Effort to Identify Horses in Seized Herd Continues

Last February, the seizure of 45 allegedly malnourished Arabian horses from a South Carolina family made national headlines. As court proceedings against defendants Hazelene, James, and Terry Trexler about to move forward, the effort to sort out the horses' histories goes on.

"We've gotten calls from many possible previous owners," said Kelly Graham, director of public relations for the Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Columbia, S.C., the group coordinating the horses' care. "The problem is, we don't know what we've got."

some of the horses seized from the Trexler property

Some of the seized horses.

Attempts to match the horses with Arabian Horse Association (AHA) registration data began almost immediately after their seizure, Graham said. But because the Trexlers often didn't transfer the official registration papers for horses they purchased, progress has been slow.

Carol Darnell, chairman of the recently formed Re-homing Advisory Panel of the Arabian Horse Foundation, is examining photographs and markings charts provided by the Humane Society to identify Trexler horses by process of elimination.

She is also calling on people who sold horses to the Trexlers to help fill in blanks.

"Every piece of information is useful," she said.

According to Graham, the horses are doing well. They are residing in South Carolina foster homes or with Mike Privet, DVM, the veterinarian who has overseen the horses' care since they were removed from the Trexlers' care. Still, matching the horses with their original registration papers is critical to their future.

"After the court case is resolved, the plan is to either send these horses back to people who sold them to the Trexlers, or find permanent quality homes for them," Graham said.

The Trexlers are charged with multiple counts of felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty. They will appear in Richland County Court Aug. 15 for a preliminary hearing.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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