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Olympic Dressage Trainer Under Investigation for Horse Cruelty

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  • Olympic Dressage Trainer Under Investigation for Horse Cruelty

    http://www.ratemyhorsepro.com/news/d...t-charges.aspx

    California dressage trainer Gwen Stockebrand is being investigated by Sonoma County Animal Control for allegedly neglecting two of her horses.

    She recently gave away two aged mares to a family, dropping them off in the dark of night. The next morning, the new owner says he was so shocked by the horses' condition, in the daylight, that he called Stockebrand to come get them. She was unavailable - she was reportedly at a dressage show in Las Vegas.

    The horses are now safe at Lost Hearts & Souls Horse Rescue. According to the non-profit's founder, Betsy Bueno, the younger mare named 'Sister' was Stockebrand's former event horse. Now, the black warmblood cross in her twenties is a 3 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale.


    The bay mare 'Valerie' has a body condition of 1 meaning she is emaciated with no body fat. She is in cardiac distress, has a heart murmur, and is in critical condition. She may need a blood transfusion says Bueno.

    The vet caring for the horses attributes the horses' poor health to starvation.

    Animal Control was called out to Stockebrand's place last October; however she was only given a warning, according to Bueno.

    "This sickens me that a fellow horse person, one of our own, could do this."

    Stockebrand is more than just the average horse person but rather a veteran of the international dressage show world. She represented the United States in the Olympics, the World Championships, and the Pan American Games in the early 80s. She also gained notoriety since one of her early top dressage mounts was a Morgan - Tennessee Walking Horse cross. Stockebrand currently teaches and trains at several facilities in Sonoma County.

    Once animal control completes its investigation a complaint will go to the District Attorney's Office and charges could be filed.

  • #2
    heartbreaking
    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      wow, doesn't sound like it was a financial issue either.
      www.windhorsefrm.org and on Facebook too!
      Where mares rule and Basset Hounds drool!

      Comment


      • #4
        Sickening
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Did she think she could get away with this? The people who were given the horses were lucky a rescue was able to take them to give the care that they needed.

          If she thought she was going to fly under the radar, she has a shock coming!

          Those people who she gave the horses to probably thought they were getting a couple of nice old schoolmasters -- I hope. Although really, is the first thing you would do with two starving horses is ask the owner to come get them back?

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, right up there with the top riders associated with electrocuting or otherwise masterminding horses' deaths for insurance claims. Or otherwise mistreating their horses. It's sickening. Dropped off two emaciated horses then attended a dressage show in Vegas??
            ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
            ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              I hope she pays for this!

              Comment


              • #8
                Make sure you know FACTS before you make assumptions. I know who Gwen is and she is not far away. I don't know her personally or what her situation is nowadays, but I would hate people to make assumptions about something.

                Perhaps one of the many people in Sonoma County here know something?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not one to normally judge, but she dropped the horses off in the dead of the night then attended a show in Las Vegas, and then said the horses "weren't that skinny". She also received a warning back when they were 3's in Oct 2010. They're now 1's. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's always another side to the story. Buuut it's not looking all that good for "Gwen".
                  ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                  ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BansheeBreeze View Post
                    http://www.ratemyhorsepro.com/news/d...t-charges.aspx

                    Once animal control completes its investigation a complaint will go to the District Attorney's Office and charges could be filed.
                    so are they now masquerading a a verifiable news site as well ?

                    Tamara
                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Very disappointing if it is true.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If Sonoma County Animal Control is reporting two body scores of 1 and a seizure, I believe them. A 1 score is a 1 score. That said, it’s time for some fact verifying. My attempt at searches last night/ this AM pulled up:

                        Last night San Francisco examiner’s article . http://www.examiner.com/horses-in-sa...ty-and-neglect had a notation to the effect that the score one horse photo with caption, “temporary photo from Google Images”.

                        As noted above, Rate My Horse Pro has a shorter article about the investigation and possible pending charges http://www.ratemyhorsepro.com/news/d...t-charges.aspx and the same photo but claims it is a photo of one of the actual horses, not a stock photo. The article seems more editorial in tone than meets normal journalistic reporting standards for a news report, due to the language used, though it seemed to have verifiable facts from Sonoma County Animal Control. Googling her name with ‘Sonoma County Animal Control’ does not bring up information yet from SCAC, which does not surprise me at this point – I doubt they process cases for online access this fast.

                        Fugly today is referring to the Rate My Horse Pro article using the same photo and the RMHP ID of the photo.

                        The rescue’s website (at least for our firewalled internet connection) brings up photos of other horses, but not the photo used on the other sites, and does not have a written report on this seizure.

                        A google search brings up an article from the San Francisco Examiner, which hardly seems like a mainline paper. Searching the site of the San Francisco Chronicle for her name does not yet pull up an article. No other mainline articles on this case in September 2011 come up for me on a Google search.

                        Has anyone found a mainline, well conducted article or report on this seizure? Is Sonoma County Animal Control putting any information out which would be available via online? Could anyone post those better/primary sources or a link to them?
                        HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                        www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm afraid this doesn't surprise me. I drive by Gwen's place at least 3 times a week. It is truly nothing more than a garbage dump, literally. Crap everywhere, I didn't think she even had horses on the property anymore cause you can't see past the piles of junk everywhere to where the barn is . . .was???

                          Gwen has some other "issues" that I won't get into at this time. If our DA here is after her then they have good reason. Our DA's office is not one to jump the gun so to speak. They however take neglect very seriously and will prosecute. I will watch the papers and hit up some folks that know her very very well to see what the heck is going on here.

                          There is a history here of problems other than horse neglect that could be at the root of this. We shall see.
                          Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HorsesinHaiti View Post
                            A google search brings up an article from the San Francisco Examiner, which hardly seems like a mainline paper. Searching the site of the San Francisco Chronicle for her name does not yet pull up an article. No other mainline articles on this case in September 2011 come up for me on a Google search.
                            OT, but both these papers are respected. The Examiner is put together tabloid-style (but not a tabloid) and focuses more on local news.

                            In any case, a 1 is a 1 is a 1.
                            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I worked for Gwen many, many years ago...

                              Yes at that time there were many, many issues she faced, but for those of you that think money might not have been an issue. She went to the olympics when a talented, but poor person could make it. She didn't grow up with a silver spoon.

                              I have no current knowledge of her situation, and won't judge. But all horse people are hurting. Should something like this happen NO, but the article saidthe horses were her retired event horses, I thought she hadn't evented since before the 1980 olympics.
                              " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs
                              http://www.bluemooncustomsigns.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HorsesinHaiti View Post
                                Last night San Francisco examiner’s article . http://www.examiner.com/horses-in-sa...ty-and-neglect had a notation to the effect that the score one horse photo with caption, “temporary photo from Google Images”.
                                examiner.com is not a San Francisco newspaper website.

                                It's a generic website where anyone can apply to become an "examiner" and write articles on their local area (go to the home page -- you'll see this is not a SF-based thing). And then they get paid money depending on how many page views.

                                It's a news version of Expert Village or that "How To" website or whatever other social media content site you want to name.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  http://animalconnectionblog.blogspot...-formally.html
                                  Again not seeing either local or reputable news reporting anything nor is it posted on the local papers.
                                  Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                                  Originally Posted by alicen:
                                  What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    http://www.animalconcerns.org/extern...1321250.277775

                                    and the plot thickens....the examiner.com author is another dressage trainer who apparently "heard" from a vet tech the details of the case.

                                    Tamara
                                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Using an exclamation point in a news article is a big clue that the author isn't a professional writer.

                                      If we want to be charitable, at least she had tried to give the horses away to some people that would care for them. She was taking action, it was just a bit too late. I don't know if you can prove she was "hiding" them from the authorities there, as the last article states.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Liberal arts classical training is more important than ever in the age of the internet. These questions are precisely why I put up the list of Google results. Sure there are articles, but have the article posters truly verified their information and reported it without introducing bias? Are they sources we should trust? Can we triangulate the information with independent sources, or is everyone quoting each other?

                                        And is the information reported the key information from sources who could truly have access?

                                        I'd still love to hear if someone can confirm that Sonoma County Animal Control has declared this an official seizure and an official open case, and if charges are contemplated, pending, or filed. An SCAC official declaration or documentation would be belivable triangulation. That might be the point where this moves from Glorified Rumor to Now Take It With Some Seriousness. Better key turning point would be a current photo of these horses, confirmed to be current and of the correct two horses.

                                        (whether you think Animal Controls are trustworthy in how they seize, is a different question!)
                                        HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                                        www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                                        Comment

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