October 8, 2013

Skeletal horse remains found on Essex farm

Essex County DA building case against mother, daughter


A third veterinarian, Lacey Knapp, said “many of the lower-scored horses were mares with foals at their side, which also scored very low.

“Some mares had both this year’s and last year’s foals at their sides, and some seemed to be pregnant again. This is a heavy strain on these mares. 

“I saw mares and foals that had a low chance of surviving the upcoming winter.”

One mare, horse No. 20, died despite efforts to feed and nurture it to full health, according to the court.

The foal with that mare survived.


Extensive notes taken by veterinarians document repeated and numerous medical issues with the horses. 

Most of them had “distended” abdomens (indicative of worms), with pronounced rib and hip bones, and they needed work done on their teeth. 

Most had rough coats indicating lack of nutrition.

Today, the Wing farm has to post a bond of $43,890 to keep ownership of the horses or the animals are forfeited to the county. 

The bond amount set by Sayward was based on veterinarian bills and county estimates to cover 30 days of feed. 

If paid, the bond would have to be renewed each month until the criminal proceeding is closed.


Sayward presided over court shortly past 4 p.m. Monday with about 10 people gathered in the small courtroom.

Public Defender William Tansey is representing Shelley. The town justice appointed attorney Reginald Bedell to represent Emily in a separate case.

Langey announced readiness in writing on both cases, telling Sayward they have provided copies of the 1,800 photos to defense attorneys.

Tansey said they have received the photos.

An appearance for motions in each case was set for 4 p.m. Oct. 21 in Essex Town Court.

Sayward explained that, by law, the civil case seeking bond payment is run as a separate case.

The 41 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in failure to provide sustenance can bring up to a year in prison per count, the town justice said.

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