went to court in September, but
Holt did not show up to testify,
(Continued on page 9)
LANC., PA 17604
The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup...
See page 18 for complete coverage!
Virginia Korrell is all smiles as she wins the Junior Horse race on Cortona at the Pennsylvania
Hunt Cup. See page18 for the complete story.
Photo by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
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