Clay County will dispose of 30 horses seized from an area rodeo producer with a sheriff’s sale set for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 8, almost three months after the malnourished rough stock were first reported by a passerby.
Announcement of the sale came Monday. On Friday, the Second Court of Appeals to denied a writ of mandamus petition from Barney Brehmer of Brehmer Rodeo Company, upholding the Feb. 27 order by Justice of the Peace John Swenson to forfeit the horses to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
In Brehmer’s petition, Wichita Falls defense attorney Ricky Bunch said the civil hearing was held illegally because forfeiture hearings are required within 10 days of seizure.
On Feb. 13, a person driving on FM 1197 reported possible dead horses on a property leased by Brehmer, leading to the discovery of 30 emaciated animals in a pasture at the intersection of FM 1197 and McNeely Road. The animals were seized by the sheriff’s office on Feb. 14.
On April 2, a six-person jury found that Brehmer had unreasonably deprived the horses of necessary food, water and care.
Proceeds from the live auction will reimburse Clay County for boarding and care of the horses and court costs. Any remaining funds will be paid to Brehmer.
To date, care of the horses has cost the county $9,786.10. Sheriff Kenny Lemons said Tuesday that he anticipates another $6,000 in expenses. Costs for the jury trial totaled $1,960. To appeal the justice of the peace order to forfeit the horses, Brehmer posted a $4,000 bond, which will go toward expenses.
Horses will be available for inspection beginning at 9 a.m. the day of the sale, to be held at 290 Spur 510 in Henrietta.