The animal cruelty case that began at the Aurora farm of Beth Lynne Hoskins five years ago has come full circle.
All of her horses – 64 are still alive since the 2010 SPCA raid – are now back at her farm, in defiance of a judge’s orders.
Hoskins appears to have called the shots herself over the weekend, redirecting a hauler to transport 29 of her horses, temporarily housed at a Lockport farm, back to her Aurora farm instead of to a Rochester area farm.
The actions fly in the face of a deal that was brokered last Tuesday with State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia, Hoskins, her attorney, the SPCA attorneys and the prospective buyer, who is a friend of Hoskins.
Hoskins apparently is in control of all 64 horses, even though some sources say a trust technically owns them.
Thirty-five of her horses – which she was allowed to keep after her criminal court conviction in 2013 on 52 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty – have been at her Aurora farm. But Glownia, a year and a half ago, had ordered that the 29 in question be sold.
At issue now is how Glownia handles the latest turn of events – defiance of the sale arrangement agreed to last week.
Glownia earlier this month ruled that all of Hoskins’ 64 horses be put under the control of a court-appointed receiver if the 29 of them were not sold by Dec. 21.
Because the $50,000 sale of the 29 horses to Jennifer Hartwell, owner of Skyloft Morgan Farm in Scottsville, did not happen as directed, Hoskins’ attorney and the SPCA Serving Erie County plan to confer with Glownia on Monday, even though the court is closed over the holidays.
Reached at home Sunday evening, Glownia said he could not comment on the case.
“I am prohibited because of judicial ethics from commenting on any pending case,” he said.
The last load of horses was delivered to Hoskins’ Aurora property Sunday afternoon from Marie Bennett’s Foxhunt Stables in Lockport, where Hoskins had them delivered in late August for what was to be a temporary, two-week stay that turned into four months.
“I cried. I was so upset that I called the SPCA attorney crying,” Bennett said Sunday. The last batch of horses, numbering seven, left her farm about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. “I followed it to Emery Road.”
Bennett said she worries about the care of the horses, even though she said she has incurred debt from Hoskins, who she said still owes her nearly $7,000 and has, so far, paid her $9,000. She also is angry with Hoskins.
“She is not allowed at my property,” Bennett said. “I’m more worried about the horses. It’s just sad that the horses went back to Emery Road.”
Bennett said she is not surprised by the change of events, given Hoskins’ pattern of not following orders.
She suspected trouble Saturday when the first of three loads of horses was taken away from her farm. She said she had someone follow the truck, and she followed the other shipments, all ending up at the Emery Road site.
“I was so upset (Saturday), when I saw the horse trailer going in the wrong direction” and not toward Scottsville, she said.
Rounding up the last seven horses Sunday morning was heartwrenching for Bennett. The last black mare did not seem to want to leave, she said.
“She just didn’t want to go. She likes it here,” said Bennett, adding that it took a little more than two hours Sunday to round up the last seven.
Horse hauler Bill Hopkins of Sardinia, who has now moved Hoskins’ horses three times, said he was at first baffled when the horse transport was stalled last week and said Hoskins and the prospective buyer told him “they weren’t ready.”
“I thought they didn’t have the stalls ready,” Hopkins said Sunday night.
But when Hopkins showed up at Bennett’s farm Saturday, he received different orders.
“I got there Saturday morning to haul the first load, and that’s when I got the message from Beth” to take them to her Aurora farm, Hopkins said. “She’s paying the bill.”
Asked why Hoskins told him to do something different from the original plan, Hopkins said: “She didn’t really say why, and I didn’t ask her.”
“It came down to business. It was just a job for me,” he said. “As long as I get paid, that’s all I care. It was pretty pricey. I didn’t do it for free, that’s for sure.”
Hopkins declined to say how much he charged Hoskins. He called the entire saga “a joke.”
SPCA attorney Ralph Lorigo declined to comment Sunday. Neither Hoskins nor her attorney, George V.C. Muscato, returned calls seeking comment.