Two lawyers with equestrian experience have been appointed to care for and ultimately sell 29 of Beth Lynne Hoskins’ 64 horses.
State Supreme Court Justice Joseph R. Glownia also said the receivers will not be allowed to sell or adopt out any of the horses to Hoskins or the farm trust, or to anyone having “an intention of purchasing on behalf of the defendant in the trust.”
Potential buyers or sales that have repeatedly fallen through in the long-running civil case often have had some connection to Hoskins.
Glownia also stipulated that the horses should not go to anyone intending to destroy them.
However, he left the door open for an auction and called on the receivers to market and sell the 29 horses “by whatever means they deem necessary.”
If any of the 29 horses cannot be sold, the receivers have the authority to adopt out the horses by whatever means they determine necessary, including through the SPCA Serving Erie County.
The order names Theresa Prezioso, a Lockport lawyer, and Lucinda M. Finley, a University at Buffalo law professor, as co-receivers in charge of selling or adopting out the 29 horses that Hoskins was supposed to sell more than a year ago, but never did.
The two lawyers also are assigned to supervise the care of, and if necessary, sell the 35 horses Hoskins still owns.
Prezioso grew up locally riding horses, was captain of the Columbia University equestrian team, and worked for an Olympic equestrian’s farm in New Jersey after college.
Prezioso said that she and Finley are still assessing the situation and formulating a plan. “We’re keeping the best interests of the horses at heart,” she said.
Finley has significant experience with horses and has been involved in nonprofit horse rescues with aged racing horses, Prezioso said.
Hoskins was convicted in 2013 of 52 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty for the neglect of many Morgan horses at her Emery Road, Aurora, farm. She had been ordered by Glownia not to own more than 35 horses. Later, Hoskins was found in contempt of court for not following a May 2014 stipulated settlement order, which required her to transfer ownership of all but 35 of her horses. The judge had given her many chances to do that in subsequent new deadlines, but it never happened.
Last month, Glownia held a two-day hearing to find out how all the horses ending up back at Hoskins’ farm when they were supposed to have been sold for $50,000 to a Rochester horsewoman, who is a friend of Hoskins. Many contradictions emerged in courtroom testimony, with Hoskins and the Rochester buyer, Jennifer Hartwell, both saying Hartwell owned the horses.
Hoskins testified that she had the horses transferred at Christmas time to her Aurora farm at Hartwell’s request because they were sick.
At the same time, Hoskins’ friend and farm co-trustee, Jean Knox, testified she was loaning $50,000 to Hartwell to buy the horses, but details of the transaction could not be verified.