Skip to comments.Cops: Stolen horses sported vet paint
Posted on 03/04/2003 1:16:38 PM PST by Cagey
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
By Carrie Wolfe
Cathy Crighton, 44, of Palos Park, was charged Saturday in Wellington, Fla., with two counts of grand theft and one count of dealing in stolen property, Palm Beach County authorities said. She was being held Monday at Palm Beach County Jail on $5,000 bail.
Crighton allegedly stole one of the horses, Keller, in October from an unlocked stable at Top Brass Horse Farm in unincorporated Palos Township.
Keller, a Swedish Warmblood, was found at a stable in Wellington, about 13 miles west of West Palm Beach, authorities said.
A Florida resident reportedly bought Keller from Crighton for $15,000. The horse was valued at $50,000.
Palm Beach County deputies arrested Crighton Saturday at another Wellington stable where they found San Diego, a dark gray gelding who had disappeared from a local paddock Jan. 22. His white legs and the white stripe on his face had been spray-painted with black Rustoleum paint.
Someone apparently saw Crighton spraying a horse and contacted authorities.
The paint caused blisters near the horse's nose and he could be permanently scarred, deputies said.
The horse reportedly was worth $100,000.
Scooby Doo, a 3-year-old Dutch Warmblood stolen Sept. 21 from Bordon Farms in Wilmington, was found in a stall next to San Diego. The horse also had paint on his legs and feet.
Crighton's veterinarian license, which she received in Illinois in 1996, expired Jan. 31, and she should not have been practicing, said Jeff Irwin, a technical assistant for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations.
To renew her license, Crighton would have had to complete 20 hours of courses, Irwin said.
Kathy Fitzpatrick, owner of Fitzjoy Farm in Palos Park, said she worked with Crighton occasionally for about a year, and Crighton provided in-house vet services for horses at Fitzjoy.
Crighton had been argumentative with some of the boarders at Fitzjoy and seemed unhappy, Fitzpatrick said.
But Fitzpatrick was surprised by the charges.
"It didn't seem like she needed the money," she said. "It didn't seem like she needed the notoriety.
"I can't imagine she thought she'd get away with something like that," Fitzpatrick said. "No one could look at a horse and not know that it was painted."
Lea Ann Koch, president of the Illinois Quarter Horse Association, was alarmed by the news.
"It's astonishing to me that somebody would do that; plus (she's) a veterinarian," Koch said. "I have never really heard of anyone going into somebody's barn and taking a horse.
"I guess I've never seen someone gutsy enough, or stupid (enough) whatever you want to call it."
Allen Hoger, owner of Top Brass Horse Farm, said Crighton was contracted by some boarders who rent space at the stables.
No one answered the door Monday at Crighton's home, 11099 McCarthy Road. Her driveways were blocked with chains.
She is scheduled to appear in court March 31, Palm Beach County authorities said.
Keller and Scooby Doo reportedly are being shipped home this week.
Hoger said he was happy Keller's owner, Jolene Novak-Racevicius of New Lenox, would be reunited with her horse.
Novak-Racevicius couldn't be reached for comment Monday, but trainers and horse owners at Top Brass said Novak-Racevicius was happy her horse was found. They said she recently returned from a trip to Germany to buy a new horse.
Good find, and it's very interesting how this story has put her back in the light of that unsolved murder in Illinois.
Shake hands with my minky. <|:)~ Just don't paint it.
I would have to disagree from a very, very technical standpoint. Both have studbooks and although provisional registration is still available the Class I mares and Approved stallions are pretty much a closed set now. Both breeds are newer than say the Trakehner (which have been branded for years) or Hannoverian (which now requires six generations and the brand) but you can pick 'em out of a lineup.
I heard from my trainer that the Swedish studbook is going to be closed in the near future. She is very gung-ho about Hannoverians and Trakehners as 3-day event horses. (I am a T'bred person myself.)
This "vet" or "ex-vet" is clearly unhinged. Any old racetrack hot walker or any gypsy for that matter could tell you how to change the markings on a horse. Or "doctor" the teeth for that matter. And Rustoleum isn't how.
Yes, they come with papers. Each "approved" horse is assigned a number and the foals have breeding certificates issued at the time of foaling. Most of the warmblood breeds also get a brand - the Trakehners have a set of antlers on the shoulder, the Hannoverians a stylized "H".
If you don't have a breeding certificate or pedigree, I would think the horse would sell for 1/4 its value with "papers". You can sell a horse on "looks", movement and performance to some degree, but you will never get the money you could with the papers, because the pedigree gives breeding value. But this woman is so "out of it" that I don't think she even considered these factors. I mean -- Rustoleum???
Of course, papers can be faked for the gullible buyer . . .
They ARE big, and they ARE powerful. The Dutch Warmbloods have a strong farm horse (Gelderlander) background, so compared to the Swedish Warmbloods they are more harness-horse looking - although that's being bred out as the eventing horses are picking up the big money now.
The warmbloods as a whole don't seem to be as flighty as the Thoroughbreds, although you can always pick two horses out that prove the rule. One of my trainer's Trakehners is just evil-tempered (we blame it on her sire, the Olympic competitor Abdullah who was a notorious bad boy) and she also will get away from you competing or hunting, while my T'bred mare is incredibly tractable and reliable at all times and places. T'breds are also renowned for never giving up no matter what. If you pointed my mare at the barn she would try to scramble over it. (Maybe that means she's stupid, but you have to exercise judgment when riding a T'bred because she will go until she drops in her tracks.) Mine won't get there in a hurry, though, she's beautiful but she was sold off a racehorse farm as a yearling because it was already apparent that she couldn't catch cold.
There are some Russian horses, with a good deal of Arab blood, who have done pretty well in eventing, but it's not really an Arab discipline.
The warmbloods do extremely well in dressage, but the T'breds will often catch up in the cross country and the stadium jumping. At the highest levels, the best warmbloods are winning, but the T'breds are always there. At MY level (Tadpole - 2nd baby level) we don't do well in dressage because my girl doesn't have a lot of impulsion and fire on the flat, but we catch up in cross country and pull ahead in stadium. I was a hunter-jumper rider for years and years, so I'm most comfortable in the ring. My mare jumps like silk too, smoothly out of her stride and nicely balanced. Not fast, but her efficiency makes up a lot of time. And she has only refused with me once - at a really gnarly ditch combination that she had never seen the likes of before! (Partly my fault - I didn't like the looks of it either, and she knew it! We came around again and picked our way through.)
I'll let you off this time, Mr. White Man, but your risking a summons from the PC police for using an out-of-date sexist term. I suppose you still call Katherine Hepburn an "actress" instead of "actor".
As a real person she's entitled to be called a "murderer".
Hair dye works better, and isn't toxic. There were six different horses used in making "The Black Stallion", and they all needed a bit of "touch up" here and there. Of course, it's only a short-term fix.
I don't know much about designer warmbloods, except they cost a lot, and I don't see too many at the schooling-level local dressage shows. Some people think they're a "secret formula" for winning. Getting one cheap might seem a great deal, but the higher you go, the more paperwork you have to provide. Or maybe it's the same appeal that stolen art has for some people, where you can only enjoy it in secret.
A friend has an arab stallion, and is always afraid he'll be stolen because he's so friendly, and will gladly get in anyone's horse trailer. He associates horse trailers with fun things like dressage shows, and as a grey, he has no permanent distinctive markings except for a snip on his nose. She's still debating between getting him a lip tattoo or a biochip.
You're forgetting the feminine form that we can create with the "-ix" suffix, a la "dominatrix". In this case, I suggest "lunatrix"...
A useful word, besieged as we are by lunatrices.
Animal cruelty, theft, burglary, murder - the lady liked to dip her beak into a little of everything, I guess...
The EU required all British horse owners to apply biochips to their horses so they can be acceptable as meat for the French market. Another reason I hate the French.
But ya gotta watch your brand. Certain brands will turn horses green and all sorts of other weird colors not found in nature.
My horse is jet black except for one white heel and a few white hairs on her forehead in the shape of a crescent moon. She never raced (bwahahahaha) so she doesn't have a lip tattoo. She's always ready to load, 'cause she used to be a broodmare at one point in her checkered career so she always thinks when she sees a trailer that it's Time for Romance. I HAVE touched up her tail when it got too much sun . . . but I'll never tell how. :-D
Oh, what the heck. Here she is in all her glory:
Sorry about the saddle mark. She is a little down in the back, but then she's 16. It's amazing when I look at her how much she's bulked up in the chest and withers since we started doing dressage. Lot of muscle on her second thigh too.
Since I've never had to recolor a horse, I'll take your word for it. The closest I've come is using baby powder on the white parts of a certain snotty little pony at dressage shows, where he can roll on the grass, even when tied to the trailer, and magically get grass stains only on the white parts.
I try to keep one of those solar-block sheets on the mare all summer, because she fades BAD. I don't like to turn her out with a tail bandage on, so the top of her tail always turns brown. She does like the fly bonnet though.
I put my kids on tired old horses to learn - but my son the Speed Racer is now riding a little white half Welsh half Connemara - 'snotty' is her middle name. She is FAST and can jump the moon - most of the kids are afraid of her but my son doesn't care (one of the advantages of ADHD by the way). He got into a makeup class and just ASSUMED that he and the pony should be jumping the BIG fences - so here they come down the outside line with a 3'3" vertical at the end, and the pony and he sail over it, more or less together. We could see daylight under his pants, but he wound up back in the saddle and he and the pony cantered on. As Thelwell observed, it's just a case of who breaks who first . . .
Last week our trainer put my daughter on this amazing horse named Shade - he is half Percheron and half T'bred. He is HUGEOUS - I didn't stick him but he looks like at least 17.2 - pure Perche head and neck (thick neck, roman nose and kinda goofy look) but fairly fine body. He's very well coordinated but he's extremely strong. Fortunately he's a perfect gentleman and will stop when asked - my daughter is a tall girl but light, and she could no more stop him than she could pull a school bus. I was working in the ring, but I did catch a glimpse of five or six of the kids thundering around the lower pasture - I inquired afterwards and was told they were playing "pursuit of the Nazgul" - if I were pursued by THAT horse I think I'd just give up on the spot. Sort of like being chased by elephants.
And here runnin' with his best pony friend!
I wish she hadn't had her housecoat and curlers on, so to speak, when I took that picture. (We had also just been through three run-throughs of the Novice "C" dressage test and a jumping course, so she was absolutely pooped and it shows.) When I get her in frame in a nice extended trot she looks more "together", especially her back. (Hey, I'm sensitive about "broodmare droop" myself!) :-D
Here's a nice head study. She does have a classic T'bred head. (Even if her mouth is full of hay and she's in the process of taking a good big chomp.)
And of course he just shouts "ARAB!" at the top of his lungs. His legs look really really clean too.
I've never had much experience with Arabs, we don't see them much in the hunter world because they're a little short-backed to win in hunter conformation. (But my 16hh girl would look silly in an endurance trail ride, so it takes all kinds to make a world.)
And he is in great health still, I intend to have him for the rest of his days, and I hope to still have many more good years.
Here's one more! ;~D from our lunch break in the middle of a trail ride last year. (A little more belly on him here!)
I don't see any such droop on her! - She's beautiful!