West Wind Acres farmer denies plea, argues over care of horses

Joshua Rockwood (Glenville PD)

GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The man accused of not properly caring for horses denied a plea deal in the case again him.

Joshua Rockwood is facing 17 counts of not providing proper food, water and shelter for the horses at his West Wind Acres farm. Three of his animals are in the care of Peaceful Acres, and the cost of their care was brought up in court on Monday.

Rockwood continues to maintain his innocence in the case as he denied a plea deal.

“At this time, he’s not ready to entertain plea negotiations,” Rockwood’s attorney Andrew Safranko said. “These animals were not in any harm. They were fed. They were provided proper sustenance and had proper living arrangements.”

Two horses and a pony were removed from West Wind Acres in March. Rockwood is also arguing that action in court.

“We don’t believe there was enough proof to establish that the horses should have been seized to begin with,” Safranko said.

Peaceful Acres owner Nanci Beyerl cares for the three horses at her sanctuary. Under the law, she is able to ask for Rockwood to pay for their care.

“We’re an impound organization that holds the evidence while the court case is going forward, and we have to, though, within those parameters, we have to provide proper care,” she said.

Beyerl said it costs around $100 a day to care for the horses. But a witness in the hearing and Rockwood’s attorney disagree with the amount. Beyerl said her non-profit has had negative attention because of the court case.

She said her sanctuary has also had some unexpected visits from those who support Rockwood.

“We’ve had people taking photos here; we’ve had people outside our farm,” she said. ‘The backlash against us – we lost 500 likes on our Facebook page. We lost donors.”

Beyerl wanted to set the record straight.

“Peaceful Acres had nothing to do with seizing these animals,” she said. “We had nothing to do with bringing charges against West Wind Acres.”

The judge is set to make a written decision on the cost issue to care for the horses next week.

A date for the criminal case was scheduled for June.

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