Darlene Wilson, Roy resident and long-time Arabian horse breeder, walked out of District Court on Friday, August 19 with one more reprieve from her animal cruelty conviction and sentence of last April, when she was ordered not to have any direct contact with horses and to make arrangements for others to care for her equines.
At her sentencing hearing last week, Judge Pat O’Malley granted Wilson a ten-day extension to deliver to the court a written list of boarders at her Carousel Stables, along with their contact information, such as phone numbers. Originally at sentencing on April 14, this had been ordered to be delivered to the court by July 15.
Also ordered was for Wilson to deliver a document clearly listing how many horses were stabled at her facility and who owns them. Specifically, Wilson must show who owns and maintains her former horses, which had numbered eleven at her sentencing in April, at which time she announced she had sold them and was only a landlord renting barn space.
A follow-up sentencing hearing has been scheduled for October 7, 2011.
Back on April 6, 2011, Ms. Wilson had been convicted in a jury trial on three counts of 2nd degree animal cruelty stemming from squalid conditions at her Carousel Stables, now known as the Mashallah Arabian.
At the time of her sentencing on April 14, Ms Wilson was about to be ordered to surrender her remaining eleven horses when she stunned the court and announced that she had sold them, adding that they still remained on her property in stalls that she was now renting to the new owner.
As a result, Judge O’Malley gave her ninety days, until July 15, to produce a bill of sale and other contractual documentation to prove her horse stall rental arrangements. In addition, Ms Wilson, who had on-going horse stall and exercise-area rental agreements with other horse owners, was instructed to include those business activities in the overall documentation for the court.
In short, Darlene Wilson was out of the horse business and only had to sit back and cash her rental checks.
However, it appears that little, if any, of this has been done to any substantive degree. Compounding the confusion, the July 15 sentencing hearing was postponed, and the subsequent one on July 29 was also rescheduled to the August 19 date.
Friday’s hearing then, was by turn, confused and bizarre. At one point it almost seemed like Ms. Wilson was being re-tried for her negligent care of her horses as she was sworn-in by Judge O’Malley to give explanations as to the current circumstances at her equine facilities.
Two salient issues, though, shown forth: One, the court wondered if Darlene participated in any way in the care of any horses, and two, was the barn cleaned up and operating in a professional manner.
Seeking clarification to these main issues, and sorting out the smaller but very important smaller details, such as how many horses were on the property and who was in charge of Darlene’s former equines, Judge O’Malley put Ms. Wilson’s new barn manager, Julie Marcel, on the witness stand under oath.
However, neither Wilson nor Marcel could give a clear picture of the situation at Mashallah. In particular, confusion reigned on questions of how many horses reside on Wilson’s property and who owns them. In fact, their testimony conflicted with each other, as Marcel claimed that Wilson had six boarders while Wilson said only four.
Further, the contracts produced by Marcel and signed by the boarders were characterized as illegible by Judge O’Malley, who claimed he could not read the signatures or determine the names of the boarders. In addition, the contracts apparently lacked any contact information or other identifiable information.
Facing this disarray, Judge O’Malley directly challenging Darlene if she owned any horses.
“No!” she thundered back.
“Are you assuming any duties in caring for any horses? Feeding them?
Darlene then launched into a soliloquy describing her many physical ailments, including a spiral injury that compels her to use a walker.
Clearly, Ms. Wilson does not have the physical capacity to perform much of any horse care, but the central question before the court is: Can Darlene Wilson arrange for others to provide adequate care for the horses on her property?
That is a tricky question and leads back to the primary issue at trial: What is adequate care and when does a prolonged marginal effort become criminal?
The court could certainly benefit from a clear perspective on this issue from Pierce County Animal Control, but the once-robust involvement of PCAC in this case seems to have waned.
To whit: no animal control officer was in court for the hearing Friday, and other than a letter from Animal Control Officer Jody Page to the deputy prosecutor, Susan Mason, PCAC apparently did not provide any documentation describing the sanitary conditions at Wilson’s horse barn.
In fact, in his summary remarks at the end of the sentence hearing, Judge O’Malley specifically stated that PCAC must submit a written report to the court describing conditions at Mashallah Arabian and he emphasized that he wants photographs taken as well.
Nevertheless, after O’Malley spent an hour’s worth of court time extracting information from Marcel and Wilson, along with hearing testimony from defense attorney Amanda Fernandez and rebuttals by Ms Mason, the following information was obtained.
First, there are four boarders at Ms. Wilson’s who care for twenty horses, including the eleven that Darlene owned formerly. Each of these boarders keeps their horses at Mashallah Arabian in a strict “100% self-care arrangement,” which means each boarder must provide all food and water, maintain the stalls and exercise their animals, and provide complete vet and farrier care for their equines. Simply, Marcel and Wilson will not provide any services whatsoever other than stall space.
Ms. Wilson said that she receives $1,000 per month in total from her stall rentals, and Judge O’Malley stated that he wants her to be able to maintain this modest level of income, which apparently is her only source of income other than a meager social security check.
Nevertheless, there is some confusion as to who exactly owns Wilson’s horses, and Julie Marcel told the Mountain News after court that a “Jeannette” owned them, but since Ms. Wilson said that two of her four boarders were named “Jeannette,” it was not clear which woman owned the horses.
Marcel also told the Mountain News that she did not know the last name of either Jeannette, and added that she did not know which one owned Darlene’s former horses.
Obviously, the question of who is caring for Wilson’s horses and are they doing so in full compliance with court instructions is unresolved.
The written letter to Ms. Mason from ACO Jody Page, who conducted at least three on-site inspections in recent months, reportedly says that sanitary conditions have been maintained at Wilson’s barn. This perspective has also been confirmed to the Mountain News by Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, the head of Animal Control.
However, there appears to be a recent verbal report from ACO Page that was shared with the court via deputy prosecutor Mason, which claims that two of Wilson’s horses, under the care of the “Jeannette,” have been kept in filthy stalls that reeked of urine, which would seem to be a violation of Wilson’s sentencing.
Upon conclusion of the hearing, Ms. Mason did confirm to the Mountain News that ACO Page had made a fourth trip to Mashallah Arabian just prior to the sentencing and had observed unsanitary conditions.
For her part, Ms. Wilson refused to speak with the Mountain News despite numerous invitations to do so.
In addition, her attorney, Ms Fernandez, also declined to speak to the Mountain News or offer any kind of clarification to these matters.
However, the overall picture of what is happening at Mashallah Arabian seems to be one fraught with poor management and marginal conditions.
Wilson’s barn manager Marcel testified that she only goes to Wilson’s barn “about twice a month” and only stays for “about ten minutes… or sometimes an hour.”
Marcel said that her primary duty is to collect rent and evict tenants for non-payment. Further, she admitted that has not physically met all of the boarders, and only leaves contracts for them at their horses’ stall space.
“I’m really a financial manger,” said Marcel.
Illustrating the lack of adequate management at Mashallah, Marcel acknowledged that she had never spoken with ACO Page and stated further that Page had never called her, either.
In general, Ms. Marcel’s testimony added to the confusion, particularly in regards to her role at Wilson’s and how much involvement in horse care Ms. Wilson may actually have.
There are wide-spread reports that Darlene does keep her hand in the affairs at her ranch, and she did acknowledge one incidence of holding the reins of a horse owned by a boarder, Jeannette Fryar, during a medical inspection by the veterinarian Dr. Kirk.
But that was a minor incident compared to the apparent lack of overall barn supervision.
As Judge O’Malley appeared to bend over backwards to preserve Wilson’s revenue stream, it seemed to have fallen to deputy prosecutor Mason to hold the torch for justice, and she did so aggressively.
In her opening remarks, Mason told the court that she has received numerous complaints of on-going impropriety by Ms. Wilson since her conviction and sentencing.
In the first instance, Mason describes a phone call from a horsewoman named “Chris,” who does not want to go on record or submit anything in writing to the court for fear of reprisals from Ms. Wilson or her many friends in the horse industry who think she has been treated unfairly by the courts, the media and the PCAC.
Mason said that Chris had purchased two horses from Darlene at the beginning of Wilson’s troubles with the PCAC in 2010 that led to the impoundment of three equines and the subsequent surrender of nearly two-dozen to rescue organizations. Chris alleges that Darlene called her after the break-up of her forty-plus herd and wanted her two horses back.
Mason said another horse owner, one who had boarded at Wilson’s, had had her horses locked in their stalls by Darlene.
In addition, Wilson’s former barn manager, Kathy Cook, also submitted a lengthy letter to Ms. Mason and charged that unhealthy conditions continue at Darlene’s, and that it was a “huge slap in the face to the horse community that Darlene is allowed to have horses after her conviction.”
Also, Ms. Cook reportedly wrote that Darlene is threatening members of the horse community with legal action for speaking against her.
Perhaps most telling, Ms. Mason also told the court that Darlene has not received her mental health evaluation as ordered by O’Malley in April. When confronted by the judge on this issue, Wilson confirmed that she hadn’t gotten her psychiatric assessment and claimed it was due to a lack of funds.
“Ms Wilson is not in compliance with her sentencing,” Ms. Mason stated plainly to the court.
No one rose to disagree, but the central question is what to do about Darlene’s defiance and the iffy conditions at her barn. Wilson and her crew seem to be digging in their heels and doing the minimum to evade further legal charges, but O’Malley seems reluctant to physically remove Wilson from her home and her horses.
© 2011 the Mountain News – WA
Amy Pivetta Hoffman – Attorney at Law
All Civil and Governmental Matters
Member of the Frederickson Land Use Advisory Board
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How about contact Social Security Administration and report this article, including the earnings that Ms. Wilson receives monthly. I am sure that $1000/month would disqualify her from receiving her “meager social security check”.
As I am turning 62 next month, I am learning a lot about social security these days. One of the things I have been told is that I am allowed to earn $14,000 in outside income before any monies are deducted from my social secutiy check.
So, at $1,000 per month, her $12K per annum still keeps her well below the threshold of reduced social security. Plus, she has business deductions, such as utilities and insurance, so her net income would be even less than the original $12K
That comment was a bit mean spirited. How can you wish for someone who is mostly disabled to be refused “a meager social security check?” Part of the reason we are in such confusion and division in this country is the Republican stance that Social Security is “an entitlement.” Social Security was part of a social contract that we all agreed to.
We younger people pay in to the pot all our working lives, and older people (who have contributed most of their own working lives) will collect a “livable” income. This was to prevent elderly people from falling in to poverty and having to depend on working children who are also struggling to make ends meet.
What would you suggest? Do you think it would be better for our elderly to be EUTHANIZED?! And don’t give me the argument that they “should have saved” when they were younger. Do you really know how many people in our society don’t earn enough to save anything? Do you know how many single mothers out there live from pay check to pay check without any help or with fathers who have abandoned their kids and don’t pay child support?
I hope you never have to face some of the hardships so many do face.
how many times is she going to go back to court before she does as the judge ordered. Also how can Darlene threaten people againt speaking against her, if they are telling the truth she surely has no legal grounds . Sounds like she is trying to intimidate them.
It appears so. Further, it is hard for me to imagine how this will resolve.
The rest of the story:
I find this whole thing rather confusing–are we castigating Darlene because she is caring for horses or because she isn’t caring for horses?? How many of you people that are so sure she is a “terrible” person have actually met her, have seen her barn or even have seen the horses she is supposed to have treated so cruelly?
Over a year ago she turned most of her horses over to Rose Corey (Ripley’s) with the assurance that they would be placed in good homes; many of them were then euthanized–some in as little as 24 hrs. i have known this woman over thirty years, and done horse business with her. The original issues were that the horses’ stalls weren’t clean, they needed their feet done and their coats cleaned, but they weren’t being starved and she has never mistreated a horse. Could they have been wormed more often or had their teeth done more often–possibly, but many people are seeing a need for LESS worming.and I know plenty of humans that need their teeth done.
Horses have been her whole life for over forty years and when her health failed and the economy crashed at about the same time, she was hit hard. She put her faith in someone she thought she could trust, it was only shortly before going into the hospital that she learned that this person not only wasn’t doing her job, but was stealing as well so that person was let go.
Desperate for help while in the hospital, she let a woman rent the barn facilities–with care of her horses as part of the deal. Tt was this person who animal control first approached while Darlene was in the hospital; Darlene didn’t even know animal control had been there until they came back to see if she had complied with their requirements and took three horses–horses the examining vet said had some minor problems but nothing that a bit of TLC wouldn’t fix. It is my understanding that in spite of this and the fact that there were potential adopters, those horse were are destroyed by Ripley’s.
As to that helpful renter, until Darlene evicted her, she refused to meet the terms of the agreement, Darlene was threatened with physical violence on several occasions, locks were broken and most of her tack stolen and her freezer emptied–twice; also a fire was set in her arena which took Darlene many hours to put out–alone. This helpful person is now renting the barn right next door–could she be that anonymous caller that keeps animal control informed on “supposed” violations?
Apparently it has decided that since Darlene couldn’t adequately take care of forty-four horses on her own, she now is to have “no contact” with horses and I believe they are even after her dog and three cats–one of which is nineteen. Doesn’t anyone else see this as rather a strange??
Alas, your commentary is not the rest of the story as you allege, but simply a re-statement of Darlene’s defense at trial, where despite the compelling narrative the jury convicted Darlene on three counts of 2nd degree animal cruelty within twenty minutes.
Further, your claim that she never starved her horses is not quite true. Several years prior to her conviction, Darlene’s horses received a major intervention from Pierce County Animal Control, who put the equines on an enhanced feeding program to get them back to proper weight.
What I find so intriguing in the Darlene Wilson case is why so many horse folks fiercely defend Darlene. That I don’t understand, and I would like to. Call me if you’re up for explaining how the conditons I witnessed at Carousel Stables/Mashallah Arabian were acceptable.
Remember, I had to wear a dual-stage respirator to see her stalls as they were being cleaned by the LSD volunteers, a 12-person crew working very hard to remove the three-foot deep layers of compacted feces and straw. That team was just a portion of the 40 volunteers who labored three days a week for a month or two cleaning the stalls, and that suggests to me they were dealing with the results of a chronic condition.
to a friend
do not assume that everyone who comments does not know Darlene. I have known her for eight years. I have been in that dark dingy hole she calls a barn. She may have been able to take care of horses before but clearly she isn’t able to do so now . She needs to stop dragging her heels and do as the judge ordered.If she want’s to continue running a business then she also needs a proper manager not one who turns up now and then .
I am curious whether “friend” has examined public records relating to the complaints about Wilson. It would appear that this trial was long overdue. Records show that Animal Control gave her a ridiculously long time to improve conditions at her place, but it seems she was in a constant state of denial, even about conditions that were pointed out to her. Not having horses is a part of the mandatory sentence for animal cruelty…should she be exempt because she is disabled, in denial, or has cinvinced you that she is a victim? The only true victims here are the animals
“What I find so intriguing in the Darlene Wilson case is why so many horse folks fiercely defend Darlene. That I don’t understand, and I would like to…”
I would think that the fact there are so many people defending her would give you pause and make you think that maybe, just maybe, that while you may have the “facts of the case,” you don’t really have the story.
First I have to address your statement that you “had” to wear a respirator—I assume you have some serious respiratory condition, as I didn’t notice that the people cleaning the stalls in the news photos were wearing respirators.
While I am more than willing to admit that things in Darlene’s barn were definitely less than ideal, to me a true “abuser” is someone that deliberately doesn’t feed their horses, provide basic needs, or physical torments their horses etc. while they themselves continue to live the good life. That is most certainly not the case here!! For several years now, Darlene herself has gone without all but the most basic needs to provide food for her horses.
For over forty years this woman made her living raising, training and selling horses and teaching kids to ride. I have stood with her and shared her joy at the birth of a new foal and comforted her as she cried when an old friend passed onto greener pastures.
In recent years, like many others in the horse industry, she has fallen on seriously hard times, which have been exacerbated by all her health issues. If you want to accuse her of poor choices, you would be right. She didn’t realize that the economy was going to continue to slide and she didn’t get out in time; she didn’t foresee that she would get seriously hurt and then develop other serious health issues in a fairly short time; She trusted people that she shouldn’t have trusted and yes, I will admit, she didn’t check up on those people often enough. Last of all, due to some bad experiences in her past, she didn’t ask for help soon enough. But you know, aging and illness will do that to you. Do you have any idea the amount of energy it takes just to keep going when you have serious pain issues?
After reading your news reports, I notice you are quick to give extensive press to Kathy Cook and others who malign Darlene. Do you check whether there is any truth to these statements before printing? Do you ever consider that such people have their own agenda in this story?
Meanwhile, you seem to pretty much blow off those who support her with inflammatory remarks such as, ” Wilson has many of her own supporters in this affair,….who claim that Wilson’s problems stem from complaints by “rich horsey people” who live in a “Sunset Magazine dream world.” Now, while this statement was probably made by someone, I am pretty sure that that isn’t the way that most of her supporters express themselves.
You stated: “As a result, (of reporting to PCAC the condition in Darlene’s barn) they became a target of Wilson’s ire and were told by the LDS leadership not to return for any more clean-ups.” Guess you didn’t know that Kathy Cook was managing the barn at that time and that Darlene was in the hospital and almost died while this was happening. She didn’t even know that PCAC had been out during that time until the second time they came–after she had returned from the hospital. I was in touch with her almost daily during this period; tell me, how does a person that is barely conscience and not totally aware of her surroundings demonstrate “ire?”
You stated: “In fact, the PCAC impoundment in 2010 led to a major rescue effort by Ripley’s Horse Aid Foundation who removed another twenty horses from Darlene’s ranch.” You failed to mention this was a voluntary move on Darlene’s part and that it took place over several weeks as Rose indicated she had room for more horses. You also haven’t report on the fact that Ripley’s had most of the horses after the initial group euthanized within days of acquiring them (even though Rose had assured Darlene that she would find good homes for them)–including the three which PCAC had turned over to Rose “at her (Rose’s) insistence?” These three horses DIED in spite of the fact that it was reported by the original examining vet that there was nothing major wrong with them.
You have never asked: “How is it that the supposedly seriously malnourished, “abused” horses in the first group Rose took were ready for adoption in less than ten days?” (Gee, you think maybe they weren’t really terribly malnourished and abused?)
So you either believe Darlene’s story or you don’t. Most of the people that have truly known her and dealt with her for years do believe her. Those with an axe to grind or who simply read a story of animal abuse in the news don’t. It is more exciting to beat a drum and cry “foul” than to look deeper and find out what has really happened. This is way more than a story of animal neglect, it is a story of human tragedy–of a woman who has a passion for horses, who worked very hard all of her life to create a successful business and who in a very short amount of time was totally overwhelmed by the circumstances of her life. It is the story of a woman who is now alone, getting old and in continual pain and who has been betrayed by those she trusted. It is a story of a woman who has watched her life’s work slipping through her hands and hasn’t known how to stop it or fix it. It is a story that needs the word: COMPASSION.
Thanks for your lengthy and articulate reply, “friend.”
I don’t quite follow how the facts of Darlene’s treatment of her horses as presented in court are somehow different than the truth of the matter of what was really going on at her ranch. I guess what I’m asking is why you think so many people defend Darlene when a jury convicted her in twenty minutes after a four-day trial. That’s a sharp dose of reality in my view, and a rejection of the notion that run-down, sloppy and stinky is okay.
You are correct that I don’t have the whole story – that’s why I’m asking for your assistance in understanding your perspective. Maybe the essay you’ve shared with us above is as close as we will be able to achieve in glimpsing of that other side.
I’d also like to mention that the comments you made about a true abuser being someone who deliberately doesn’t feed their horses, provide basic needs, etc. is a description of 1st Degree Animal Cruelty. Darlene was convicted on 2nd Degree, which means she was unable to provide adequate care in conditions that reasonable people would successfully grapple with and find a solution.
I just love the “digs” veiled as compliment; However,. maybe your answer lies in this simple statement: “There but for the grace of God go I!” Yes, I know the self-righteous think not, but believe me, ten years ago, when she had just re-done her barn roof, sold several horses for a good price, had a good trainer in the barn and a winning horse at the most recent show, Darlene could not have foreseen her present circumstances. Pray life never puts you in the position to understand what happened to her.
There have been many days when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from and I depended upon the good graces of others to put a roof over my head – not to mention my dependency at times on public assistance.
As for health issues, I have grappled with chronic, life-threatening illnesses. Yes, I hold Darlene responsible for the lack of care she provided to her horses; and yet, I keep asking, how did Darlene – and others – develop their attitudes that proclaim Darlene innocent? I’m not here to burn anyone. I am here to listen to your story and honor your experience. No blame, no shame, no accusations.
That’s it, friend. That’s all I’m saying.
Perhaps we can start with exchanging names. Hi, I’m Bruce.
OMG will this ever stop . Kathy Cook, and Chealsey are at Joe Bar Stables. They did not go far when they left Darlene’s barn . Neither of these people know the condition of the barn that Darlene owns unless they have tresspassed. As far as the ex-boarder whose horses were locked up.She, Bobby Joe owed several months of board did not feed her horses for two months. Bobby Joe then called animal control on Darlene to try to get her horses without paying her board. ACO Jodie Paige stated that no one could lock a horse up for non-payment of board. Over half of all boarding barns in Pierce County are illegal then. This is a feeding frenzy unfortunate for Darlene she is feast. Bobby Joe was caught red handed stealing hay from who ? You quessed it Darlene.
I dont know buttt Why would you worry about Darlene threating to sue unless you know that you have done something to be sued about? At last Brucie is not what he would have us believe he is. Darlene would be a FOOL to talk to him. I spoke with one of the boarders at Darlene’s barn she stated that she talked to Brucie and when she read his blog that he outright lied and was very upset with his lack of professionalism in reporting the truth. So get all the hits on your site by lying to the public. Karma is a***## reap what you sow ect.. ect.., What has become of do unto others. If ACO Paige wants to clean up abuse dont let one of the biggest abusers be your pal. Oh almost forgot the Chris person Hi Chris did you talking to the prosecutor would make Darlene give you papers on a horse that you did not pay for LOL some people are stupid, glad that you are not my friend. Lets trace the calls that report all these infractions (not really). More than likey it would
only be five people. Till next ime thats all folks
Bruce—I will continue as “A Friend.” At first, I believed that you were interested in trying to understand why many support Darlene, but I am beginning to think that you just want to debate. As you said, I wrote an essay on the subject–don’t know how much more I can add, but I will say this–there is the “letter” of the law and there is the ‘spirit” of the law and at times they are very different. Yes, under the letter of law, she is guilty–she owned the horses and their care wasn’t all that was desirable. However, as far as the spirit of the law is concerned: she got hurt, sick, betrayed and overwhelmed and she certainly never intended her horses any harm. Darlene was going down with the ship, and not meeting her own needs to provide for the horses–food comes ahead of trimmed feet and an army of stall cleaners. Remember, she is in this situation because ultimately she did ask for help. It is easy to stand on the outside and judge–what is that saying about walking ten miles in another’s moccasins?
So what happens now that her property is in foreclosure? After many years of deception and deviance in the horse industry. Karma does come back to haunt you. Some things are long overdo.
Sounds like the Darlene story needs an update. I’ll inquire.
I’m also interested to know. I hope these horses all get loving caring homes where they can be free to eat grass and play with others. I hope they never again have to see dark dungeony stalls that haven’t been cleaned for 7 or more days and all the food they can eat to keep their bellys full!
Smh. I saw this place, I saw everything in there. I met Darlene. I saw those horses, I KNEW THEIR NAME. And how in need they were.
Black Rain was the only dark black with colorful hair in the back with huge manure, along with Chad the tan male, and Andy the white caring horse, who can be led BY A STRING. The smallest Pinto force to eat out of the manure to find something to eat.
Passioneta, the horse’s stall is flithy, and she’s mostly in her cage, mostly forced to drink rain water and manure.
Giezel or Q-E for short, felt abandoned and kicked down his stall so he had to move to the other 1 next to Feather who is had a baby (I think).
Those were all the horses who seemed in need and they ones we wanted to take. But we saw how it went, and we had no land, and I was scared to ask. IT SEEMED they haven’t been feed for months considered how stuck the ones in the back were in.
2011 it seemed exactly like it was in the komo4news-ish. I knew something bad was going to happen, I just didn’t think it would be that bad.
If i found land were I lived, I would buy Black Rain, Andy, Q-E, Passioneta, and the un-named Pinto who I was going to name Miracle on how she can survived this.
Hopefully Pierce County gets them, so I might be able to get them for my birthday.
I may be just a kid, but I know what I saw there, and I know that they deserved special homes.
Good day and Good luck. And God bless those poor horses so they will find someone who would care for them.
Dear Witness Horse Lover,
I truly hope you get your land in the near future. You sound like a very caring young woman. Thanks for reading the Mountain News and for sharing your personal experiences with these horses. It’s good to know that somebody cares for them deeply.
– BA Smith
I have seen a few horses at her barn within the last year. I don’t know who they belonged to or anything though. I had purchased a horse from Darlene nearly 10 yr ago that was in awful health as were other horses on her property. The horse lived up until 2011 when it broke its leg and had to be put down