LANC., PA 17604
Vol. 20 No.4
Our 20th Year
May 2013
(Continued on page 30)
Devon Horse Show, May 23-June
page 14 for more
Devon Horse Show
Leadline classes, featuring cute kids and perfectly turned out moms, are always a Devon
Horse Show audience favorite. Leadline classes, for riders five years old and younger, will
be held Saturday afternoon, May 25. The show, which celebrates its 117th run May 23 to
June 2, is the country’s largest multi-breed horse show, with more than 1,000 exhibitors.
Photo credit: Daria Killinger
Horses Die
Whodunit Unfolds
by Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
There’s a mystery unfolding
in south central Pennsylvania:
Who killed Joseph Meyer’s
The trail riding and lesson
stable owner has no dearth of en-
emies, or trouble. His neighbors
admit in public hearings to calling
him “a habitual liar,” a “creep,”
“delusional” and an “arrogant
carpetbagger.” His attempt to
continue operating and expand Al-
limax Farm resulted in a conten-
tious, protracted 10 month zoning
battle with West Hempfield Town-
ship. Local horse owners reported
him to PETA and actively tried to
shut his stable down. Protestors
in 2010 demonstrated outside the
farm after a horse named Beauty
died there. He was charged with
two counts of cruelty to animals
after he failed to obtain veterinary
help for a second horse, Dusty,
whose bacterial infection he
treated himself over the course
of about two weeks. The mare
was seized and euthanized. Meyer
was cleared the following year
when Lancaster County Judge
Harold Kneisley ruled that he
acted slowly to treat the mare but
without malice or cruelty.
On March 21, 2013, Meyer,
a former history teacher, called
911 to report that eight horses at
a farm he rents in Lower Wind-
sor Township, York County, had
died. The next day a pony at
Allimax Farm in West Hempfield
Township, Lancaster County
died. All suffocated, foam
billowing from their labored nos-
trils. None of them was insured.
Meyer on March 26 sent this
email to
Pennsylvania Eques-
“For the past three years,
animal rights activists have been
out to destroy me. Trespass,
vandalism, defamation, and using
public agencies for harassment
has gone unpunished, and now
they have escalated to poison-
ing horses. This week, my herd
of 43 horses was poisoned. Ten
died, four of them were pregnant
mares, due late this spring. My
family was threatened, and is
now in hiding. I will take care of
all my obligations. Communica-
tions can be done by email, I will
answer when and if I can.”
In a YouTube video posted
on his website March 29, Meyer
said, “Someone killed nine of my
best and most beloved horses. This
has ruined my business and I had
to close it down after 14 years of
20 percent growth per year. In ad-
dition, my family was threatened
and we had to go to a safe place.”
He asked for PayPal donations to
support the remaining horses.
In a second YouTube video
posted days later, Meyers said
that for four years animal rights
activists had been ganging up
on his stable because they don’t
believe horses should be used
commercially. The day the York
County horses died, he said he had
fed, gone for hay, and returned
around 1 pm to find a mini dead
and a Morgan mare depressed and
foaming from the nostrils. Four
minis, all in one paddock, died.
Four of eight horses in another
paddock died, along with a Welsh
pony foal, he said.
The Lancaster County
poisonings were less potent, he
continued, and while six horses
fell ill only the pony died. The
perpetrator poisoned the horses he
uses the most, and therefore had
to know him, he said.
A third YouTube video
showed one of the affected ponies
with foam billowing from its
Police Investigation
Police in West Hempfield
Township and Lower Windsor
Township are investigating, as is
the Large Animal Protection So-
ciety (LAPS) and the York SPCA.
Lancaster County no longer has a
humane officer associated with its
Humane League.
West Hempfield Township’s
investigating officer Sergeant Tim
Coyle said April 19, “LAPS is
taking the lead, we are document-
ing what’s going on. We gener-
ally let the agencies handle these
investigations because that’s their
specialty.” Citing the ongoing
investigation, Douglass Newbold
of LAPS would not comment on
the case.
Coyle said Meyer was not
unknown to the local police.
“His neighbors didn’t like him so
much. The main dealing was over
zoning issues, traffic and parking.
The neighbors would complain
and they’d call us to get involved.
Going Green & Natural
. . .
pgs. 16-19, 28
Para Dressage hopeful looks for help to adopt 4
Budget cuts impact help available for abuse 6
Cheshire & Brandywine start PA point to point 8
Motion, Team Valor separate but stay at Fair 10
PA eventers finish in top three at The 22
From Penn Vet: Wobbling & the neurologic 23
....and much more!
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