01/19/2012 3:06PM

Hearing set in Pennsylvania horse slaughter case

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A 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman who is alleged to have defrauded two horsemen by selling horses for slaughter is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 6, according to news reports.

The woman, Kelsey Lefever, has been charged with one count of deceptive business practices and four counts of theft by deception. Three of the counts are felonies.

According to the internet site the Paulick Report, which has covered the case extensively, Lefever was charged in November after separate claims by a trainer and an owner that she had sold horses for slaughter after telling the former owners that she would re-train the horses and search for homes for their adoption.

The Paulick Report stories have quoted several trainers as saying that Lefever was commonly seen on the backside of Penn National Race Course.

The sale of ex-racehorses for slaughter has become an increasingly sensitive topic in Thoroughbred racing, and many tracks have adopted policies over the past several years that seek to discourage the practice.