Horse owners in legal dispute with Bacliff stable director

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Nov 2, 2010

GALVESTON – Kelly DiCampli and Elizabeth Lyon allege that Bayview Equestrian Center and its owner seized their horses and personal property in an attempt to get the women to pay unprepared charges.

In a lawsuit filed Oct. 26 in Galveston County District Court, plaintiffs DiCampli and Lyon assert Kathy O'Connor, owner of the Bacliff stable and training facility, unlawfully and without authorization assumed control of their horses and other possessions on site "in the misguided attempt to anticipate some breach of an agreement for invoices that have not yet become due."

DiCampli owns two horses and Lyon owns four, and the women also keep riding and show equipment at the facility, the suit says.

The plaintiffs claim they had an oral agreement with defendant O'Connor that the center would provide proper care for the horses in exchange for monthly payments.

In addition, either party could terminate the relationship upon a 30-day notice to the other, the original complaint states.

DiCampli and Lyon insist there was no oral or written agreement between them and the defendants that would allow the stables to seize and hold the horses for any purpose.

They allege they had disagreements with O'Connor and the center over training methods as well as which trainer was riding the horses in preparation for shows.

DiCampli claims the defendants subsequently tried to force her to move out at the same time as that of an important business trip, while Lyon says that O'Connor overlooked the fact she made advanced payments.

It was earlier this month when the defendant usurped ownership of the horses, thus violating the oral agreement, the plaintiffs point out.

They maintain that O'Connor would not release the animals until full final payments were made.

 Consequently, the suit requests the return of the horses and personal property to DiCampli and Lyon, unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Pam Rea of Houston is representing the plaintiffs, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case. 

Case No. 10-cv-4027

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