Saw Wisecup, son of Sandy Wisecup, describes the condition of horse pens near mile marker 54 on Colorado Highway 131. Sandy Wisecup recently was charged with 80 counts of animal cruelty after animal control officers found her 72 horses were living in inadequate conditions in the Oak Creek Canyon.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Saw Wisecup, son of Sandy Wisecup, describes the condition of horse pens near mile marker 54 on Colorado Highway 131. Sandy Wisecup recently was charged with 80 counts of animal cruelty after animal control officers found her 72 horses were living in inadequate conditions in the Oak Creek Canyon.

Oak Creek woman accused of cruelty to horses

Resident: Horses at center of case are fine, charges are baseless

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— An Oak Creek woman was charged with 80 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after animal control officers found that her 72 horses were living in inadequate conditions in the Oak Creek Canyon.

Routt County Sheriff’s Office animal control officers charged Sandy Wisecup after investigating the horse pens near mile marker 54 on Colorado Highway 131. Seventy-two of the charges are based on the horses being kept in muck — a combination of mud and feces. Another eight charges were based on horses’ hooves not being trimmed properly.

Wisecup said all of her horses are taken care of and that she has been moving the horses around in pastureland.

“I think it’s all bull,” she said. “My horses are all in good shape.”

Wisecup said she does not own all the horses kept in the area. She said her family members own several of the horses and that she has given several others away She said she also rents out pasture to other people. Animal control officer Dawn Smith said about five horse owners who keep their horses on the property were included in the investigation.

Smith said the investigation was sparked when there was a “flurry of calls” from people concerned about the horses’ conditions and weight. The pens, in the canyon along Colo. 131, are visible from the road.

Smith visited the pens with veterinarian Dr. Courtney Diehl in April and May as part of the investigation and scored all of the horses based on body weight.

They found that five were slightly underweight, but the bigger problem was with the conditions and the hooves.

“The animals were in consistently wet conditions on ground that was not well drained,” Smith said.

She said some of the horses were in small pens where they were not able to get out of the muck. Diehl said that could cause problems over time.

“Generally, when a horse’s foot is wet and packed with wet material for long periods of time, the structure of the hoof becomes soft and permeable,” she said. “Bacteria and fungus pack into the sole … and over time it weakens the whole foot.”

Smith said they also graded the horse’s hooves on a scale based on how overgrown the hooves were judged to be because overgrown hooves are thought to cause chronic pain. Smith then recommended a timeline for all of the overgrown hooves to be trimmed, and she said Wisecup is complying with those recommendations.

“I’ve trimmed them like I always do,” Wisecup said. “They give me a deadline to trim horses’ hooves that aren’t even long.”

Diehl said hooves should be trimmed every six to eight weeks. Diehl also said many of the complaints about the horses were found to be false.

“A lot of people go by and they say those horses are emaciated, they’re being starved, and that’s not true — they’re not emaciated, and they’re not being starved,” she said.

Routt County Deputy Dis­trict Attorney Patrick Walsh is overseeing the case. He said he’s reviewing the reports and, as with all misdemeanor cases, he will prepare a plea agreement for Wisecup to consider at her first court appearance, scheduled for Aug. 24.

Deputies also impounded a mare and her foal found at the property and charged their owner, Cynthia Hatlee Morgan, with animal cruelty. Smith said the mare was 200 to 300 pounds underweight but has put on about 75 pounds since she was taken off the property in late May. A phone number for Hatlee Morgan was not available. She also is scheduled to appear Aug. 24.

History of charges

Wisecup has been charged with animal cruelty about a dozen times before, with cases dating to the 1980s, according to Sheriff’s Office records.

Routt County Sheriff’s Office evidence technician Mellisa Baumgartner said there have been numerous complaints, and because most of them are older, it’s not immediately clear how many resulted in charges.

Wisecup said several of those have resulted from misunderstandings. She said in one case, starving horses found on her land were owned by another man. In another case, she said she was unable to go to court and defend herself and was told the court found against her, but she did not recall any punishment.

In 1992 she was charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty and another 13 counts that were unrelated.

A jury found her not guilty on all 20 counts of animal cruelty.

— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Adelaide Canipelli 4 years, 5 months ago

The women needs to be charged so she will keep from letting her horses multiply on their own. She got away with starving horses back in 1992 and they were all confiscated. Now she is back in the same boat and can't afford to take care of that many. Please take them away from her, geld the stallions, and adopt them out to good homes!

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

This woman is a disgrace.....its too bad. She needs to be fined out the wazoo!!!

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

18 years ago she pulled a gun on the sherriff.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

What is going on? I've never heard of animal cruelty charges worthy of a court date that are so minor that the person is left in control of the animals. That needs to be explained.

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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

Ok to start off, those of you who are to scared to show your name when it comes to talking about Sandy Wisecup, you are a discrace! She atleast is honest to poeple and you cant be honest when it comes to your name..... Thank you Scott for not being afraid of being confronted. My Grandma does have the money to take care of the horses and she is and realize that when you talk smack abaout her, you are talking smack about the other families who are doing what they can to take care of their own animals along with OTHER people who wont take their horses off the land. We are trying our best so why dont you all just stop bad mouthing and be REAL adults.....For some reason I feel more mature than most of you on this page and other pages who cant show your true identy. As for the ones that want to comment about the previos case, why dont you reseach it and see who really starved the animals. No he was not charged for starving our horses. They werent after them, they were just after Sandy and they still are!!!! Also those horses were not taken from her. They tried to put a big enough bill against them so she couldnt get them back but she already had buyers lined up, sold the horses and used the money to pay off the BS vet bills. For all of your information, she did NOT pull a gun on the sheriff! If so, she would have been charged with that too. Investigate the past before you bring it up! Get your story right...

To nodui, how do we know you are not a discrace? Your comment means nothing if your name isnt there! For all we know, you probably get drunk and drive all the time and dont get caught, (NODUI) or do, and you are hiding the truth from yourself so again you would be lieing!! Trying to make you look like a better person on here so people will listen to what you have to say.

Medowlark....Do you provide a good home sutible for animals? How can we tell when it doesnt show your name by your comment. Do you even know what a horse is? Do ANY of you who are anonymous KNOW what a horse is? Who knows cause I dont know your names so I dont know if I even know you. You are all probably city punks who dont know squat about how to take care of a horse! So save yourself the trouble and stop posting comments on things you know NOTHING about. Or who knows, maybe you are a vet or a rancher and knows what you are talking about but until you prove who you are or what your knoledge on animals is, your comment doesnt matter.

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united747 4 years, 5 months ago

I know Sandy well, and this whole thing is being blown way outta proportion. Cassie raises a good point telling all of you to do research first. In the first place i wanted to make a point to so i went ahead and did it on Sandy even though i know the whole truth from befor. If you research in books at the routt county office or if you research online you can see that the last case was dropped on all 20 accounts due to lack of proof and information leading to it being her fault, and no you guessed it she did not pull a gun. Remember you need to stand for something and you cant always just stand for what everyone else is going for.

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mtntrekker 4 years, 5 months ago

I drove between Oak Creek and Steamboat 10 times a week for three years. Every time I drove by those horses I thought "Poor Horses!". I even wrote to the ASPCA about these horses. Sure, they looked well fed to me, the guys would be out there feeding the horses all the time. But it is the conditions the horses are living in. One, sometimes two horses in a stall the size of a bedroom! They can hardly move around. They can't lay down. Constant standing in "stuff". No shelter from the heat and freezing cold. Sometimes a horse would be tied to a semi trailer all day with a very short rope. They live in a junk yard! Granted, Sandy should not take all the blame. The owners of the other horses need to take responsibility, too. Also, the reason we do not give out our real names is so we don't get strange phone calls in the middle of the night. I am just glad somebody is looking into this.

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Tamera Manzanares 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm with mtntrekker. Just because something isn't illegal does not make it OK. Keeping horses in tiny stalls with no shelter from the harsh sun and storms is not OK in my book. Horses are a huge responsibility and expense and if someone is not up to providing them a reasonably good quality of life then they should not have them. Period. Sounds like Sandy has a pretty supportive family. Maybe they can come together to provide better conditions for these animals so that every driver passing by does not feel the urge to call animal control.

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

Kudos to animal control for finally doing their job, the Wisecup property on 131 is a trash heap. The animals are kept without shade, limited water, little room to move, and are a fed crappy "cow hay". You, Sandy, are a disgrace to horse owners, and all of your half starved neglected animals should be given to a rescue center at the earliest possible chance.

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Tyco 4 years, 5 months ago

I have known Sandy my entire life! She is like family to me, she was my next door neighbor almost all of my childhood. It hurts us to see what is being said or that some of the complaints have been verified as false! I am with Cassie here. Please verify and look up your claims you have posted on here to make sure its the truth before you bad mouth someone.

I can personally attest that Sandy is out there at least (if not more) two times a day to feed and water the horses. These horses do not have limited water as she fills the buckets twice a day, or the horses have access to the creek!

thalgard: Where do you get off an saying anything about anyone's property? Yes you can see if from the road but saying "the Wisecup property on 131 is a trash heap" is uncalled for. That woman has been trying to clean that place up! I have seen that valant efforts she has taken to continually try to make it a little more decent to look at. Your statement "The animals are kept without shade, limited water, little room to move, and are a fed crappy "cow hay"", also has little claim. Those horses do get watered twice a day or have access to the creek. Many of the pens do provide shelter for the horses, and yes some don't, but she is working on getting that fixed. As for the hay, it may not be the best money can buy, but by all means it is feed for the horses!!

As a good friend to Sandy and the family. I am proud to say that I do think she is doing the best she can. I personally own three horses from her, and I haven't disappointed with any of them.

So please if you do not like the look of the property cause of "trash heap" as thalgard put it, then please watch the road instead of trying to look over the edge. If you feel the horses are not being taken care of like they should, go down and talk to Sandy about adopting one if you think you can give it a better home. But by all means don't sit here and judge a woman who is trying her hardest to take care of her animals.

Coty

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united747 4 years, 5 months ago

Ok now i have something right back to you buggacat, these horses are not always in the same pen. Alot of people do not realize that the property below the road is not ehr only property, she has many other palces of which the horses are roated through. The horse may be in the same place for a few weeks then it is where there is moer rooma dn then a few weeks later put back into the cycle. AGAIN ALL YOU NOSEY STUPID PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO IDEA WAHT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SHOULD JUST NOT WORRY ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSSINESS.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 5 months ago

Sandy is a great person and her friends and family do have the right to voice their support.

However, that is a disaster and huge eyesore on both sides of the road.

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

Broken down buses, trailers falling into the ground, horses standing on top of slag heaps penned in with no shade...call a spade a spade. That property is a disgrace, and who know how much toxic crap has been leaching into the ground water there. When someone owns a pile of crap like that, than it is everybody's business, so go eat crow.

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bubba 4 years, 5 months ago

OK, someone said us anonymous folk must not know anything about horses, or even what a horse IS. I will admit I don't know very much at all about them, although I am pretty sure I could pick one out of a lineup. For the education of us simple non-horse experts, do most horse owners in the county have a history of a dozen animal cruelty charges over the last few decades? This sounds like a lot to me, but I honestly don't know. If that is common, maybe our animal control people are out of control. If not, well... people will draw all sorts of conclusions, I suppose.

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united747 4 years, 5 months ago

Since the charges in the past where dropped due to lack of evident you have no proof they ever existed other than from hear say. And Thalgard i will admit the property below the highway is not in the best of shape but i can guarantee you the property above is alot better and all the horses get a time above in the meadows and then below when others need to be above grazing.

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

united....I have actually seen the "back 40", and it is a nice piece of land, but that still does not excuse the public nuisance that the rest of the property represents...maybe someone should check the effluent that seeps out of the trash heap that makes up the front yard of that place. How much "stuff" do you think is leaching into the ground water there? Old batteries, motor oil, solvents of all types, all slowly but surely making its way into the ground water and into oak creek itself. You and your ilk must be immensely proud of your fine stewardship, and it sure shows.

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bubba 4 years, 5 months ago

United, it doesn't say in the article that all previous charges were dropped. It does say she was found not guilty of all charges once, and that she has been charged around a dozen times before, which leaves 10 or so other times that charges were filed. If all of the charges were dropped for 'lack of evident' each of those other times, then the conclusion that I would draw is that there has been a campaign of harassment against this woman that spans nearly 30 years, and involves a great number of different law enforcement individuals and possibly agencies.

Of course, IF all of these charges were not dropped and/or she was not found not guilty every time and IF this number of charges is not common among horse-owners, the conclusion I would draw is that society's version of appropriate care for animals is different than hers.

I don't even have enough information to jump to conclusions.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

I don't know what happened during the 80s and up to 92, but it is certainly not fair to say someone has a pattern and ignore the most recent 18 years.

And unlike the situation in '92, none of her horses were taken this time. It would also appear that she was keeping the horses the same as she had been for years. So while the muck is bad for the health of hooves, she was apparently doing enough because the horses did not have the feared infected hooves and such. And with 8 of 72 having hooves too long suggest that 64 of 72 were being trimmed satisfactorily.

It is obvious that these horses are not as well treated as other horses. But I also recognize that there is a cultural difference between some people that own working animals and people with a more urban experience. I know there are ranches with working dogs that get complaints about mistreating their dogs. Maybe society is now requiring that all animals be treated better and we expect ranchers and farmers to change. Maybe that makes sense and maybe it is silly to expect working animals to be treated as pets.

It does not appear that Sandy thought these horses were being mistreated and it does appear that she has agreed to meet the standards set by animal control. And it had been 18 years since the last citation so it is not true to say she is a "disgrace".

I also note the strong hint of assumptions made by people here. If there were batteries and such leaching acid and other poisons into the ground then that is an obvious violation and there would be county citations. Since the county didn't find those issues then why are you so sure that is happening?

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Quite a discussion. Got a few observations of my own. I've known Sandy Wisecup for a little over a year. I bought a horse from her "herd" last April, and have interacted with Sandy on several occasions, as well as seeing the environment up there. I won't discount some of the observations that have been made in this comment string. But one thing I can say for sure is that Sandy loves every one of those critters with her whole heart and soul. She taught me more about horses in an hour than I could glean from any number of books or websites. I was up there recently and had the honor of seeing a newborn foal find its legs. Sandy was there, too, making sure the little filly got its first life-sustaining taste of "mother's milk." She knows her "herd" like she knows her own family: who sired whom; brothers and sisters; cousins. Sandy Wisecup is a genuine character; the horsewoman of Oak Creek, if you will. "Animal cruelty..." implies intent. In my--granted short--association with Sandy, I've seen no intent toward cruelty. The only thing I've seen is woman doing the best she could with what she's got.

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

George, while I appreciate your "Sandy is the salt of the earth" perspective, neglect is neglect. If you can't (or won't) properly care for whomever or whatever is under your care than that is a criminal act. In my opinion, allowing the near starvation of your animals, not providing them with proper shade and water, and forcing them to live in confined sun-baked corrals is abuse, whether it is intentional or unintentional.

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

Scott, maybe it is because they didn't look at the trash heap, just the maltreated horses. I was merely suggesting that when a property is kept as poorly as that one is, then it is no longer a "private property" issue, it becomes a public nuisance issue. Like I also hinted at in my previous post, I have been on that property and I guarantee that ground water contamination is a reality there. The Wisecup family has ALOT of county influence here, so don't be surprised if the whole thing gets swept under the proverbial rug.

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

thalgard, as I said, I don't discount anything anybody else has had to say about this whole thing. You mentioned, "...salt of the earth." Good phrase. Glad you appreciate my perspective. Suspect a good deal of that salt was shed in trying to take care of those precious critters as best she could. Therein lies the rub: As best she could, with what she had. She didn't have much...except too many horses.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Thal, So you ask us to believe that this is an "obvious" nuisance situation located on highly visible hwy 131 and that no one from the county has noticed it?

How about considering that the county has been out there numerous times and hasn't cited her? That is my understanding of the facts. That the county has been out there due to enough complaints that she knows what is against the law vs what may be unsightly to you, but is legal.

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greenwash 4 years, 5 months ago

Sandy and Family would go out and help most anybody in need.She/They may be rough and tough but she is honest and loyal.Most of you commenting dont know the first thing about horses or Sandy and thats a shame.

Granted it may not be Sidney Peak ,Marabou or any of the OTHER Rich persons fantasy land ranches. But fact is, its a combination junk yard and horse stable...Simple as that.

Those Horses are not starving and they arent living in $500 a month stalls either.(which by the way is just as bad and unhealthy).

I know the animal control officers and they are absolutely clueless.Its a total sham.

Gimme a break....

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Just a final comment following Greenwash's... The wonderful horse I bought from Sandy is stabled in Golden, a western suburb of Denver. And, yes, he's in a $500 a month box stall and run and he's as healthy and happy as any horse can be. So, Greenwash, I've got to disagree with your assessment of what's "...bad and unhealthy." But, nevertheless, I agree with your assessment of Sandy and Family. I'd also like to suggest that all those in an uproar about this whole thing, might want to put their indignation to work and go get one of those seized horses, embrace it to yourself, give it a kindly hand and soft words...give it the life that you think it ought to have. Be enriched by such a thing. Be blest by such a thing.

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brian ferguson 4 years, 5 months ago

With all the new fenced in areas along the highway that they've been working on, I've officially named oak creek canyon "happy horse gulch" But there is that one in the small pen that just wants to be freeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

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greenwash 4 years, 5 months ago

I guess I need to be more specific....

Horses are meant to be on grass..Not locked up in pens or Paddocks.2 flakes of hay in the AM and PM is not normal.Thats why horses chew ,paw , kick , bite,etc.,basically all the bad habits.Horses are grazers and need roughage, salt and water all the time.Horses in stalls/pens/small paddocks, no matter what all you stupid people think IS NOT NORMAL

What im getting at is Sandy isnt the only one that should be cited for cruelty to horses.

So should half of Routt County.

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

See, Greenwash, you can't make such broad conclusions. Sure, my horse is stabled. He gets his hay, morning and evening; has a salt block in his stall, and mechanized water delivery. But in addition, I take him out daily, work him, love on him, and then he gets the reward of grazing. He doesn't "...chew, paw, kick, bite..." Unlike a lot of the horses at the stable, Shy--my horse--has come to be known by all as a "sensible" horse with a good mind and a gentle soul. (Something I attribute to his having grown up with Sandy's herd, up there on the hill, where he found the sense of himself; his place in the world.) Would I like to give him free range? Sure. But that's not possible right now. Am I committing acts of cruelty upon my horse? Don't think so. In an existential sense, all horses should be free. Bakrodr makes the point that the Wisecups have worked hard to open-up a range for their horses. I was up there just a week ago and saw the evidence of it. There are lots of horse-stupid people who, sadly, own horses. Sandy's not one of them. Nor am I.

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greenwash 4 years, 5 months ago

I will agree to that...And Im glad to hear you get to him daily. But ultimately ....A horse on grass is Best.

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thalgard 4 years, 5 months ago

Green, you are actually dead wrong on the grazing thing...horses, especially thoroughbreds and quarter horses, should NOT be left to graze solely on grass, especially in the spring, as that can lead to founder. Too much protein and carbohydrates cause a systemic shock effect in most breeds of horses(aka hot feed), and this is a product of breeding for desirable traits at the expense if both size and quality of the hoof capsule. Generally, if a horse founders, the prognosis for long term is usually grave, so grazing a horse on hot grass can actually kill them. Mustangs don't have this problem, and neither do older breeds that were not robbed of their hoof quality over time. Horses also can colic from too much green grass, and that condition is almost invariably fatal. Furthermore, many domesticated horses have lost their ability to forage properly, and free grazing them can often allow them to get themselves into predicaments that their mustang cousins would not find themselves in. Poor hoof quality, too much or too robust musculature, too tall, those are some of the things that we humans have selected some breeds for while trying to "make" the perfect horse.

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Duke_bets 4 years, 5 months ago

thalgard - You don't have to worry about these horses getting too much grass.

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united747 4 years, 5 months ago

Duke_bets, Thalgard is not talking about the horses from the article if you had read you would know this. The horse he/she is talking about is one of someone else who was just comparing horses to Sandy's, granted the horse came from the same heard. This a classic example of people who cannot wait to put there two cents in without even knowing and understanding the topic being discussed. However i could be wrong and you could somehow know GeorgeSeaton's horses but i am fairly confident you did not.

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greenwash 4 years, 5 months ago

Interesting thalgard....I ll agree on your comments somewhat.But Ive got 40 years raising Polo Horses and Field Hunters on grass and never have I had a problem.You must live in a different climate or something.A properly turned out horse can mean different thing to different people.The majority of the people have no clue what we are talking about.Have a nice 4th.

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Just a couple last comments. I had assumed that Sandy's horses had been seized. They weren't. Suppose the fact that they weren't refutes some notion that these horses are "half-starved," or otherwise being abused. Abusing a horse, or being cruel to a horse, for me, implies some intent to do just that. My knowledge of Sandy's commitment to her horses does not encompass any intent to abuse or commit an act of cruelty upon any horse. In fact, I am told that the 1992 seizure of horses from Sandy's property was short-lived; that the horses were returned well before she was found not guilty of animal cruelty charges.

As to Thalgard's informative missive on the dangers of free grazing. Let me clarify that the scrubby hills and bottom land where Sandy kept/keeps her horses is not flush with grass. So I don't believe the dangers Thalgard notes with regard to "free grazing" is anything anybody needs to worry about with Sandy's horses. I moved my horse, Shy, down to Denver about a year ago. I mentioned that I allow him to graze after working him. The extent of that grazing consists of about a ten minute stop at one or another patch of grass that grows in and around the stable facility. I'm aware of the causes of colic, and founder. As to hoof care... I can tell you that when I purchased Shy from Sandy's herd, he was a little long in the hoof. I can also tell you that I've had those hooves cut three times since he got to Denver, his fourth will be coming up this week. Each time the farrier works on Shy, he always remarks on the superb structure of his feet, especially the hoof wall. My only conclusion, then, is that the five years Shy spent up on the hill with Sandy's herd did not compromise his hoof health and, in fact, may have contributed to the sturdy, healthy horse that he is...hoofs and all.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

BTW, the DA is woefully ignorant of Sandy's determination if he thinks he is doing anything than wasting his time preparing a plea deal for her first court date. If the DA is going to pursue this case then he should expect nothing other than a jury trial.

It would also seem that this would be a tough case to win because the charges are not that the horses were currently in bad shape, but that they could develop bad problems. So the counter argument is obvious - wet mucky conditions is always present during Spring and she knows what to do so that things like hoof disease do not happen. And Sandy can most likely describe most every detail about every horse which will make it real hard for a jury to accept the idea of neglect or cruelty.

Unless something else happens then DA should drop this case and convince himself that this pointed out issues that Sandy has since corrected and thus it did help the horses to be in better condition.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Thalgard: "In my opinion, allowing the near starvation of your animals, not providing them with proper shade and water, and forcing them to live in confined sun-baked corrals is abuse, whether it is intentional or unintentional."

I'd be careful at what you say because it appears that you are claiming facts such as "near starvation" and so on that even animal control says is not true. I note that your sentence is saying that these facts mean that it is your opinion that it is abuse and so you are claiming starvation, lack of shade and water are facts, not your opinions. For how much time Sandy and Saw are out there and animal control's evaluation of the horses, I think they could prove in a court that your claim of starvation and lack of water is a lie. (The other "fact" regarding shade would appear to be more debatable).

If I was Sandy or Saw then I'd seriously be considering suing you for libel. I think the way that works is they first sue unnamed person and then get order from the court to the newspaper to reveal your name so they can name you as the defendant.

I am not a lawyer and I am not giving legal advice. I am just saying what I think could happen.

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

look how the family lives...its no wonder they let their animals live in the same conditions they do. sad sad situation

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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

nodui, DONT YOU DARE JUDGE MY FAMILY!!!!!!! You do NOT know us or the hard times we have had to endure! MY DIRECT FAMILY HAS PUT THE SECOND MOST TIME IN DOWN THERE AT THE HORSES AND YOU HAVE NO FREAKING RIGHT TO JUDGE US BY OUR HORSES!!!! The wisecup family does have a bad name but that does not mean that we are all like that!!!! For your information, my oldest sister went to school, graduated, went to college, graduated and is back here to help us and to help raise her baby! I have one more year here and then I am going to college at NJC then to CSU to fulfill my dream! I will make something of myself unlike you, "nodui". My family will graduate from college and make something of ourselves and come back here and put these horses in the right place they belong!!!! I bet anything that YOU "nodui" live in a trash heap since you apparently KNOW what one looks like. You have NOOOOO idea what my family is like. You have NO right to judge any of us! Or our horses! You have made me so mad beyond words "nodui".

OUR ANIMALS DO NOT STARVE!!!! We put all of our hearts and money into making those horses have a better living condition. I am sorry we are not rich, but that doesnt mean we starve our animals. My dad Saw, little sister, Mom, and boyfrind and others have put so much time out there making new pens on the property my Grandmother has to keep our horses on. None of you know what we have put ourselves thorugh to make our horses live the best that they can. Sure, we dont have the money to put them in $500 stalls or on 10,000 acre land, but we love all of our horses. My family's working on breaking these horses and we keep them to rent out to hunters during hunting season! So stop bad mouthing my Grandma and my Family! You dont know us so shut your mouth and stop typing.

Tyco, thank you for sticking up for the family. You know what it is like down there and you have even helped us feed occasionally. Let me know how kisses and her mamma are doing.

Thalgard: There are shelters out there for the horses. OPEN YOUR EYES!!! Not all of them have shelter but we are working on it. THEY DO HAVE ACCESE TO WATER!!!!! Half of them are along the creek where, as many of us know, water always run, hint 'A CREEK!". the hay may not be the best, but the horses know how to eat it and what they dont eat, they use to lay down in to help keep them dry when the ground is wet from the rain or just for cusion.

As for the "Juck yard" side of our property, we ARE cleaning that up. Many times now we have taken loads to denver to recycle vehicals that no longer work. The only reason all those vehicals are there is NONE of your business! we moved vehicals out all last summer from my Grandmas place and we will continue to do so. Yes, my Grandma's front yard is trashy but that doesnt mean we havent noticed and arent trying to make it look better than what it does.

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brian ferguson 4 years, 5 months ago

After much thought, I've decided "happy horse highway" sounds better. Say it with me now:

Happy Horse Highway

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

nodui, who are you to make that sort of statement? Is your family that perfect that you feel comfortable passing judgment on an entire family? That you make such an offensive statement anonymously indicates that you are a righteous coward. Thus, it appears you are the person with the far bigger issues than those you judge.

I think most everyone would rather live with them than live with them than live with a nasty witch like you.

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united747 4 years, 5 months ago

Scott_Wedel, Bakrodr, and cassie are standing up for your beliefs and that is what should be done. We who know the truth and have actually had the pleasure to meet and know the wisecups are alot happier people than all you other negative people out there. We do not go around looking on articles for a family to talk down on or even if we run across one we keep all our thoughts to ourselves unless it is required we talk. If you have nothing better to do in your life but talk bad about other families just to make you feel better about yourself then shame on you. Thanks to everyone who only talks based off of facts and not just rumors.

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Thought I had said just about everything I needed to say with regard to this issue. Now comes Nodui's comments that seem to crawl from a very dark place in someone's mind or heart; a place where the infliction of pain upon others can be committed with impunity simply because the shield of anonymity in available to them. As united747 says, "Shame on you." I suspect Sandy and the older Wisecups are able to just ignore intended hurtful comments from folks. Did you ever think, Nodui, that the younger Wisecups, the children might not be able to just shake off the intended hurt so easily? Once again, shame on you. There's no need for this. Ever.

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bigfatdog 4 years, 5 months ago

where were the Routt Cnty Animal Control this past winter?? These horses are in better shape today than they were in Dec,Jan,Feb,March and that remains a disgrace. These horses are not being taken care of properly!! i know for a fact the horses are being fed old/moldy hay that was turned down by a cattleman for cow hay! Sandy should take the high road and limit herself to 4 horses before the gov takes control. Bigger issue is horse slaughter market has become illegal in this country and these types of horse neglect circumstances are occuring all over this country. Wake-up people, USA needs a legal horse slaughter market..write your local/state/fed representatives.

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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

HORSES SHOULDNT BE SLOTTERED PERIOD!!! If what we are doing is cruelty, think about completely KILLING a freaking horse! That is worse than what our horses are!!! At least our horses are alive!!!! Everyone knows that winter is one of the hardest times here in routt county!! And my family takes care of the horses as best we can during the winter and not all of the horses out there are my Grandmas! We rent out our property to people who dont have a place to keep their horse. But all the horses get attention everyday!! bigfatdog, you need to read all of the comments before you say anything because apparently you didnt read what I said about us not being rich like most people! We do what we can and we are doing just fine at it!

Another thing, if our land is so crappy and nasty for a horses living condition, what about all the other "hiddin" horse properties? There is not one person or ranch or property that picks up horse crap everyday!

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Bigfatdog you disgust me. Any comments you have made or might make with regard to Sandy's herd are hereby irrelevant and lack any credibility whatsoever. I am AWAKE Bigfatdog, and the slaughter of horses is a crime against humanity; against what the Good Lord intended for these special critters. Although I'd like to comment on your moniker--something to the effect that it probably describes your general nature/appearance--I won't provide you with that much of my attention. You're not worth it. As a matter of fact, you're not worth the proverbial sweat off my *alls. Have a good night, buddy. Dream of dead horses, if that's what makes you happy.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Bigfatdog is probably some bitter old hag that thinks she is being humorous by being outrageously offensive. But she fails to realize that she is so consumed with hatred and bile that it overwhelms any hope of being humorous satire and instead her writings are just stupid and offensive.

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nodui 4 years, 5 months ago

Wedel your too ignorant to face the facts. Iam not trying to be offensive but enough is enough.

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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

If enough is enough then you stop judging my family nodui. You stop posting on this article and do something to better your life by not making others feel shameful about thenselves just so you can get your own satisfaction. Leave it at rest and leave my family ALONE!!! Mind your own business and stop being judgemental and cruel

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

nodui, pretty amazing that you continue on with your anonymous delusional judgment of others via "enough is enough" and saying you are not trying to be offensive. So in your world, it is ok to be as offensive as you want when you don't like an entire family?

Since you are so morally superior to the rest of us that you feel comfortable passing judgment on entire families, how about telling us your real name so that we can use your morally superior life as an example how to improve ourselves?

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housepoor 4 years, 5 months ago

So is the animal control officer is wrong and charges will be dropped?

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 5 months ago

Housepoor, I don't know if I would go as far to say that animal control was wrong. Though it appears to be uncommon to file charges against a person without taking any of their animals. It would appear to be a situation more commonly handled by being closely monitored and if improvements wanted by animal control are not made then take the mistreated horses and file charges.

It is like how often are child abuse charges related to ongoing conditions filed against the parents while leaving the children in custody of those parents? If it is just bad enough to be a concern then typically Human Services monitors the situation.

Well, with the DA already talking about a plea deal then obviously there is no intent to go to trial. I think it is unlikely that Sandy would accept any plea deal and would insist upon a trial. So then the DA decides whether to drop charges or go to trial. I've been told the Vet's report says that the horses were living in conditions that lead to diseases and it would be painful for the horses to get those diseases. And while Sandy has kept horses in a similar manner for years and not had the horses get those diseases, they have made changes to deal with the vet's concerns. So unless something else happens then I think the DA has a bad case.

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Rhonda Crawford 4 years, 5 months ago

Only a real scumbag (nodui) would talk so poorly about someone and ones family because they disagree with another's lifestyle. Sandy Wisecup is more than likely a lot happier person (along with these accusations) than you are. Obviously the joy you get out of life is talking crap about others and their family!! Of course not in person that is!!!! Show yourself so everyone can go by your place and diss you and your family's way of life. You may not like the way Sandy lives but that does not make her a bad person, it just makes you ignorant.

Sandy Wisecup is a wonderful person and you would know this if you really new anything about her. Im sure the majority of the people on this site would concur that you (nodui) is the real disgrace!

It is clear that they are trying to expand the horses pasture and yes like Bakrodr said some in the little pins "just want to be freeeeeeee"

To all you bashers, drive around Routt County and you will see plenty of corrals just as small. But just because you dont like the look of a corral doesn't make it illegal just sore to your prescious eyes. I dont like seeing rabbits in little cages, dogs on chains, or fish in little tanks but im not going to bash on everyone that owns these pets or their families.

And Scott, you could not be more right!

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm not making fun of this situation, but 1 line stood out of all these post and had me laughing pretty hard because it made very little sense to me:

"...and the slaughter of horses is a crime against humanity;"

I always thought slaughtering humans was a crime against humanity.

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housepoor 4 years, 5 months ago

I noticed that also. What is the diffference between slaughtering a horse and a cow?

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Keilbasa, you may not know it, but it is our humanness that makes us human, or, of course, the lack of which makes us savages. Crimes against our humanity do include the killing of horses, in my humble opinion. Seems you've just been lurking out there to put your silly two cents in the mix. That's fine. There's been a lot of stupid spouted throughout this string. And housepoor, honey, if you don't know the difference between the slaughter of cows as opposed to the slaughter of horses, then I can only suggest you don't know much about critters, or your own sense of humanness...if you have any sense of it at all. BTW, if I could make it happen, no cow would ever die at the hands of folks intent on having their t-bones. But, that's just me. I don't eat red meat, hon. Pretty weird, huh. And, kielbasa, keep laughing. When you're done laughing, you might find the courage to comment of the content of this issue, rather than your misguided understanding of the language.

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sledneck 4 years, 5 months ago

The difference between the slaughter of cows vs. the slaughter of horses is that you spell cow C-O-W vs. horse, spelled H-O-R-S-E. Both mammals, both herbivores, both domesticated, both quadrapeds, both eat and c**p while you sleep.

I've owned them both. I've used live horses to string up slaughtered cattle. I've used horses to skid out barn poles. I've eaten cows on purpose and probably horse unwittingly. So what?

Neither should be abused nor worshiped.

Opinion makes for pretty lame law... in my opinion.

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John Fielding 4 years, 5 months ago

.

Those who have lived and worked closely with animals recognize the special relationship that exists between humans, horses, and dogs. There is a partnership quite unlike any other in the animal kingdom, Horses will act in concert with predators, and even participate eagerly in human warfare. and of course the litany of dogs contributions to humankind is endless.

Anyone who thinks humans have sole claim to being intelligent and thoughtful creatures should spend more time with these other most favored of Creation.

.

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Indeed, JohnFielding. “…I believed deeply in the sightedness of horses. I believed that there was nothing that they did not witness. I believed that to have a horse between my legs, to extend my pulse and blood and energy to theirs, enhanced my vision. Made of me a seer. I believed them to be the dappled, sorrel, roan, bay, black pupils in the eyes of God.” Mark Spragg, “Where Rivers Change Direction.”

sledneck: I agree: "Neither should be abused nor worshiped." It is, though, in knowing a horse, getting to that point where you understand the value, the worth of a horse, when it becomes an imperative to acknowledge that your own life is somehow elevated, enriched by your mere presence amongst them. At least this is what I have found to be true. The Wisecups have known this for a very long time. I only wish I had found this truth much sooner.

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MrTaiChi 4 years, 5 months ago

I don't know the principals of this article or thread. I don't know the property. I don't know horses. There, the admissions of ignorance are there for rebuttal.

One would expect family to come to this woman's defense. Such suoport tends to be discounted because of our human experience that a loved one can deny facts in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I'm not saying that happened here, just that family support, even when true, has less impact than from strangers to the events and parties involved. It seems like this woman has some fiercely loyal and empathic friends. In that sense she is more of a success than I'm betting some of the contributors to this thread are. Nasty people can be interesting, but rarely inspire loyalty when they are the focus of public accusation. Still, some of the support for Mrs. Wisecup falls into the classifiction of 'damning with faint praise.'

Her family and friends seem to ask for understanding for a woman struggling with her business and trying to clean up her property. That may be all there is to the story. It could also be that she fits a personality profile of a hoarder. Such people get rid of one piece of junk and add another. They are always trying to clean up their porperties, but with ample time, have one excuse or another why it never gets done. You have to feel sorry for their neighbors. A 'cat lady' indisputably loves cats and trys to place them out, but can live in a squalor while trying to find homes for the fifty or so cats in the house with her for years.

I don't know if Mrs. Wisecup fits the profile of a hoarder, but friends and family should have an idea if that is the case and perhaps intervene to help her get her responsibilities down to a size she can manage by herself. Love and support of family isn't enough if this apparent kind soul is in over her head.

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John Fielding 4 years, 5 months ago

.

Among the times I have felt most right in the world, the closest to my Creator, have been riding through the glades and hills of NW Wyoming on a good horse with a loyal dog trotting alongside.

There was a sense of comradeship and teamwork that I know with certainty we all shared, each of us recognizing and appreciating the unique abilities of the others as well as our own particular strengths to contribute.

Indeed together we formed a whole, a symbiotic entity if you will, each able and willing to help assure the survival and success of the team.

And the joy of life, the appreciation of the Beauty and Goodness of the Wild, as well as its dangers, were also shared by all.

.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 5 months ago

George, as I had said, I was intrigued by your wording and not making fun of the passion. I am not a horse person but I enjoy them. I just don't hold animals up as high as I do humans and I say that with a bit of a wince. Some individual animals I might hold in higher esteem than some individual humans, but not on the species scale.

On that note, I don't know the Wisecups or their horses and can't comment on whether the horses are healthy or not.

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flotilla 4 years, 5 months ago

I think the whole point of this story has been misconstrued, though I think Mr. Tai Chi is hitting on a broader point. This isn't a story about whether or not a person (sandy) is good. It is an example of 100s of complaints being investigated by educated people (animal control officers, whom ARE educated, whether you agree or not, that is a fact, working closely with the State Vet) to be sure that the owner of an animal(s) is complying with law. The horses were not taken because the initial charges are a warning to the owner to fix the conditions of the horses (hoofs, weight) and then, if the owner doesn't comply after being warned to do so, the horses will be taken from the owner. Everyone has failed to mention is that the whole point of the case, charges, investigation is to create a better environment for the horses, which is why the complaints were made and addressed. Not whether or not the owner is a good or bad person. One should only own what they can care for appropriately, whether or not they love or try their best.
Everyone posting should really drop emotions out of this because this isn't about beating up Sandy Wisecup's character. She only seems to be "picked on" because she does and has owned and tries her best to take care of A LOT of horses, which is noble. But sometimes you cross the line of what you can handle. I personally think all the Wisecups I have met are great people but this has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with horses being cared for to the standards of the state law.

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George Seaton 4 years, 5 months ago

Worthy comments, flotilla and MrTaiChi. If you take the emotion out of the argument, then you're left with the fact that, as I said before--somewhere way, way up on this string--I do believe Sandy has too many horses. I suspect Sandy might even admit to the same. Of course, another fact--as I understand it--is that some of the Wisecup clan have been in the junk business for at least two or more generations. That has been their livelihood. Junk does accumulate. And the unsightly accumulation of junk piques the sensibilities of some, many of whom who don't really care one way or the other about the horses, but sure know junk when they see it.

That said, this is a complex issue. And yes, flotilla, this is an issue that can reasonably set-aside emotion and focus squarely on the well-being of the horses. As I've also said before, Sandy and family do the best they can with what they've got. This family is the epitome of the tough, pull-yourself-up-by-bootstrap mentality that, quite frankly, has never really gotten an even break from the hard knocks life has thrown at them. Again, they do their best with what they've got.

Whether or not the state, the living conditions of these horses can be brought up to the standards the law requires, is something that I guess we'll just have to wait on and see.

Keilbasa: Guess I ascribe to the Walt Whitman school of philosophy where "...a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars..." If I believe that about a leaf of grass, you get some notion how I feel about horses.

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Matthew Stoddard 4 years, 5 months ago

George, that is a fine way to live and I have nothing against it; we just have a different way of looking at the pecking order of species. Enjoy your weekend!

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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

This is not Cassy. This is her mom Judy.
First to Flotilla.. You say educated ACO (Animal Control Officers)? I'd like to know what qualifications either one of the Routt County ACO Ofiicers have.( Dawn or Cindy )? Do they have a college degree in Animal Science or any extended training pertaining to horses, or any other animal? I personally was raised on a working ranch with cows and horses, and married into the Wisecup family. I have an Associates Degree in Animal Science. I did hold the same title as them for about a year an a half, and, I always went and investigated the complaints before i pursued further action. A complaint for an animal cruelty, takes some investigating first, before you issue citations. You build your case before you cite someone, or you will get laughed out of court. Anyone that has had the experience of going before a Judge, (when you are representing the general public), you better have your I's dotted and your T's crossed. This same situation comes up every 5 years or so. Some passer by doesn't think it is a suitable situation for animals to be living in.. What's ironic about the whole thing, is that normally the people complaining, have never owned livestock.All the horses will be in bigger pastures , as soon as we get everything fenced. My husband, my daughters and myself own quite a few of the horses out there. We are out there everyday. My husband is out there all day, almost everyday, building fence, and caring for the horses. Our horse have protein & salt blocks, and generally get grained 2 to 3 times a week. Our yearlings also got extra supplemental grain (Equine Junior) all winter. The girls at Elk River Farm & Feed would see me once a week to buy my Equine Junior, and Sweet mix plus.They knew what I was after as soon as I walked in. Do I know what i spend on my animals annually? No clue, but they don't ever go without. We had an orphan baby last year, and any horse owner, that has raised an orphan knows what that costs. Between mares match formula with every 2 hour feedings, for the first 2 months or so, and then move on to mares match pellets, just to make sure the little guy has what he needs.. That's no cheap thing to go through, but he never went without.
Also, let me make it clear that I don't agree with them being in small pens for an extended amount of time. Only the studs are penned up, or the horses we are working with.There are a few younger studs that we don't want breeding, but they will get casturated in the next month or so, then they will be turned out with the rest of them. They do not breed at will like "Meadowlark" thinks. The mares that are bred are planned pregnancies, and we know when they are bred, and when they are going to foal.

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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

House poor, the charges will be dropped,or dismissed, on the basis of lack of evidence. The horses in question are not in poor health, and do not have any medical issues.. Except over grown hooves, which have been trimmed up to ACO's requirements. Living conditions are improving as we get fence built. May not be liked by people that drive by, but are in good health. George, Scott, Tyco, United 747, Rhonda, and Greenwash thanks for your support. Nodui... Can't say anything more than what my daughter, and everyone else has said. I'm not a hateful person, and everyone has potential. You may live a poor lonely life, and the problem you have with judging people that you don't know. I'd love for you to meet me and my family, then you can pass judgement.Contact me via email and I'll go introduce you to those poor starved, abused animals. You can see them in person, and meet us, then you can judge us. I'm so sorry your life is so empty that you have to be so hateful. If you want some joy.. Contact me, and come spend some time with some of these horses or I'll even take you for a horseback ride. Thalgard... Did you see how much pull we have with the county? They gave us a new paved road, so all the lookiloos can stop, and have a longer look. More than the 30 second drive by! Enough said.

 Bakrodr.. Were working on setting them all freeeeeee! My husband loved your comment, but we do not know what horse you mean. Please specify, and we will see what we can do.

 Bubba... Aco.. Is outta control..It's called a vendetta from Cindy Duvall for Sandy..  A few valid complaints that's have since been corrected.... That's it.

Buggacat...  Were working on getting all them out of small pens.. I agree with they need room to run.. Soon, a little more fence building.. Can I clone my husband, so it can get done faster. He builds it as fast as he can. Give us a little more time plz.
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Cassandra Meyer 4 years, 5 months ago

Finally.. Dukebets.. The wisecups living is junk. They take unwanted cars and junk from anyone that wants to dispose of it. It's been their way of life for years. It may be unsightly, but thats how some of them make their money. Would you rather the junk stay in your neighbors yard? Or out of town away from you? It gets hauled off, and then some more hauled in. Not saying it's a pretty site, because I fight with my husband all the time about my yard.. Junk and eyesores to one, is money to another. The horse situation is changing, just give us a little time.

I hope I've addressed anything, and everyone that has made a comment on this thread, because it's all gotten blown way outta proportion. Anyone that is truely concerned about the welfare of the horses. Contact one of the Wisecups and they can give you a number for Sandy or Saw or I. Look in the phone book, and you can find us. We'll be more that happy to meet you out there and walk through with you. See the horses first hand and their living conditions, and see that they are not starving.. They are all very personable, loving horses. They love all of us, and we love each and everyone of them. R.I.P Flyboy! I have your last son, and your legacy will live on... If you know us, and our horses you will understand that last part. Sorry to take up so much time, but I think everything I said needed to be addressed. Judy

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littleacres 4 years, 5 months ago

Well said Jude!! It's like you said, anyone who has a problem or concern at all should meet with anyone in your family and meet these animals first hand. I will admit that I would have my doubts if I were just any other person driving by. I DO know first hand how the horses are taken care of and they are probably given more love and attention than some you see out in nice big green pastures. I know it's overwhelming to read all of these posts. It will never end. Do what you have been doing and know that you are doing okay. You have a lot of friends and family standing behind you!!
Shannon Bostock

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John Fielding 4 years, 5 months ago

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Amen, well said.

However I can't help feeling a little left out, seems you answered everyone else.

I guess my message did not really need a reply.

Wish you well.

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brian ferguson 4 years, 5 months ago

Judy, I was kidding about the one that wants to be freeeeeee. Keep up the good work And I'll go back to herding cats :)

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kathy foos 4 years, 5 months ago

Yampa Valley Boy,thanks for the story about Dick Wisecup,he was quite a guy and I enjoy thinking about him,How was that ride?You had that opportunity that day because of Sandy,was it a good ride?It would be nice to hear other stories from customers of Sandys,hunters?She sure could write a book about them.This isnt about one Wisecup,but the whole family helps her,she isnt on her own dealing with her business,she really has a wonderful family that sticks with her through thick and thin,they all work together,its awsome.A rarity in our day and age.See how it works?They all stick together for one cause.Dick isnt here anymore but maybe he is looking down smiling at his lovely brood,I would be if I was him.Sandy had very little wrong when inspected and she moved to correct immediatly ,top priority.She is a responsible person and I would love to be one of her horses if I had to be a horse!

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