Allegedly Malnourished Oregon Horses Seized, Relocated

More than 100 allegedly malnourished horses seized in February by Oregon law enforcement authorities remain under care after being relocated from a remote Wallowa County breeding farm to more accessible facilities near Joseph, Ore.

Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen said that on Feb. 23, county authorities seized 120 allegedly malnourished Portuguese Lusitano and Andalusian horses from the Carpe Diem Farm near Troy, Ore. Carcasses of dead horses were also found on the property.

A criminal investigation into the horses' circumstances is under way, but no charges have yet been filed, Steen said.

Carpe Diem Farm owner Byrde Lynn Hill was unavailable for comment.

Since the seizure, county personnel have been transporting hay for the horses, but due to severe winter weather conditions were unable to remove the animals from the farm's remote location.

Last month, acting on a circuit court order, the sheriff's department sold some of the horses at auction to offset the county's cost for the animals' care.

Other horses from the herd have also been sold to satisfy a civil judgment awarded to former farm employees in connection with a contract dispute with the farm's owners.

This week, all 120 animals, including those that have been sold, were driven from the farm to holding facilities near Joseph, Ore., where they remain under the sheriff's department's care.

"All the horses are still connected to the criminal investigation while the case is pending," Steen said. "I can issue bills of sale to buyers, but I still have 120 horses to care for."

To date, the county has incurred $30,000 in costs caring for the horses, Steen said. On April 15, another 20 of the horses will be sold at auction. Proceeds from that sale will be used to reimburse the county for the animals' care.

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.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners