Horse farm owner charged with animal cruelty

There were about 20 horses at the farm in Goochland
The owner of a horse retirement farm in Goochland faces animal cruelty charges tonight.
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 7:57 PM EST
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GOOCHLAND, Va. (WWBT) - Byrd Rareshide, the owner of a The Byrd’s Nest horse retirement farm in Goochland, faces animal cruelty charges.

The charges came after images began circulating of horses in dire shape.

There were about 20 horses at the farm under Rareshide’s care. Most of them have been removed by their owners. The few that remain are being cared for by Rareshide, who was released on a summons for 10 animal cruelty charges.

Complaints about The Byrd’s Nest retirement farm started pouring in a few weeks ago along with images of once healthy horses looking emaciated.

Grace Maxwell was so disturbed, she quickly adopted one of the horses.

”The pastures were really bare and I just saw a lot of horses that were very thin and just very sad,” Maxwell said.

Amanda Myers said she left her horse Scarlett in Rareshide’s care for about three months and was shocked at how rapidly her horse had deteriorated.

“I was surprised that she trailered home so well because she was very, very weak. She was dragging her hind legs and it looked like it was painful to walk, so I asked my vet what that was. Why is she moving that way? She had never moved that way. She looked arthritic. Sore. ... he said no it’s just weakness,” Myers stated.

The owners of these horses live all over the country, so many were not aware of the problems at the farm. They were also surprised since Rareshide was highly acclaimed in the horse community.

“So when a barn gives a great recommendation like that I’m of course willing to listen, and that’s why I sent her there because word of mouth is critical in this industry,” Myers explained.

There’s an online fundraiser to help the horse owners pay for their care if you’re interested in donating.