By: Gina Potthoff
Two animals were killed and five others injured in March incident near Santa Barbara
The owner of seven champion horses killed or seriously injured when their transport trailer nearly overturned in March near Santa Barbara has filed a lawsuit against the hauling company and its driver, who was operating a trailer without proper licensing.
Sixth-generation horse trainer and breeder Shan de Wey of Termo, Calif., alleges in the civil claim that Mathew Gillispie of Triple-AC-Ranch in Arizona broke a contract when he picked up an eighth horse — after an agreed-upon exclusive trip — and then recklessly failed to maneuver a hairpin turn on Old San Marco Pass Road during the detour to drop it off in Santa Barbara.
Two of Wey’s horses were killed and five others were critically or seriously injured during the incident in the 2000 block of North San Marcos Road on March 28.
An eighth horse picked up in Madera on the route from Termo to Laveen, Ariz., suffered only minor injuries and was walked to its delivery point at Amapola Stables.
The suit, filed June 4, also alleges gross negligence and fraud, since Gillispie was operating the trailer without proper licenses.
The California Highway Patrol, which investigated the incident, confirmed this week that Gillispie was given a traffic citation for not having the proper California commercial license.