Judge Awards Seized Virginia Horses to County

A Loudoun County general district judge determined at a hearing held Jan. 30 that 48 seized Thoroughbreds will remain in county custody. The horses were seized in a raid on a Middleburg, Va., farm on Jan. 22, after local officials and veterinarians determined they were at risk.

Judge J. Frank Buttery Jr. signed the order of custody over to Loudoun County Animal Care and Control, the group that has been caring for the horses since the seizure. The judge also ordered the owners of the Thoroughbreds to reimburse Loudoun County for the costs of caring for the horses so far. This cost is currently estimated to be around $8,000.

Two of the three men charged in this case, Donald Cutshaw and Pablo Cosme, attended the Wednesday hearing. The third owner charged, Dennis Danley, was not present. According to court records, Danley requested that the seizure hearing be postponed. This request was denied. A representative of the commonwealth attorney's office said criminal charges in this case are pending.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the former racehorse Sandlot Star, a son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, was among the horses seized. Sandlot Star was born in 1998 and won $60,960 over the course of his racing career.

About the Author

John V. Wood

John V. Wood is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, and now teaches his craft to high school students in North Carolina. Wood has been published in numerous national magazines/newspapersover his career, and published his first book in June 2010. Wood currently lives in Willow Spring, NC.

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