February 27, 2014
Alberta SPCA investigation leads to conviction of horse trainer for animal abuse
A horse trainer from the Grande Prairie area pleaded guilty on February 25, 2014, to four counts of causing an animal distress.
The Alberta SPCA had laid the charges against Kyle Ronald Weston in April 2013 after a three-week investigation. Weston is the owner of a business called Weston Reiners, and the Alberta SPCA first received a call about his training practices in late March 2013.
The concerned individual who made the complaint reported having seen Weston injure a horse through the aggressive use of spurs and reins while attempting to train it for competitive reining. The caller had photographed the injuries to the horse, which included numerous deep cuts to the sides of the animal. These injuries resulted in significant bleeding. The horse was also found to be bleeding from the mouth.
It wasn’t the first time the caller had seen Weston injuring a horse, and this witness also provided the Alberta SPCA with testimony and video footage of Weston treating a different horse in the same fashion—with the same bloody results—in early February 2013.
During the course of the Alberta SPCA’s investigation, a number of individuals came forward with information. Several of them were previous clients of Weston. All the witnesses described incidents where they saw Weston injure and otherwise cause distress to horses. They reported that he used spurs intended to cut into the flesh. Other unacceptable training methods Weston used included tying a horse’s head back and withholding feed and water.
Two of the additional witnesses supported the first caller’s report of the late-March incident. The Alberta SPCA investigation also uncovered two additional dates when witnesses saw Weston inflicting similar injuries on horses.
Weston was not present in the Grande Prairie court and his lawyer entered the plea on his behalf. Weston was fined a total of $4,000 ($1,000 for each count).
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For further information, please contact
Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
10806 - 124 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5M 0H3
Tel: 780-447-3600 ext. 3742