Rochester farm rescues two horses

Sep 2, 2019

ROCHESTER — Last August, Knox and Bravo were in rough shape. The two were extremely thin, and needed work on their hooves and teeth. Rochester’s Sterling Pointe Farm took them in, and a year later their conditions are much improved. 

The two horses were at Smithfield Farm in Falmouth, but were “voluntarily given up” by the person who was boarding them there, said Bill Ritchie the head trainer and manager at Sterling Pointe. 

The two were kept in the same paddock at Smithfield. Neither had their shots, and one horse had a tooth that had to be pulled, which was a major procedure. 

After a year of proper care, the two horses are much improved, with Ritchie calling them “fat and shiny.”

Knox is somewhere around 30 years old. Ritchie said that if he lives out the rest of his life at Sterling Pointe, it will be a good life. 

Smithfield is currently under investigation by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after other photos of horses with ribs showing emerged.  

Ritchie said that he complained to the MSPCA last year when the horses arrived. 

“I have not been over there,” only seen the photos and verified they are current, Ritchie said, adding that seeing the photos, “brought back everything we went through last year.” 

As a horse person, Ritchie said that “I don’t want to see the horses suffer.” 

“A lot of people [in the horse community] fear that the MSPCA is not doing enough,” he said, adding that “There needs to be a thorough investigation.” 

The MSPCA investigation is still ongoing. However, even if Smithfield is ordered to give up more horses Sterling Pointe would likely not take them in. 

“I don’t think we would,” Ritchie said, “We’re not a rescue. We don’t get funds for that.” 

Still, for Knox and Bravo it’s a happy ending.