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59 Horses Missing from Ranch

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  • 59 Horses Missing from Ranch

    How do you hide 59 horses?


    Pretty scary.

    "Sheriff's deputies are looking for more than 50 horses that they said were taken from a northeast Kansas ranch.

    "Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said Wednesday that Tammy Blase of Topeka, who leases Mount Bethel Farms and boards horses for private clients, reported that 50 to 59 horses were missing.

    "The sheriff said Blase and ranch owner Scott Becker were in a financial dispute over her leasing the property.

    "Herrig told The Topeka Capital-Journal that two semitrailers and two stock trailers appear to have been used to haul away the horses, some of which were reportedly worth up to $100,000. Others were valued at about $25,000.

    "He said he believes the horses are still in Jefferson County. No arrests have been made in the case."

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.

  • #2
    How do you not know if its 50 or 59?
    Big Idea Eventing


    • #3
      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh man.

      That is some scary-asp sheeyot.

      What does the landlord have to say for himself??

      Keep us updated please!
      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


      • #4
        Jingles for the horses and their owners! It's not the boarders fault that there has been a disagreement!


        • #5
          If the lady running the place and leasing it is far enough in default on paying for it, everything on the property can be siezed...and there is probably more to this story then the press is reporting-they do go for the sensational at the expense of careful research sometimes.

          Land owner may have taken them to hold against monies owed. One hopes he went thru the proper channels in filing the liens but maybe not. If lady running the place was in default, don't expect her to share that or admit to having been served.

          That is probably the reason the police think the horses are still in the county-ongoing dispute. happens all the time and has happened to me once when a boarding barn went into forclosure. Couldn't move the horse until I proved it was mine.

          Somehow I kind of doubt all 50 or 59 were in the 25k to 100k range if nobody noticed they were being moved.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


          • Original Poster

            Hope (if it's the landlord) he just took them to another local place, as indicated by "He still believes the horses are in Jefferson County" statement.

            Of course I'm sure the big fear is that they didn't load 'em up and head to Mexico.

            Hope a follow-up story is soon posted.


            • #7
              Additional story:

              MERIDEN — The stables at Mount Bethel Farms were nearly empty Wednesday after more than 50 horses were taken from the ranch the previous day.

              Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said his staff found the missing horses Wednesday at another property in southeast Jefferson County.

              "We know where the horses are. They are here in Jefferson County," Herrig said Wednesday afternoon.
              Herrig said Tammy Blase reported at 2:06 p.m. Tuesday that 50 to 59 horses were missing from Mount Bethel Farms, 6787 Anderson Road. The farm, located south of Meriden, is owned by the Scott Becker family. Becker and his father, Daryl Becker, sold the State Bank of Meriden/Countryside Bank to Denison State Bank in 2003.

              Herrig said he knows who is responsible for taking the horses, but he declined to provide the person's name. He also said no arrests have been made in the case, which is still under investigation.
              Herrig said Blase, 40, of Topeka, was leasing the ranch from Becker and boarding most of the horses for private clients. The sheriff said Blase and Becker were in a financial dispute over the lease.
              It is believed two semis pulling two stock trailers were used to haul away the horses on Tuesday, Herrig said.

              Some of the horses were reportedly worth up to $100,000, while others were valued at roughly $25,000, the sheriff said Blase said she has been leasing Bethel Farms from the Becker family for about three years.
              "It's gone really well until three months ago when Scott said he was leaving the country and wanted to change the terms of our agreement," Blase said.
              Blase said she signed a promissory note for $42,000. She said she was behind on the payments, but she said she was in contact with the Beckers about getting caught up after she makes money at a major horse show and sale later this month in Oklahoma City.
              She said she had 71 horses at the ranch — eight were hers and the rest belonged to clients. She said 12 horses were left behind at the ranch.
              Attempts to reach Scott Becker were unsuccessful.
              Blase said Becker was on a boat off the coast of Belize or Panama.
              Dennis Hawver, an Ozawkie attorney, said he had represented Becker in the past but hadn't talked to him in six months because Hawver was away on a boat trip around the world. Hawver, who recently returned from his journey, said he believed Becker was at sea with his catamaran.
              "Scott is intelligent and savvy," Hawver said. "He's not dumb — he wouldn't do anything without some legal justification."
              Blase said she was very concerned about the health of the animals. She said her horses included quarter horses, stallions, a stud colt and several pregnant mares, including two due in January.
              She said a quarter horse named Lacy was left behind with scrapes, bleeding legs and gravel marks.
              She said she feared the stallions may have caused problems with some of the other horses. Normally, she said, the horses are boarded in their own stalls. But mixing them with the stallions could cause problems.
              "This is a mess," she said by telephone as she sat in the sheriff's office in Oskaloosa. "None of it makes sense."
              ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the update. Oh, dear. 50 horses. Even in a rent dispute, the Beckers are going to be shelling out a lot of money to care for 50 horses. Pretty ballsy to go in and load up so many.

                Horses: always a soap opera!


                • #9
                  The Beckers are apparently wealthy enough to have owned and sold a bank and pursue a very expensive hobby (sailing). Confiscating 50-some horses until a debt is paid is something they can afford do just on principle. They may not even care if they lose money on the deal if it proves their point.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by greysandbays View Post
                    The Beckers are apparently wealthy enough to have owned and sold a bank and pursue a very expensive hobby (sailing). Confiscating 50-some horses until a debt is paid is something they can afford do just on principle. They may not even care if they lose money on the deal if it proves their point.
                    Debt, or no debt, that is stealing, and I don't anyone can "afford" to do that. Of course I don't know the specific arrangements, but if the farm was being leased, 1) the Landlord generally still needs permission to enter the property, and 2) if they were privtely owned horses, those owners aren't the ones in debt to the land owner.


                    • #11
                      The barn I was in was taking the board checks from us but never paying the landowner/landlord. Everything on the property was siezed by the sheriff pending investigation...that included trailers, vehicles and the horses.

                      I still have a problem with 50 horses being loaded and nobody noticing anything was going on. Not top mangement of client horses there...had to have taken close to 2 hours unless they ran them up a cattle chute.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                      • #12
                        Debt, or no debt, that is stealing, and I don't anyone can "afford" to do that. Of course I don't know the specific arrangements, but if the farm was being leased, 1) the Landlord generally still needs permission to enter the property, and 2) if they were privtely owned horses, those owners aren't the ones in debt to the land owner.
                        unless the lease says differently AND the BO claimed/pretended the horses were hers....I would see the current owners picking up the horses at the new barn mad or not, I don't think they'd pick the BO to be their BO again...which is prob the point the landowner is making....

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


                        • #13
                          Holy Crap!

                          Just imaging herding 50+ horses, including stud colts, onto a couple tractor trailers, in what sounds like broad daylight. First thought that went through my head was that they just got loose, the number is staggering. Must have looked a lot like a slaughter load. I'm still amazed that the BO couldn't give an accurate number withing 9 horses!

                          Sure makes me glad my horses were microchipped yesterday. Even though I'm in a very quiet neighborhood where most strangers would never know they're there, the peace of mind is definitely worth it.
                          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                          Witherun Farm


                          • #14
                            it was two semi trucks pulling stock trailers...not double decker trucks or anything..

                            being -42K in back rent is just staggering....what kinda place is this anyway ??

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


                            • #15
                              some VERY VERY interesting commentary from the locals at the bottom of this story....

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


                              • #16
                                Horse roundup troublesome

                                By Michael Hooper
                                The Capital-Journal
                                Published Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 2:38 p.m. CST
                                Horsemen fought wind, rain and darkness Wednesday night as they tried to round up horses that were taken from a ranch near Meriden.
                                Tammy Blase said she and some of the horse owners went to the Wheeler Dairy north of Lawrence at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. They worked for several hours trying to retrieve more than 50 horses, but the lightning, rain and flashlights in the dark spooked the animals. About 21 were recovered last night.
                                “They were all freaked out,” Blase said. “They were so scared to death. The owners couldn’t catch some of their horses. It was a nightmare.”
                                Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig said Blase reported at 2:06 p.m. Tuesday that more than 50 horses were missing from Mount Bethel Farms, Becker Farms, 6787 Anderson Road. Blase was leasing the property from the Becker Family Foundation. The horses were found Wednesday at the Wheeler Dairy property located north of Lawrence, Blase said.
                                Horse owners were expected to return to the Wheeler Dairy property this afternoon to continue retrieving horses.
                                Sheriff Herrig said Blase, 40, of Topeka, was leasing the Mount Bethel ranch from the Becker Family Foundation and boarding horses for private clients.
                                The sheriff said Blase and Scott Becker were in a financial dispute over the lease.
                                It is believed two semis pulling two stock trailers were used to haul away the horses on Tuesday, Herrig said.
                                Blase said she was behind on payments to the Beckers, but she didn't receive any warning about the horses being removed from Mount Bethel Farms.
                                On Tuesday, 2nd Judicial District Court Judge Micheal Ireland signed a restraining order prohibiting Blase from removing or selling any animal or personal property from Becker Farms. Ireland said there was fear she might take the animals to a horse event to sell them.
                                "She wasn't supposed to sell them until we had a hearing on it," Ireland said.
                                Jennifer Roberts, spokesperson for the Beckers, said the Becker Family Foundation had legal justification for removing the horses.
                                She said Blase owes the Beckers $50,000. She said the contract that Blase signed with the Becker Family Foundation permits moving the animals for their well being.
                                "We've received complaints that they weren't cared for," Roberts said. The Beckers hired a private investigator who found the horses running loose because they were hungry, Roberts said. She said Blase and the other horse owners could have waited until today to retrieve their horses rather than going out during a thunderstorm Wednesday night.
                                "They chose to be out there in thunderstorm, they stirred this up, they could have waited," Roberts said. "This is just a mess, they chose to make this even worse."
                                "This had to come to a head," Roberts said.
                                Roberts described herself as a longtime family friend who serves as an advisor to the Becker Family Foundation.
                                "I'm in Florida now," she said. "I'm a business and family friend, we've known each other for years, I know so much about it because I am intimately involved in these dealings."
                                The Becker Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization with Top Step Family Fitness Center and horseback riding at Becker Farms south of Meriden.
                                "This is a civil legal matter, nothing was stolen," Roberts said. "The contract allows horses to be moved for their well being and it was necesssary."

                                Comment made on the above article;

                                "I'm not a close personaly friend of Tammy's but I would like to say again.

                                Tammy is an amazing horse training and riding instructor, all of her horse were well cared for prior to being stolen.

                                Now lets look at Scott Becker.
                                Where did Scott get all of his money? check the government site below and put 1 and 1 together.

                                Scott hired the person mentioned in the article below to work with children

                                And now for all of the drama go to.

                                Scott is sailing the the ocean by Belize and his lawyer just got back from a world tour.

                                Tammy was already down and now she has been kicked in the face.

                                How many of you have a hard time paying your bills in todays economy?"

                                ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                • #17
                                  Can you just imagine what kind of money they are going to have to spend to care for all those horses during this fight?

                                  I wonder what the liability is if a horse gets injured while in their care, or colics and dies due to an abrupt feed change or something of the sort. How could they possibly know all the details concerning each horses care??


                                  • #18
                                    All I can say is the banker and his lawyer should get down on their knees tonight and thank whatever god they serve that none of my horses were among the ones they stole!

                                    They have no imagination that could encompass the wrath with which I would rain down on them if they did that to King and/or Elijah! Legal or not.
                                    Last edited by King's Ransom; Nov. 6, 2008, 09:54 PM.


                                    • #19
                                      If there is a lease dispute, how can the landlord take "private client's" horses? The BO doesn't own the horses taken (except for eight). Can someone really seize and sell property that is not owned by the person not paying their bills?
                                      WBs-horse version of SUVs. Big, lumbering, perceived safe and more fashionable than minivans (QHs). Some cant handle speed and sensitivity of sportscars (TBs) but one can roll in style in Escalades!


                                      • #20
                                        WHY the frig couldn't the damn property owner notify the owners of the boarded horses??? They could have easily placed notification on the premises or simply hired someone to find out ownership.

                                        Why wait until the leasee is in debt almost $50K and then pull this stunt? Someone's not thinking...