A Michigan man that advertised training national-level Arab show horses is charged with animal cruelty after authorities found a dead horse in his stable. Geoffrey Eickmann was arrested and extradited to Branch County’s Jail on Friday after his arrest in Indiana.
A citizen notified authorities in early February about horses without hay or water in a snow-covered pasture. During their investigation, Sgt. James Holt says deputies made the grim discovery of a dead horse confined to a stall in Eickmann’s barn. The lead investigator says there was no water in the stall. A photo obtained from authorities shows the thin horse’s body surrounded by trash.
Holt says this wasn’t the first complaint received regarding Eickmann’s operation. “Since 2008 we’ve received calls, two a year, claiming the horses looked malnourished.”
According to a cached copy of Eickmann Training Center’s Facebook page, he advertised training, private lessons, showing, breeding, and marketing services. Photos of horses in the show ring winning ribbons and grazing in lush green pastures adorn the no-longer-active page.
Eickmann’s membership with the Arabian Horse Association expired in June 2013, according to the group.
Nine horses were seized from the property, but signs of their existence remains. The trees are stripped of bark and the particle board once insulating a shelter used by the horses shows wear from being eaten by the animals.
Eickmann is charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. That charge could be bumped up to a felony, according to Holt, if two additional horses sold by Eickmann for $1 each prior to the investigation can be included in the charge. A veterinarian is scheduled to examine those horses.
A message left for Eickmann was not returned.