Professional hunter rider Emily Williams reported her USHJA International Hunter Derby mount Tybee missing from La Estancia farm in Lexington, Kentucky, on Jan. 11. Williams said the morning staff alerted her that Tybee was not in his stall around 6:15 a.m.
“They went to feed, and he wasn’t there,” Williams said. “Which pretty much sent me into shock. He’s like my child. I do everything with that horse. He’s missing his left front shoe; he needs allergy medication; I’m just so worried about him and his well-being.”
However, Tybee’s owner Helen Brown released a statement via her attorney Katie Eckert on Jan. 12, asserting that the 10-year-old chestnut gelding is in a safe location.
“Emily Williams is not the owner of Tybee, and he is not stolen,” stated the attorney’s release. “His owner is acting in his best interest by putting him in a safe location. It is unfortunate that false claims were made that he was stolen, and that this has been made into something it is not, but the simple matter is that Tybee is safe and in good hands. We appreciate all the support we have received and the good wishes for Tybee.”
According to a notice posted on the Forsyth Herald’s website, Tybee was scheduled to be sold via an agister’s lien sale conducted by Williams on Jan. 25. “The owner Helen Brown has been delinquent in paying for services and care in the amount of $57,317,” stated the notice.
A post on La Estancia Show Stables & Quarantine’s Facebook page stated that: “This removal was most likely due to the failure of the owner to pay bills owed to many people, including La Estancia and Ms. Williams. Since the farm policy is that horses can not be removed from the farm until all board bills are paid in full, the horse was removed secretly at night.”