California Authorities Seek Missing Quarter Horses

California Authorities Seek Missing Quarter Horses

Authorities are searching for this 21-year-old Quarter Horse mare.

Photo: Courtesy Madera County Sheriff's Department

Madera County, Calif., authorities are hoping the public can help them locate a pair of Quarter Horses that went missing last year.

Erica Stuart, public information officer for the Madera County Sheriff's Department, said the horses' owner reported that he placed the animals in the custody of Summer Tex of Madera, Calif., in August 2013; Tex is a brand inspector for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, she said. Stuart said Tex allegedly promised to place the 21-year old Quarter Horse mare and the 26-year-old Quarter Horse gelding with "Pasture Buddy" programs affiliated with the Harris Ranch in Fresno County, Calif.; such programs pair mature horses with young equids in order to keep young horses calm and to occupy older horses in their remaining years.

“One horse was to be delivered to Sanger (Calif.), the other horse (was to be) delivered to Coalinga (Calif.),” Stuart said. “Both the horses were in good health with Tex took them into her possession.”

Authorities are searching for this 26-year-old Quarter Horse gelding.

Photo: Courtesy of the Madera County Sheriff's Department

The horses' owner reported that he telephoned Tex repeatedly about the horses' well-being, but got no answer, Stuart said. When Tex did answer, she allegedly told the owner that she had sold the animals, she said.

“The victim came to us on April 8 after exhausting every possible avenue to find his horses,” Stuart said. “The owner fears the horses may have been shipped out of state for slaughter.”

The Madera County Sheriff's Office subsequently issued a warrant for Tex's arrest on a charge of felony grand theft involving the horses, Stuart said. On April 26, Tex was arrested after turning herself in to the Madera County Sheriff's Office. She is free on $60,000 bond, Stuart said, and is slated to appear in Madera County Superior Court on May 19 in connection with the charges.

Tex was unavailable for comment.

The Madera County Sheriff's Agricultural Crimes Task Force and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Brand Inspector’s Office continue to investigate the case, Stuart said.

In the meantime, Madera County Sheriff's personnel are seeking any information regarding the whereabouts the horses, Stuart said. Anyone with information about the horses' whereabouts should call the Madera County Sheriff's Office at 559/675-7770, or Crime Stoppers at 559/498-7867.

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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