Horse Neglect Case to Be Featured in Documentary

CRAWFORD CO., Pa. (EYT) – Six horses that were left in horrid conditions in a barn in Strattanville in 2016 are now healthy and happy.

In May of 2016, Bev Dee, of Bright Futures Farm, of Cochranton, received a call from the Clarion County Sheriff’s office asking for assistance in rescuing 11 horses from a Strattanville, Clarion Township property.

The horses had been locked inside a dark barn and neglected for so long their hooves were over a foot long and curling like elves shoes, according to Dee.

“Five were so severely neglected that there was no hope of saving them,” stated Dee.

The horses lived in squalor for at least three years admitted their previous owner, a Corsica man.

Dee had hopes to save all 11 horses but quickly realized five of them were too long gone to be saved.

Heather Reichel, owner of Reichel Films and Zeppelin Views, of Meadville, teamed up with Bright Futures Farm and JA Media Connections, of Camden, S.C., to create a documentary about the Strattanville horse rescue titled “Spotlight Rescue Series: The Hanging Barn.”

The short documentary, shot by Reichel, is part of the EQUUS Film Festival that begins this November in New York City. It will make a stop in Meadville from April 20 to April 22, 2018.

The festival, founded in 2013 by Lisa Diersen, showcases films, documentaries, short films, music videos, commercials, art, and literature that honor horses.

“I’m really honored to be part of all of it,” Reichel said. “It was very hard to look at the photos of those horses and seeing what they had to endure, but the great thing is, for those six that survived, they have homes and are doing well.”

“We are really looking forward to the film festival coming to Meadville. We’re done with filming, and it’s in post process now. What’s great is this gets the word out about what’s going on and will help Bright Futures’ mission.”

“This is the hardest part of what we do. Eleven horses lived in squalor for at least three years. We found poor quality hay just two feet out of reach of some of them. They had no water,” explained Dee.

Cider October 2016“Today, they’ve all found homes, and they all are look great now,” Dee said. “It took about one year for their feet and hooves to return to normal. Looking at them today, you would never know what they went through.”

In October of 2016, Dee reported the six horses rescued were thriving due to a tremendous outpouring of support. The horses underwent multiple dental procedures and battled some serious ailments.

“Tanner, the one who looked the most defeated when we arrived, battled a severe case of ulcers for four months,” Dee said in October.

Tanner finally had his fourth, and last, gastroscopy by October, according to Dee.

The Corsica man pleading guilty to five summary counts of animal cruelty before District Judge Duane L. Quinn on May 16, 2016. He was ordered to pay a $50.00 fine for each of the five horses that were euthanized.

For more information on sponsorship, contact Reichel at [email protected] or 814-282-2081.

For more information on the EQUUS Film Festival, go to

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