Plans to move half of Beth Lynne Hoskins’ horses to a farm in the Rochester area were put on hold on Wednesday.
Marie Bennett, the owner of a Lockport farm where the 29 horses have been stabled in recent months, said she was informed that Skyloft Farm in Scottsville, where the horses were to be transported, was not ready for them.
She said the transfer has been rescheduled for Thursday morning, but she has blocked the gate to the horses’ pasture with a tractor and may not move it until she is paid for the months of care she has provided to the horses.
“This whole thing is beyond comprehension. I should be paid what is owed me,” Bennett said, estimating she is still owed about $6,500 for stabling the horses.
She and officials with the SPCA Serving Erie County remain concerned about the animals’ welfare and blamed State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia for allowing Hoskins to manipulate the court system and avoid consequences.
“I believe this situation has been created by the actions of this judge,” said Danielle Jacobs, an SPCA board member who has followed the case closely. “Unfortunately, there have been no consequences.”
The 29 horses were to be moved Wednesday to the 80-acre Skyloft Farm, run by Jennifer Hartwell, who is a friend of Hoskins.
Hoskins sold the horses for $50,000. The sale came long after a judge ordered it and the transaction was nailed down behind closed doors.
Jacobs and SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr both expressed concern that Glownia allowed the 29 horses to go to Hartwell’s farm, which has at least 30 horses and just eight stalls.
“My biggest fear is that he allowed a sale to a woman who appears to be overburdened and is creating the same situation, and it’s by court order,” Jacobs said. “It’s December in Western New York, and these horses deserve a stall. This is court-sanctioned cruelty to send these horses to live outside this winter.”
The horses have been staying on Bennett’s farm in Lockport after she agreed in August to care for the animals. She said she was under the impression the horses were to have stayed on her farm for only two weeks.
The move planned for Wednesday called for transporting seven horses at a time in three separate runs from Lockport to Scottsville, plus a fourth trip with eight horses.
Hoskins was convicted two years ago of abusing 52 horses on her Aurora horse farm.
Hartwell owned Skyloft Morgans in Gorham, Maine, when The Buffalo News interviewed her in 2010 for an article on Hoskins shortly after the SPCA raided Hoskins’ Morgan horse farm in Aurora.
“You can take care of that many horses all day, when you have a mission and a love, you can make it work,” Hartwell said at the time. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
News Staff Reporter Henry L. Davis contributed to this report. email: firstname.lastname@example.org