Breaking News – Former Horse Owner Pleads Guilty to Dragging Horse in Municipality of Port Hope

In Editor Choice, Local, Police Blotter

A former horse owner plead guilty in Cobourg court to mistreating her horse that drew national attention from the video that surfaced around the time of the incident in October 2022.

But Solstice Pecile, age 24 wasn’t in the court room or didn’t even join in by way of video to hear what happened.

Pecile now resides in Alberta and didn’t attend court for her sentencing.

She was represented in Provincial court by her paralegal.

Pecile was charged under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act with “cause animal to be in distress” after the video of the horse formerly known as Quinn, but now known as Ezra after her original owner Emily Reardon from Markham saw the horrific video on social media.

The video showed the horse being dragged behind a picked up truck along a road, then cuts to the next scene of the horses hooves bleeding with blood on the cement. A voice can be heard making derogatory remarks to the horse.

Video of the incident which happened in the Municipality of Port Hope went viral and Pecile was charged on October 6, 2022.

The agreed statement of facts were read into court stating the Pecile was doing a training experience in which the horse followed along behind a vehicle for approximately 15-minutes, “and showed distress when they decided to leave the property.”

The horse had injured hooves which was video documented by Pecile.

Through deliberations with the prosecutor both parties agreed with a joint submission read by Ontario Court of Justice Jack LeBlanc.

Unfortunately Pecile wasn’t in court to hear LeBlanc’s words. Court heard Pecile, was “forced to flee Ontario“ because of death threats according to her paralegal and has lost her employment.

LeBlanc stated, “There will be individuals who express their concern about the joint submission on penalty being proposed here today for Ms. Pecile.”

But added, “it is important to understand the penalty arrived at by learned counsel is governed by case law which this Court is duty bound to follow. A failure to do so would be considered an ‘error in law.”

LeBlanc stated, “it is an aggravating factor that even though Ms. Pecile is youthful, she, as a trainer, should have known better.”

Pecile was handed a $2,500 fine, a five-year prohibition from owning or have care of a horse in Ontario, and a two-year (non-reporting) period of probation.

Outside of court the original owner of Ezra, Emily Reardon (wearing a grey sweatshirt that said, “Horse Welfare Advocate”) and her family came down to watch the court proceedings. Reardon sold the horse to Pecile, then bought her back immediately after the incident took place.

Ezra has been recovering since.

Reardon said she was glad that Pecile received some punishment, “however the outcomes are only applicable in Ontario.”

“As the Judge mentioned, she is currently residing in Alberta so she is free to do whatever she wants, wherever she wants outside of Ontario.”

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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