BY SCOTT WALTMAN, email@example.com
12:06 AM AKST, December 7, 2012
Foote Creek Stables has spent $3,000 caring for horses that a man who rented space at the stable is accused of starving.
Two of the nine race horses the man was in charge of starved to death, authorities said.
The man being investigated is an independent horse trainer and rented an outdoor pen at the stable, said Jennifer Bjorgaard, who with her husband, Roger, owns Foote Creek Stables just southwest of Aberdeen. The trainer was not an employee of the stable, said Terry Evans, a deputy with the Brown County
See Horses, 11A
Bjorgaard said Foote Creek has been caring for the horses since the incident was reported Nov. 9 and has spent about $3,000 for feed, bedding and veterinarian bills. She said the stable might not get reimbursed for those expenses. She's not sure how much longer the stable will have to care for the horses. Six of the seven surviving horses remain at the stable after the owner of one horse retrieved his animal.
Evans said the investigation is largely complete and that the Brown County State's Attorney's Office, which will decide whether criminal charges will be filed against the man, has the bulk of the information. A local veterinarian and a veterinarian from the South Dakota Animal Industry Board are involved in the investigation, Evans said.
Foote Creek Stables offers two types of services - full-care and self-care. Under the self-care option, a person rents space at the stable and cares for the horses on his or her own, Evans said. The man being investigated paid for self-care services at the stable, Evans said. Foote Creek runs a reputable business, he said.
The sheriff's office responded to a report of a dead horse at the stable on Nov. 9. A couple of days later, a second horse died, Evans said.
In all, the man being investigated had been hired to care for nine horses. The surviving horses were impounded because they weren't receiving proper care, according to the sheriff's office.
Bjorgaard said the man was feeding the horses low-quality hay that didn't provide proper nutrition and that the animals' health deteriorated quickly.
Other trainers rent space at the stable, she said, and she doesn't want them to get a bad reputation because of the alleged actions of one person. She said somebody at the stable reported the matter to the sheriff's office.
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