Charges: Pa. Woman Sold Horses for Slaughter

She faces five counts of fraud for allegedly selling horses to kill buyer.

A Pennsylvania trainer and riding instructor charged with allegedly selling horses to contractors for a Canadian slaughterhouse is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 6 for a preliminary hearing.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, 24-year-old Kelsey Lefever is charged with five counts of fraud—three of which are felonies—for allegedly selling four horses in May 2011 to a “kill buyer” who took them to Quebec.

The newspaper reported that Lefever has told state police she sold as many as 120 horses to contractors for the purposes of the horses being killed. According to the Inquirer, Lefever arranged to obtain horses from connections of horses based at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse for the purposes of finding adoption homes for the horses once their racing careers were over.

Joseph Reilley Jr., Lefever’s attorney, did not respond to a phone call for comment, according to the Inquirer.

According to the newspaper, the charges against Lefever have resulted in her dismissal earlier this week from a position as trainer and riding instructor of Great Scott horse farm in Malvern, Pa. The farm’s manager, Connor Langan, told the newspaper he was unaware of Lefever’s charges when he hired her prior to Christmas and that he had checked her references.

A spokesman for Penn National told the Inquirer that the trainers based at the track, which has a policy of revoking privileges if a horse is knowingly sold for slaughter, had entered into arrangements with Lefever in good faith. He also said the track was planning to tighten security at security gates and is having discussions about ways in which fraudulent rescues can be avoided.