By Lynn Gordon - email
PALM CITY, FL (WFLX) - An American Quarter Horse, named Dane, died in February after he was exposed to shavings laced with black walnut, a type of wood that can be toxic to horses. One day after the questionable shavings were delivered, eight horses, including Dane, became violently ill. While the others were treated and survived, Dane eventually had to be euthanized.
Update, WED 11 AM: One stable owner in Wellington says he's surprised by Dane's death. "I've never seen it happen my entire life," said Steve Lengyel. "We've had cedar shavings, and the horses might blister, but never anything like black walnut or a horse dying from it."
Montana and her lawyer claim the bedding came from South Florida Shavings in Lake Worth, the area's largest supplier of bulk shavings.
The owner of South Florida Shavings denies the charges saying he has proof the shavings didn't come from his business.
Previously: A horse is forced to be euthanized after accidentally being poisoned in his own stall in Palm City.
The horse, along with more than half a dozen others, became sick, and many are blaming the shavings used for the horse bedding.
It started back in January at the Savannah Pines Equestrian Center after a shipment of shavings was delivered to bed the stalls. The next day, eight horses became violently ill. One even had to be put down, and now a family is devastated over their loss.
"I didn't want to lose him. He was my best friend," cried 13-year-old Montana Watts.
She's heartbroken after the loss of her precious horse, Dane, after he was exposed to shavings laced with black walnut, a potentially lethal type of wood. "He wasn't just a horse to me. My whole world fell apart when I had to put him down."
Montana remembers the day she got the American Quarter Horse just 22 months ago. He was a gift from her grandmother. "I could ride him bridle. I could ride him bareback."
But in January, Dane, who had been healthy in active training, and seven other horses boarded at Savannah Pines in Palm City suddenly became ill.
After nearly two months of constant treatment, Dane eventually had to be put down. "We'd come out here. He could hardly move, but his mind was good. His body just gave out."
The Watts and their attorney are blaming South Florida Shavings, who, they say, delivered the shavings the day before Dane and the other horses got sick. Shavings from Dane's stall were also sent to Texas A&M's veterinary lab. Tests revealed they contained "a significant amount of 'black walnut' which is toxic to horses".
"He was just an incredible horse. I'm not gonna be able to replace him," said Montana.
The Watts are asking the owner of the shavings company to pay $40,000 for Dane's medical bills and the cost of replacing him or else they're planning to sue.