Horse Owner Searches for Mare Seized in Breeding Barn Welfare Case

When horse owner Anne Maria Cray of Grantville, Pa., started spreading the word that her 5-year-old Thoroughbred mare, WeWe C, was available for a breeding lease, she never imagined that the horse would end up in the middle of a welfare case.

WeWe C is one of the 82 allegedly malnourished horses removed from Norcrest (also called Middle Creek) Farm in Troupsburg, N.Y., by the Finger Lakes Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on Aug. 29 and 30. After investigators moved in, 78 of the horses were placed in foster homes. Another four were euthanized at the scene.

Cray does not know the mare's current location or whether she's alive. "I'd be happy to at least know that she was not one of the mares euthanized," Cray said.

Steuben County Assistant District Attorney Patricio Jimenez said Sept. 8 no charges have been filed in the case. He declined to confirm or deny who might be charged.

Gerry Trupia has been named as the farm's operator in published reports. Her attorney, J. Timothy Embser, was unavailable for comment.

WeWe C, mare boarded at barn

WeWe C, before she was transferred to Norcrest Farm.

Meanwhile, Cray is questioning her decision to send her horse so far from home. She had placed WeWe C at Norcrest/Middle Creek on the recommendation of members of an online forum who had previously done business with the farm. According to Cray, Trupia picked the mare up in June and transported her to Norcrest/Middle Creek for a six-month stay. The women stayed in touch by telephone and e-mail, and Cray was assured her horse was well.

She learned about the seizure while perusing online forum postings.

According to New York-based Thoroughbred trainer Laurie McDowell, Cray's experience is not the norm for owners who send their mares out-of-state on long-term breeding leases.

"Most owners never see the farms or even meet the breeders face-to-face," McDowell said. "Most of the time the arrangement works out fine."

Cray is unconvinced.

"We've learned a very hard lesson about trusting people," she said.

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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