FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — It was earlier this week when authorities seized the first of 10 allegedly malnourished horses from Lowell Friday’s N.V. Arabian Ranch in Anoka County.

At the time, Friday disputed the condition of the horses, telling reporters, “it’s a healthy Golden Palomino, a little low of weight because it’s an old horse, you know.”

Friday willingly released the two most distressed horses to the Animal Humane Society investigators who brought them to the University of Minnesota large animal hospital for care.

A Hennepin County District Court Judge later granted a search warrant, allowing an additional eight horses to be taken from Friday’s ranch.

Inside the stables at the U of M’s animal hospital, veterinarians showed the compelling evidence of malnourishment. The horses in question are grossly underweight and infested with lice and intestinal parasites.

“When the horses came in, the initial exam revealed that they were severely malnourished,” said Dr. Anna Firshman, assistant clinical professor.

Firshman adds the horses are anywhere from 200 to 300 pounds underweight. Normally, horses of their ages would weigh between 900 and 1,200 pounds.

The severe weight loss is from a combination of poor or insufficient diet, as well as intestinal worms. The infestation is preventing whatever nutrition they consume from transferring into body fats and muscle.

Inside the stalls, pathology tests which have confirmed the presence of worms prompts staff to give medicine that will kill the worms.

At first sight of the protruding ribs, it’s one’s natural inclination to want to give the horses plenty to eat. But veterinary staff say that would most certainly prove fatal. At first, the horses will need to consume tiny portions of food to allow their digestive tracts to slowly heal.

“It’s a slow process, basically talking months at least,”
Firshman said.

Once the worms are gone, the hay and grain will gradually help the horses thrive and regain their weight. If ranch owner Friday doesn’t challenge the court ordered seizure of the final seven horses, they’ll become state property in 10 days.

“Based on the adoptability, their health and other variables, we’ll make the decision on what the future holds for these animals,” said Keith Streff, the Animal Humane Society’s senior investigator.

Streff believes authorities intervened just in time, before the horses’ health declined any further. Streff said it will be up to the city attorney to decide if the alleged neglect supports misdemeanor charges against Friday.

Comments (11)
  1. Ellen says:

    This is really a sad situation. The guy probably was fond of these horses, but couldn’t afford the care and feeding they needed. Often a horse can be bought
    cheaply, but the cost of keeping horses add up. They need good hay and grain,
    regular de-worming, yearly vaccinations, and hoof care.

    Horses seem to be the animals that are the most neglected because of these costs. Other livestock is raised to be sold for slaughter & therefore are fed well in order to be profitable. Horses are usually kept long term for pleasure, and in
    hard times the costs become overwhelming….especially for multiple horses.

    Last year we had to put my old mare down because of old age. She was almost
    27 and I raised her from birth. Right to the end she was healthy and in good
    condition, but her legs went bad. The horses in the article were not emaciated
    from old age but rather from neglect.

  2. Julie says:

    I highly doubt he was fond of these horses. He has been doing this for 15 years and if he can afford a lawyer, he can afford hay and dewormer. And he also owns 45 acres so a cheap electric fence could have gotten the horses some free food. Our society has every excuse in the world for irresponsible abusive people. It is ridiculous and I would put my horses down before they starved to death. That is just cruel. We also own an older horse that has very little teeth and he is in perfect health because we feed him mash and take care of him. There is no excuse.

  3. Pam says:

    I am truly amazed at how society and authorities can overlook, make excuses and give the man more time to starve his horses before they are taken off of the property. It is alot like domestic violence and child abuse. “Sorry, I cannot remove the abuser until the woman and/or child is dead.” How much proof is needed beyond the eye. This guy needs to be put away and treated just as he treated his horses. Solitary confinement w//out food!!! Then we will call it budget cuts!!!

  4. Equine Abby says:

    If this man cannot afford to feed his horses, why does he have 10? If you can’t feed your horses and are unable to sell them, give them to a good home. There is no excuse to starve a horse.

  5. Renae says:

    This not an economic issue. This man has been allowed to abuse these poor creatues for many many years. He doesnt have 10 he has over 60. The 10 rescued were simply in the worst condition. The Humane Society MUST stop this guy from repeatedly doing this so that in another couple of years we arent seeing this same story again. Please remove all his animals and prohibit him from reoffending over and over! This is insanity!

  6. Malinda Clark says:

    Put Lowell Friday out of business

  7. Chase says:

    He needs to be hung by his toenails and set on fire

  8. chase says:

    I know he is flamable

  9. John Gardner says:

    This man has been doing this for much longer than 15 years. He has an old log cabin that he rents, the rent is paid by taking care of the horses. A friend and I rented from him in 1995 and the conditions were no better then. Hay was baled from the center median of Hwy 65, the oats he fed were a powder that looked like the dust at the bottom of a Cheerios box, mares that tested pregnant were so malnourished reabsorbed their foals. complaints were lodged with Anoka county and the Humane Society by us and previous “renters” and NOTHING was done. Please, whatever it takes, DO NOT LET THIS CONTINUE.

  10. Jackie Du Charme says:

    Yes, Friday has been doing this for a long time. We remember when he would take the grass cut in the median of 65 ,that someone else cut, and probably wasn’t even dry. Is that why his barn burnt down? , I have been to his place.
    He has quite a few horses. And stallions. He just lets anything breed out there at his place.
    He must be taken out of business due to his irresponsibility and BS.

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