Dual Peppy owner sentenced for abusing horses
for Tri-State Livestock News
Sherri Brunzell, the owner of Dual Peppy, part of a legendary cutting horse family, has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years probation for animal cruelty, according to news sources. Dual Peppy and several other horses, llamas and alpacas were under the care of Brunzell in Black Forest, Colorado, when a neighbor discovered Dual Peppy in poor condition in a barn surrounded by skeletons of 14 dead horses last September.
Dual Peppy and the other animals were removed from the premesis and have been under the care of Harmony Equine Center for nearly a year. The cutting horse, a full brother to cutting great Dual Pep, was intended to be part of the foundation of an elite cutting horse breeding program. Brunzell was in partnership with Jim Babcock, who has managed cutting horses for years. The partnership ended on bad terms, according to Babcock, and the Brunzells, who had money, but not experience in managing horses, took the horses to Colorado.
No one is quite sure what happened, but over the course of 15 years, the Brunzells’ dreams and more than $1 million worth of horses turned to skeletons that they couldn’t afford to dispose of.
As part of Brunzell’s probation, she is prohibited from owning or being in posession of livestock for the next five years. She will also be required to pay restitution and complete counseling. Her membership in the American Quarter Horse Association was revoked soon after the incident was reported, and she will be unable to own an AQHA-registered horse for the rest of her life.
The fate of Dual Peppy and the rest of the animals has not been announced yet. C.T. Babcock, son of Jim Babcock, brought a trailer from Texas to Colorado, hoping to being able to take the stallion home. The Facebook page called Justice for Dual Peppy, which was started by C.T. Babcock and Kellie Bliss, says the horses will be sold, but details haven’t been revealed.