Gypsy Vanner Stallion Romeo
Tom and Melanie Olajos the operators of Fairy Tail Equines are the subject of the criminal inquiry. Steve Jensen from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture says he is unable to discuss specifics since it is an on-going investigation. The agency has animal control officers that investigate crimes against animals and have the ability to charge without an outside agency.
The Olajos, located in East Hampton, leased the Hall of Fame Gypsy Vanner stallion Romeo and three mares from Villa Vanners beginning in September 2014. Romeo arrived home to his Tennessee trainer on September 7.
“He looked horrid. I called the vet immediately,” says Taylor Hanes of Hanes Performance Horses in Shelbyville.
The vet report states Romeo weighed 850 lbs using a weight tape. The veterinarian compared another Gypsy stallion on the farm, Pink Panther, that has a similar height and build and weighs 1050 lbs. The report states “ribs visible. Crest is falling to the right side… Blood visible of RF and LH limbs.”
The vet notes all of Romeo’s legs are scabby and sensitive to the touch with nodules present under his feathers. The vet recommends removing Romeo’s feathers to treat the mites.
“These are world class horses,” Hanes says. “We obviously trusted the wrong people.”
Hanes made arrangements to get the broodmares and foals remaining with the Olajos out of their possession immediately. They were taken to Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts due to their poor condition.
The mares suffered from malnutrition and had poor body condition scores (BCS) of 1.5, 2, and 2.5 out of 9, according to vet records from Tufts.
Veterinarians recommend a BCS of 5 for most horses and ponies. The broodmares also suffer from various issues including internal parasites, suspected chorioptic mange, and distal limb dermatitis.
The foal had a BCS of 3.5 out of 9 and was found to have “a high worm burden”. The mares and foal are now at a rehabilitation facility where they will continue their recovery before returning home.
“This has opened my eyes,” Hanes admits.
He says if it can happen to them it can happen to anyone.
Tom and Melanie Olajos and their business Fairy Tail Equines advertise that they breed PRE Andalusians, Friesians, and Gypsy Vanners. We tried to reach them, but they did not return our call.
The pair is being sued by a former landlord for allegedly failing to make payments on a horse farm they leased. They will be in court next month for trial.
Additionally, two of the Olajos’ properties are currently in foreclosure, according to court documents. Included is the 5-acre horse farm where their horses reside.
Stay with us as we bring you more from this on-going animal abuse investigation.