Dual Peppy after being rescued.
A Colorado horse breeder accused of keeping her horses among the decomposing remains of their former stable mates won’t have the opportunity to get the survivors back for some time.
Sherri Brunzell appeared in an El Paso County court room on Thursday to dispute the seizure of her horses and llamas. She is represented by defense attorney Andrew Bryant.
Judge Stephen Sletta ruled the seizure was proper after hearing testimony from three witnesses, including Randy Parker, DVM. Dr. Parker conducted the veterinary evaluation for the sheriff’s department after a search warrant was obtained.
Bones from the 14 deceased horses were necropsied, according to Dr. Parker. The horses averaged in age from 5 to 10-years old. The youngest horse was a three-year old and there were only three horses over the age of 15-years old. Causes of death for the horses have not been released.
The sheriff’s department will continue to have oversight of the seized horses during the criminal case against Brunzell. Once her case is disposed, the judge will then decide the permanent ownership fate for the animals.
Brunzell was ordered to pay $5400 a month for the care of the ten horses and four llamas. Two rescue organizations are facilitating the animals’ care and recovery. Brunzell must make her next payment by October 23rd.
Among the horses seized last month from the property rented by Brunzell was the champion cutting stallion, Dual Peppy (top). Brunzell reportedly paid over $600,000 for the champion sire and competitor. He was one of the horses living in the barn turned into a make-shift equine morgue that concealed the decomposing remains of 14 horses.
To date, Brunzell has been cited for cruelty to animals, a class one misdemeanor.
Bryant is asking the court to limit the case’s pre-trial publicity. A hearing is scheduled for October 29th.