Unexpected guests often drop in over the holidays, but what if your drop-ins were an entire herd of Quarter Horses?

That’s what happened to Falmouth, Ky., equine rescue facility Speak Up For Horses, when 48 mares, stallions, and foals were signed over to them by Breckenridge County Judge Executive Ray Powers, upon culmination of a local animal cruelty case and the recent foreclosure of the farm where they lived.

The breeder, Glenda A. Wright, was charged last February with 17 counts of cruelty to animals and one count of improper disposal. Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) staff veterinarian Michael O’Bryan, DVM, accompanied Breckenridge County Sheriff Todd Pate in February to investigate the situation.

“We discovered eight or nine horses dead, and four more that were probably Grade 2 on the Henneke Body Scale,” said O’Bryan. He reported that three additional horses died within a week of their visit.

Convicted of all counts on May 8th, Wright is now serving a sentence of one year for each misdemeanor count, running concurrently for a maximum of twelve months. During the lengthy court case process, the horses remained on-site, where they were fed and received emergency care provided by O’Bryan and BWS.

In November, the farm foreclosure required dispersal of the herd; when Wright failed to re-home the horses, they were scheduled to be sold at auction. That’s when Speak Up For Horses, which had been monitoring the case, stepped in.

“We’ve brought them to a local farm, and we’re feeding them the best quality hay we can find, with grain for the youngsters,” said Shelly