Chester Co Trainer Was Selling Horses to Slaughterhouse: Cops

The 24-year-old is accused of selling horses to a Canadian “kill buyer”

By Kelly Bayliss and Karen Araiza
|  Thursday, Jan 19, 2012  |  Updated 4:46 PM EDT
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Trusted Buyer Sold Horses to Be Killed: Cops

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A local horse trainer is facing felony charges after she allegedly sold as many as 120 horses to buyers for a Canadian slaughterhouse, according to court documents.

State police say that 24-year-old Chester County-native Kelsey Lefever -- a well-known horse trainer and former Devon Horse Show competitor -- promised owners she could find good homes for their horses when they could no longer race, according to the Paulick Report, a news website for the thoroughbred industry. What she really found for these horses, was a quick death, according to court documents.

In the Affidavit of Probable Cause, Lefever is accused of selling four horses she was in charge of finding homes for to contractors for a Canadian slaughterhouse. There, they would be butchered and sent overseas to be sold as food, according to the affidavit.

A friend of Lefever's told state police that the horse trainer admitted selling as many as 120 horses, according to the affidavit. State police confirmed that Lefever is accused of acquiring four retired racehorses in May of 2011 and telling two different owners that she would care for, retrain and re-home the horses. "In turn, the accused did sell all four horses to be slaughtered for human consumption on 05/16/11 at the New Holland Horse Auction in Lancaster County, Pa.," according to the news release issued by state police. Lefever turned herself in on November. She was charged with deceptive or fraudulent business practices and theft by deception. 

"Animal lovers of any kind are just appalled by this," said Ray Paulick. When he broke the story on his website earlier this week, traffic shot up 400-percent, the biggest day to date on the site. 

"I've been in this business for 30 years and I've heard stories about this type of activity, but this is the first time I remember it being brought to light in a criminal case," Paulick said.

A hearing for Lefever is set for the beginning of February.
 

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