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False assurance cost Beau Jacques his life - police

January 22, 2012

» Beau Jacques case not only sad, but worrying Blog

It was hoped Beau Jacques would enjoy a long retirement from racing. Police allege the false promises of Kelsey Lefever cost him his life.

Kevin Patterson hoped his retired racehorse, Beau Jacques, would enjoy a long retirement, perhaps shine in a new career.

The five-year-old thoroughbred gelding could no longer race because of injury and Patterson was determined his horse would not go for slaughter.

Beau Jacques last raced on March 29 last year in West Virginia and suffered a tendon injury.

He was retired from racing. According to court documents, Patterson spent about $US1000 on veterinary care so he could go on to have a career in a different discipline.

The woman that offered Beau Jacques a future was 24-year-old Kelsey Elva Lefever.

Lefever was offering rehoming and rehabilitation for horses and Patterson met her at Penn National Racecourse, in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, last May.

She had been recommended by another trainer at Penn National Racecourse as a legitimate rescue, rehabilitation and retirement option for Beau Jacques.

He gave her Beau Jacques, along with $US200 and 10 bags of horse feed, to get him on his way in his new life.

The following week, he learned Beau Jacques had been seen by volunteers with an animal advocacy group on a horse trailer registered to a kill buyer at the New Holland horse sales in Lancaster County.

Patterson had given Lefever Beau Jacques on the understanding she would find him a new home and he was not to be sold for meat under any circumstances, according to a probable-cause affidavit signed by Trooper Colleen Shelly, of the Pennsylvania State Police Department.

"Patterson told Lefever that if she ever needed more money to help care for Beau Jacques while she sought a new home for him, he would be willing to give her whatever she needed and that he thought what she was doing for the horses was terrific," Shelly said.

Lefever assured Patterson she would never sell him for slaughter. Patterson replied that if things did not work out for his horse, he definitely wanted him back.

Patterson told Shelly his suspicions rose a little when Lefever asked if Beau Jacques had been medicated recently. Patterson confirmed the horse had received penicillin, naproxen and phenylbutazone.

Lefever gave him pens and a mug bearing the words, "Make your slow racehorse count!"

Shelly's affidavit described the chain of events that confirmed, in a little more than a week, that Beau Jacques was on the trailer of a known kill buyer.

Lefever, from Honeybrook, in Chester County, now stands accused of five counts - one of deceptive business practices and four counts of theft by deception over the sale of four horses, including Beau Jacques, that saw them transported to a Canadian abattoir.

Three of the counts are felonies.

A preliminary hearing is set for February 6.

The affadvait said when it became known that two of the horses on the kill buyer's trailer had been identified, Lefever allegedly told a friend: "I killed every one of those f---ing horses, over 120 of them, if only they knew. I only have five left and the ones you have. Every one of them is dead.

"I don't even know their names and there wasn't a goddamn thing they could do about it because they gave me those horses."



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