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Volume Thirteen - Issue Eight
April 2009
“Variety” is Keystone
for Cheval Manor
There’s a new option fulfilling a vision the two have to the severe Kentucky winter for Cheval Manor, foaling out
for Austin horse owners--a pro- had for a long time. weather. mares is an option here. Both
fessionally run, spacious and Eleanor has managed Cheval Manor today the owners of the facility and
convenient boarding facility many large horse businesses is blooming into a premier the barn manager live on site.
that welcomes hunter/jumper, before. Originally from Atlan- urban equine location. It is Eleanor has gained many inter-
dressage, eventing, Western ta, she started her riding career set on well-drained expansive national contacts in her profes-
and polo disciplines, located as a hunter/jumper rider and rolling hills. Currently it offers sional life and occasionally will
beside the SH 1-30 Toll Road. qualified for all major indoors. full care boarding in any one of import horses for clients and
It’s called Cheval Manor. She also rode in the United its 24 12 x 12 luxurious stalls serve as a sales agent.
Cheval Manor has States Equestrian Team (USET) with daily turn out. There is Coaching hunter/
been home to Dennis Antolik’s finals and the McClay finals. pasture boarding as well in safe jumpers riders is one of her
Austin Polo Club for years but Her passion was for the jumpers pipe-fenced spacious paddocks, loves and this spring and sum-
will be moving in the fall to and she had a successful show and a round pen, too. There mer she will begin taking cli-
a new Tuscan-themed polo/ career in the East. Continuing are two riding arenas--one ents to “A” shows as some
equine development called her career in the horse business, measures 150’ x 300’, and the of her Kentucky students will
“The Vineyard” just north of she managed a large Quarter other 100’ x 200’. There is also travel down here specifically
Austin in Florence. Dennis’ horse breeding facility in North the ten-acre manicured and irri- for that reason.
partner, Eleanor Boatwright, Carolina. She moved to Austin gated polo field, along with cut But it’s not just the
will manage Cheval Manor. in January after running a large trails throughout the property. physical plant that stands out
Cheval Manor will still host hunter/jumper barn in Ken- Eventually the owners plan to here, it’s the guidance and
polo practices and lessons, but tucky for several years. Now build a covered arena and more vision of the owners as well.
its real mission is to have a she relishes the milder Austin barns and paddocks. Although
variety of equine disciplines-- winters as they pale compared breeding is not a primary focus (Continued on Page 4.)
Friday the 13th...lucky for 237 horses and cattle
Hill County officials reinforced that they will not tolerate animal neglect or abuse in a sweeping decision by Judge
Eugene Fulton. The Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) was awarded custody of 237 horses, cattle and other livestock
seized by officials on March 5th. The starving animals, surrounded by numerous animal carcasses, were suffering from mal-
nourishment and threatening medical conditions on dry pasture.
“The single water source was contaminated with bodies of dead animals. It was obvious that there was not enough
feed provided for the number of animals on the property.” said Tammy Roberts, lead investigator for HSNT, “If it were not for
the swift action of the Hill County Sheriff’s department, more animals would have starved and died horrible deaths”
Gregory W. Brinkley, the owner of the animals, is facing 25 counts of cruelty as well as two counts of attempted
capital murder.
Believed to be the largest livestock cruelty seizure on record in Texas, HSNT has incurred costs in excess of $30,000.
Dedicated staff and volunteers have been working around the clock to care for the animals. The cost of care and feeding ex-
ceeds $2000.00 per day.
The Humane Society of North Texas does not receive government funding nor is it financed by any national agency.
The costs of helping the surviving animals means that cash donations are critically needed.
Donations and approved adoptive and foster homes for these animals are also needed. Applications are available at The Humane Society of North Texas acts as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure
their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured,
neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.
To view pictures of the seizure, visit Contact HSNT at 817-332-
4768 or visit
the punishment did not fit the crime
By Marilyn E. Short
On June 11, 2007 the death of Mr. Benningfield
accurately describe this case,”
This statement from Hobart sure didn’t deserve to suffer
and a roughed up mare. I felt
Tony Haslam and Tracy Cann
they were unable to care for
said Cann, “it was much worse.
sent tempers aflame from horse like that.”
Cheyenne was too dangerous
of Habitat for Horses arrived
the horses without his income.
People should know that the
owners who had trusted Hobart Kimber Hernandez
for me to even find him a home
at a small horse facility to
Benningfield stated that on sev-
degree of emaciation of these
with the care and safety of their had three horses with Hobart
where he wouldn’t hurt him-
investigate an animal cruelty
eral occasions she told Hobart
horses takes time. You don’t
animals. and tried for quite a while
self, other horses or humans.
report against Chrissie Hobart
that they should have someone
just underfeed a horse to make
Two of the horses to obtain information on the
I could not have that on my
in Atacosa County.
come and take some of the
them look like this. You gotta
seized were blind and emaci- health of her horses for a few
conscience, I had to put down
There were 20 horses
horses, but that Hobart talked
concentrate to neglect horses
ated and had to be euthanized months prior to the seizure.
Cheyenne…the horse that once
and 1 donkey on the property
her out of it.
this badly. I’ve been witness
immediately after leaving On May 28, 2007, Kimber
saved my life.”
and out of those, most of the
“Some of the horses
to some bad things at cruelty
Hobart’s property. Rainbow received an email from Hobart
Owners of some of
horses were found starving and
were so malnourished that you
investigations but this case is
1 Ranch of Stockdale, Texas stating that her father-in-law
the horses placed in Hobart’s
in need of medical attention.
could see their skeletons,” said had passed away, but she didn’t
care were eagerly awaiting her
Only one horse on the property
Haslam, “I could actually stick report on the condition of
trial. “Once a jury sees the
had a body condition score of
my fingers in between the ribs. Kimber’s horses. Two weeks
shape the horses were in she is
4, which is considered accept-
It was heartbreaking. Horses later Kimber received an email
going to get fried,” said LaNet
able. The remaining horses
should never look like those from Hobart stating that her 3
Hester of Spindletop Farm.
had body condition scores of
horses looked…and Hobart horses were all fine and safe.
“There were horses there like
1s through 3s.
was supposedly a horse per- She informed Kimber that she
mine who Hobart knew she
When Haslam and
son. She could have seen long had been gone for three weeks
could bring home at any time.
Cann walked around the prop-
before the horses were walking and all hell had broken loose,
There was no excuse for my
erty there were no signs of hay,
skeletons that they were in bad blaming another person for
mare to ever look like that as
grain or grass growing on the
shape.” not feeding the horses. Hobart
she could have dropped her
property and the water supply
“When Tony and I stated that she didn’t know
back off at the farm at any
was low.
were walking around we were what happened to her friend,
time without one word asked.”
“I was angry, plain
pretty upset that there was a but only 3 of the horses had
Hester’s horse was under a free
and simple,” said Haslam.
faucet and a hose but hardly previous conditions and the rest
lease agreement and not part of
“Especially after Ms. Hobart
any of the horses had water,” were just “light”.
Hobart’s rescue operation.
started her pitiful story of how
said Tracy Cann of Habitat for Hobart had Hernan-
”I know many mem-
she was doing everything pos-
Horses. “I mentioned to Tony dez’s stallion, Cheyenne living
bers of the Texas Horse En-
sible for these poor, old, and
that it was odd that there wasn’t with 2 other stallions on another
thusiasts forum board offered
sickly horses. It’s even more
any horse poop anywhere. Why property. Hernandez brought
money, feed and help,” said
amazing that she believed I
would someone clean up poop
in my personal “top three, worst
had been talked into letting Cheyenne home and quickly
Hester. “If she would have just
would believe what she was
and not water the horses? Then
things I’ve ever seen”.
Hobart care for Bonnie, who learned he had turned into an
said she could not take care of
Macho, an 18-year-old grey
How did this begin?
was blind. “Our original plan aggressive horse. “Cheyenne
them, many of us would have
The next morning
Arabian answered my question.
Hobart had many friends in the
was to put Bonnie down since busted through a fence and a
stepped in and taken them.
Deputy Hickman and HFH vol-
He pooped and several horses
south Texas horse community
we could not at that time care gate, and raped a mare over
Those poor horses didn’t de-
unteers arrived at the property
ran for it. He turned around
and declared that she was go-
for her except to keep her in a and over,” said Hernandez.
serve to be starved.”
to seize the animals.
and fought the other horses
ing to start a rescue, and many
12x24 stall,” said Susan Fuqua. “We tried to capture him and he
Hobart told Deputy
so he could eat his own poop
people believed her.
“In hindsight, I wish we had struck at us, then caught sight of
(Continued on Page 12.)
Hickman that she worked for
though it scattered and many
Hobart stated she
done so. Bonnie weighed over Rumor, my other stallion. By
Above: Dahlin, with a body score
Sheri Benningfield and since
got a bite.”
was glad someone contacted
1300 pounds when she left the time the nightmare was over of 1, shot and burried in a shallow
“Horrifying doesn’t
HFH because she needed help.
here. She was a good mare, she I had a severely injured stallion grave.
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