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Hoskins farm trust finds buyer for 32 horses to comply with court order

The two trustees overseeing Beth Lynne Hoskins’ horse farm in Aurora have found a buyer for 32 horses that a court ordered her to transfer or sell by Tuesday.

The sale agreement, which is being kept under wraps, was signed by farm trustees Jean R. Knox, widow of Seymour H. Knox III, and Clarence horse farm owner Hans J. Mobius, on Monday, the eve of the Feb. 24 deadline set by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia, according to attorney Ralph C. Lorigo, representing the SPCA Serving Erie County.

“Hopefully, this is the end of it. It certainly could be,” Lorigo said Tuesday night.

Once the 32 horses are removed from Hoskins’ Emery Road property, she will be allowed to run her farm and keep her remaining 35 horses, and could technically terminate the trust arrangement set up late last year. However, inspections continue by a court-appointed inspector on all of the horses, including the 35 kept by Hoskins, through October 2016 as part of court stipulations.

For now, the trustees remain in place at her farm. The 32 horses being sold are remaining at Hoskins’ farm for a while longer because of the weather, but have to be transported to the buyer’s property no later than April 15, Lorigo said.

Both sides met with Glownia in his chambers Tuesday to discuss the arrangement to downsize Hoskins’ horse herd, which appears to be coming to fruition after numerous delays in this part of the civil case.

The 1½-page agreement specifies the sale of 32 horses to a woman identified as “Jane Doe.” Neither the court nor Hoskins’ legal team is revealing the identity of the buyer, nor is the sale price being disclosed.

At first, Lorigo said he was not happy and questioned the legitimacy of the arrangement since it came through at the “eleventh hour,” and Hoskins is believed to know the buyer, who lives in the area.

Glownia had given an extended deadline of Tuesday after the trustees indicated they couldn’t meet a Jan. 31 deadline that the judge had set in December when the trusteeship – overseen by two of Hoskins’ friends and funded by her family – was set up.

The trustees subsequently said they could not get information and documents on the horses necessary for their sale or transfer because at the time Hoskins was in the Erie County Correctional Facility serving a 90-day sentence for violating probation on her 2013 conviction in Aurora Town Court on 52 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Hoskins was released from jail Feb. 6 after serving 60 days.

The SPCA had seized more than 70 of Hoskins’ Morgan horses in March 2010 alleging neglectful care. Several deadlines for selling or transferring nearly half of her remaining herd last fall were not met.

Hoskins could not be reached to comment, and her attorney Gregory L. Davis declined to comment Tuesday night, saying he was bound by a confidentiality agreement.

Glownia wanted an affidavit from the buyer, confirming that no side agreements had been made, Lorigo said. He said the buyer’s identity will not be disclosed because they don’t want it publicly known.

“It’s a local person. It’s a woman,” Lorigo said.

The buyer must pay for the care of the horses she purchased while they remain at Hoskins’ farm for the next several weeks, but Hoskins must pay for transporting them to the new owner by mid-April, Lorigo said.