Local News

June 4, 2014

Veterinarians: Not one horse in good health


Assistant District Attorney Michael Langey provided several photos of each horse as prosecution went through details of conditions found on all 41 animals.

Copies of the veterinarians’ Body Condition Scoring Charts were presented as evidence.


Russell and Knapp worked together to examine and triage the herd the first day, as sheriff’s deputies and horse rescue personnel prepared to remove animals deemed emaciated or very thin.

Two round bales of hay were provided for the herd in a common feeding area on Sept. 18, Essex County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Rice had testified on Monday.

They did not address what Russell and Knapp considered chronic malnutrition of the entire herd.

“If you have animals that have needs and are in states of decline, then they need to have individualized feeding … with individual attention,” she said.

“Two feeders for 40 animals — it’s impossible. (We) didn’t walk in (to the farm) and see just one animal in need of assistance. The husbandry on the farm was inadequate.”

Knapp explained that the Henneke Score assesses fat and muscle coverage on the equine skeletal frame.

“I noticed there were a lot of horses there (on Wing’s farm) on limited acreage,” she said, relaying what she saw on Sept. 18.

She said the pastureland had been grazed very short, and there was a lot of debris, including old buckets, downed trees, wood and trash in the field.

“Birch trees looked like they had been chewed on,” Knapp said.

“I did not see any hay put up anywhere.”


Methodically, Langey and Assistant District Attorney Jamie Martineau went through photographs of each horse.

Each had been numbered by the Sheriff’s Department for inventory and tracking purposes.

Horse No. 20, a mare, scored a 1 on the Henneke Scale, the lowest possible mark.

“This horse could easily die by malnutrition,” Knapp said.

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