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RMR's Horsepeople's Forum

Heydon Horse Abuse Trial


If you have a comment about the Heydon Horse Abuse Case, 
please express it here!

Link to Articles


Comments Are Now Closed. Thank you for your comments!


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 1:59 PM

Other State

I knew the Heydons very well many years ago and cannot belive this! They were kind and gentle as far as I could tell. Although I have never owned horses I am an animal lover and would have never believed that this would happen.


Fri, May 21, 2010 4:26 PM


We need more law enforcement on the abuse of horse.
Downy, Idaho has one offender that is horriffic. Spends time in jail, still does not abide by the rules and laws the court has exerted on her. 40 Head eating dirt and having babies, she wasn't supposed to have any more, but this spring I have counted six. Why can't the law do any more?? Or better yet why don't they enforce what they have.??? This is very disgusting.

Sun, Apr 4, 2010 1:06 PM


The Heydon's should be treated like they treated these poor horses, better yet they should be HUNG!!!


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 1:50 PM

Ontario , Canada

These guys totally disgust me and I think they should be treated in the same manner......take them out for months, load them down with supplies, do not feed or water them.......let's see how they make out?
Course if they don't do well.....could they be sure someone would happen upon them to save them?


Mon, Mar 8, 2010 5:51 PM


Thank goodness justice did prevail. The people of Ravalli county that were involved in helping the abused horses, and those who helped the prosecution win, should be commended.


Sun, Mar 7, 2010 6:43 PM


The sentence was NOT only 20 days. It was 20 days per count. That means that both of the Heydons will each be sitting in jail for 180 days!
 — RMR Editor


Sat, Mar 6, 2010 8:39 AM


Good News!!!! They almost got what they deserved. However, as I read it, each got only 20 days jail time -- 180 days sentenced and 160 days suspended only leaves 20 days to serve. Hopefully, the 20 days was consecutive. I wonder why they showed up for trial at all. They could have stayed in Georgia and never returned to Montana and gotten a "get out of jail free" card. In any event, justice has been served and the dirt bags are going to pay!


Fri, Mar 5, 2010 7:34 PM


My warmest regards to the two young women who initially found the first horse on the trail!! It looks as though they saw this whole mess through to the end. It's so good to know that there are people like them out there!! With regard to the Heydon's, I'll have to refrain from commenting other then saying that they, in my opinion, did NOT get what the deserve!


Fri, Mar 5, 2010 4:05 PM


I am very pleased that these two were convicted, and hope that this will send a message that cruelty such as this will not be tolerated. As a lifelong horse person, I am sickened to think that any person could be capable of this kind of wanton cruelty to a fellow being. I would like to see animal cruelty made a felony; the punishment was not nearly severe enough. Congratulations to the people of Montana for standing up for these innocent horses! Sarah Gilmer Payne


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 2:08 PM


Thank God ,justice done not just a slap on the wrist that is normally given out for neglect and cruelty to animals . I believe all abuse offenses should be felonies.
Peggy F.


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 1:25 PM


When I first saw the photograph of "Able' I thought he was already dead. Since moving to the Bitterroot Valley last summer I have been anticipating this trial. Hats off to the judge, harsh sentencing was in deed in order! This was negligence and serious animal abuse. Christie


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 1:23 PM


To all who stepped up to the plate & went to bat for the abused horses in the Heydon case, my heart is filled with gratitude. I wish there were some way to keep track of these buggers after they get out of prison! Carolyn Underwood


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 11:50 AM


While it bothers me that criminals get 2 jury trials in Montana (retired prosecutor of over 28 yrs total here in GA) it does my heart good that 2 different juries convicted the creeps of the crimes. I recommend that horsepeople in Montana get your legislature to make cruelty to animals a felony so that criminals get longer sentences. I think 10 yrs on the chain gang busting rocks would be more appropriate.
Glad the Heydons came from the midwest and were not our local Georgia animal abusers, of which we have plenty.
partly cloudy the WB


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 10:42 PM


Thank you to all who worked for justice in this case where horses were obviously starved and overworked while in need of nourishment, medical treatment and hoof care. I thank God for each and every one who testified honestly, from trail riders, outfitters and backpackers, to horse rescuers, deputies, judges and prosecuting attorney, to veterinarians and farriers - each of you a truthful expert willing to share your knowledgeable experience regarding what you saw and heard. I am amazed how so many Montanans with such variety of mountain and equine experience can be united with simple truth to help our equine partners in their greatest time of need, and to see justice completed in our great Bitterroot valley. Well done, good and faithful servants! I hope you can know what it is like to experience the mountains with a willing and well cared for horse as your partner! Justice has been served! Mary


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 8:35 PM


180 days is not sufficient for two thoughtless creatures who call themselves humans. Shame on them. They fed themselves and used these horses as slaves without much to survive on. Let them serve 500 hours at the abused animal shelter!!!!!! Maybe their eyes will be opened. And, they should never own animals, large or small, ever again.


Mon, Mar 1, 2010 8:58 PM


I am pleased that these vile and pathetic excuses for human beings have been found guilty.


Mon, Mar 1, 2010 4:46 PM


Good work jurors. Those guys live in GA but are from the midwest. We have enough bad people down here and don't need anymore from elsewhere!

Glad the horses lived. Do you have an update on who adopted them and where they are now?

I hope these guys go to jail for more than a few days. The ignorance defense is ridiculous, even those 2 idiots knew those horses were starved.

Meanwhile, the 2 Heydons ate well, as usual with animal abusers.

They Heydons should be turned loose in Montana wilderness about now with no weapons or fire and then we'll see how they like starving to death, heck they'd probably eat each other.


Sat, Feb 27, 2010 10:05 AM


I just wanted to thank you for your coverage of this case and how you did not let it die. The Heydons have shown their character through their own comments throughout the process - they are sociopaths, and they belong behind bars. Have they actually been in jail, or out pending this appeal?


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 8:00 PM


The HORSES have WON AGAIN!!!! this is really good news. thanks to all that had to be witness and for the good job of the Deputy, the Vets, to Dawn and Q, and to Mr Bell. my hat is off to the Jury. thank you!!!


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 7:20 PM


So glad of the outcome. Thank you, RMR, for publishing the outcome of the trial so quickly (the same day!) and for sending out the email notice to your readers.


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 6:11 PM


Dawn and Qu experienced a trail rider's worst nightmare... they did all the right things and how their heart must have broken time and again while trying to help Able and the rest ... the fact that they have stuck by them and continued the good fight to prosecute those heathens...they deserve a medal - thanks to them and the others... and the P/A for diligently prosecuting them.. both times. We all, horse folks from far and wide... thank you all. /s/Nancy Palagruti, WA


Fri, Feb 26, 2010 5:07 PM


This is good news. Perhaps it will stop others from the same foolish, heartless care of our beautiful horses.
B Watson



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Click here for a link to archived articles about the Heydon Abuse Case published in Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine.



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