Trainer who mistreated Ezra gets banned from owning horses, good

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COBOURG – Call it justice for Ezra the horse.

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The good news for those protecting animals is that a provincial court here has ruled that a woman seen in a viral video dragging a horse behind a vehicle that drained blood should not own a horse for five years or can take care of it.

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The bad news for animal lovers is that the ruling only applies in Ontario. Solstice Pecile now lives in Alberta, where the ruling cannot be enforced.

Solstice Pecile, 23, from Cavan Monaghan Parish.
Solstice Pecile, 23, from Cavan Monaghan Parish.

But in the Ontario justice system, the 24-year-old from a farm in Northumberland County is now considered guilty as charged. The case went to court on Wednesday, where an agreement between the Crown and defense was approved.

Pecile was not in the courtroom. The Alberta resident was not required to participate.

However, because she was guilty of dragging a horse behind a vehicle until its hooves bled, she was banned from breeding and training and fined $2,500.

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The order included a guilty plea to the provincial offense of “causing animal distress.”

Pecile was on trial after a viral video was released last October showing a horse resisting while being dragged along a road with a rope. The video ends with the horse Standing in pools of blood and noise by a trainer who described the animal as a “retarded animal”.

In an emotional hearing, Justice of the Peace Jack Le Blanc told the court that “the order provides for a fine and a ban on owning or caring for a horse for a period of five years.”

It’s definitely something and better than nothing. It felt like a slap in the face to everyone involved that the woman herself wasn’t in court to face the music.

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But the original owner, wearing a Horse Welfare Advocate sweater, was there fighting back tears as the verdict was read out.

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“It’s very difficult,” Emily Reardon said. “I’m glad there was an admission of guilt, but she’s in Alberta and can do whatever she wants.”

Still, it’s a pretty harsh sentence that shows there is zero tolerance for this kind of cruelty in Ontario.

And there is a happy ending, as Emily once again owns the horse, named Quinn by Pecile and now referred to by her original name, Ezra.

“She’s starting to get better,” Emily said. “At first she didn’t want anyone to touch her.”

Ezra begins to trust again.

Together again: Ezra and Emily are pictured in a provided photo.
Together again: Ezra and Emily Reardon are pictured in a provided photo.

The story is like a movie: When Emily saw the video of the horse she sold to Pecile – assuming it was safe – she immediately set out to find it and get it back.

Her stepfather, Eugenio D’Annibale, said within hours she assembled a truck and trailer and they drove at night to a farm near Montreal to rescue her.

“All she ever cared about was that Ezra was safe,” D’Annibale said.

She is now.

And the woman in the video has at least five years to think about it before she ever gets the chance to be around horses again – at least in Ontario. Trainer who mistreated Ezra gets banned from owning horses, good

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