Eagle Butte horse rescue ranch sells; ex-owner is sued for rent
A Pennsylvania man who bought, and recently sold, a wild horse sanctuary near Eagle Butte is now suing over overdue rent, according to the Rapid City Journal.
John Christopher Fine filed a lawsuit Aug. 29, 2018, against Karen Sussman, who serves as the president of the nonprofit International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, as well as the organization itself.
Last year, the society gave all but 20 of its 810 horses to a Colorado organization, Fleet of Angels, that was committed to finding adoptive homes for the horses, many of which appeared to be starving on the western South Dakota ranch.
In an effort to help the ranch survive, Fine had bought it from Sussman for $300,000 in 2013, leasing it back to her.
The lawsuit sought to remove Sussman from the ranch, to recover an insurance check worth around $13,000 from storm damage, and to obtain $134,468.12 in overdue rent.
The ranch then sold to a Dupree couple for around $595,000. Sussman left the ranch after the suit was filed.
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As a routine management matter, the Teddy Roosevelt National Park plans to remove a few horses from its herd.