Equine Rescue

Abusive Rancher Buys Back 60 to 70 Horses

Article by Jan Falstad of the Billings Gazette

Leachman Allowed 829 Horses to Starve then Bought Back a Bunch

Potential buyers look over 10 pens of horses formerly owned by James Leachman that were confiscated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for trespassing on Crow Tribal lands. Leachman on Wednesday presented a check at the BIA office in Crow Agency to buy back 60 to 70 of the horses ~ photo by Casey Riffe

Jim Leachman of Billings presented a check Wednesday at the Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Crow Agency to buy back 60 to 70 of the 829 horses he is accused of starving.

His son, Seth Leachman, bought the quarter horses during last weekend’s BIA auction at the Home Place Ranch 16 miles east of Billings.

“He (Jim Leachman) came in and paid with a cashier’s check for the amount that he owed,” BIA Crow Agency Superintendent Vianna Stewart said.

Stewart said she didn’t know the exact amount of the check because she was traveling Wednesday and all the agency employees who knew the total were attending a Thursday afternoon meeting about the pending federal government shutdown.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Lt. Kent O’Donnell said he heard the check was for $35,000.

The Leachman Cattle Co. lost the ranch to a neighboring family during a federal foreclosure sale last July.

In January, a local veterinarian declared that hundreds of Leachman horses left on the ranch were starving. The Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office has had charges filed against Leachman for 14 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and Northern International Livestock Exposition fed the horses donated hay through the winter.

Last month, the BIA confiscated 829 horses for trespassing on tribal lands and sold them in a two-day sale Saturday and Sunday.

Jim Leachman still has about 800 acres of Crow Tribal lands under lease on the Home Place Ranch, Stewart said. Theoretically, he could turn the horses loose on the ranch again.

“Seth bought them (the horses). Seth has no leases, so we couldn’t put any conditions on him,” Stewart said.

28 replies »

  1. He can’t pay his bills but he can buy back some of his horses and starve them all over again? WHY Would anyone let him own any animal after being accused of cruelty, can anyone there spell S T U P I D???


  2. He was paying money he owed and he was buying back his horses, also?? Did he owe the tribe?? 60 or 70 is so many horses for a failed breeder/criminal to have responsibility for again. What is with the courts??? He is bankrupt. If these horses get through summer someone needs to keep a sharp eye out on them when the seasons change. mar


    • And dammit he’s only paying $500 a horse. I bet they let him have first pick also. GRRRRR. He should be in jail. Why is his trial so far off. June I think.


  3. Sorry but I believe that most times the apple doesn’t fall to far from its tree. And guess what? The good people in New York saw the same thing when they revoked Ernie Paragallo and his family from having horse racing licenses for all the abuse they heaped on their horses.

    If this man couldn’t afford his horses in the first place–why is he having his son buy them back????? He got in over his head? How many of those horses are studs and how many mares. Where is he going to board them at? Will he geld the studs? If he’s back to breeding then he’s gonna get in over his head again.

    Why wasn’t there some kind of order given that said he couldn’t OWN ANY HORSES period until his case is heard. He presented the check. May be the son’s funds but who shows up to pay for the horses. Something’s more than shady here. Just saying.


    • It never ceases to amaze me how the almighty dollar can buy so much pain and misery. And what’s worse sicko’s like that continue to cause more pain and misery. Too bad we don’t live in the wild west days, someone could just shoot his ass.


  4. So, who’s worse? A man who deliberately starves his horses when he has $35,000 in his back pocket or an Indian Tribe who will allow them to suffer a fate worse by selling them to slaughter? So sorry horses. You ended up with some really poor human beings.


  5. PS Getting kind of tired of hearing about Native Americans only wanting horses so they can slaughter them.


  6. What an outrage! Things just get more and more outragous all the time! I can’t believe they could turn those poor abused horses back to that criminal. Oh, right… it’s all about money. Do the crime, pay the money to get the victims back so you can torture them some more. Again I say… It’s an OUTRAGE! Just like every step of the process in BLM’s Reign of Terror on the wild horses and burros.

    What continues to baffle me is that – if it’s all about the money, then why won’t they sell horses to Mrs. Pickens so they can live in freedom. Oh, right… It’s also about torturing the horses and burro’s as very much as possible, instead of letting them live in freedom and happiness.

    GRRRRRRR!!!!! There is so much evil going on nowdays it just melts a person’s brain and breaks the heart of anyone who has a heart.

    Please press forward, everyone. We have to keep up the work to make a difference for good in saving every wild horse and burro we can.


  7. Some years ago some saddle horses here in KY horses were starved, and after they were conficated and fed by the county an auction was held. The former owner was barred but his son wasn’t. The man was filmed talking to his son on a walkie-talkie telling him which horses to buy back. The crowd even booed the son but he got some.
    The owner did do time in jail.
    Now about 40 horses were reported on TV as running loose and starving in another county. The sheriff has not filed charges. He told me they were off the road now and being fed. The local HSUS person notified the state vet and an investigation is to be done. Cruelty laws here are the worst.


  8. It is a “Public Auction’ PEOPLE what part of that do you all NOT GET!!!! his trial does not come UNTIL JUNE! what he does in that time, is his right. i wish it were not so, but here in America you are innocent TIL provided quilty. at least that is what i was taught.


  9. Very interesting family story here; There appears to be a lot of “funds” in this family. They certainly can afford to feed these horses that they bought back. It should be pretty visible to see if they do….follow the money… AND maybe they can use some of their extra money to pay back the American Humane Association nonprofit that donated $20,000 to help the starving horses this family of wealthy, cruel people abandoned. There is an endless trail of cattle money that could have been used to help these horses. I hope the Judge looks at that!!!

    According to their website (how current not sure) http://www.leachman.com/htmlpages/history.htm#nogo : “Today, Lee Leachman operates Leachman Cattle of Colorado in Wellington, CO where he markets over 1000 bulls annually. Jim and Seth Leachman operate Leachman Cattle Barons and the Hairpin Cavvy in Billings, MT, where they sell 300 bulls and over 500 horses annually. The Montana Range meat company continues to market natural beef under new owners base in Billings, MT. Finally, the Leachman international programs are ongoing under the ownership of Onyc Ltd., where they design and merchandise composite beef cattle and sheep genetics throughout South America.”


  10. Clever fellows! Get rid of horses they don’t want (because of uncertain parentage) courtesy of other people’s kindness and generosity. Pick up horses they know are foundation bloodstock, and all’s right with their abusive world.

    His son may own the horses, but, if he had any interest in Leachman’s holdings at the time of the seizure, creditors should be able to place a lien on them. I bet he WAS part of the “empire” at some time, because his scumbag father is an old man. Smart conspirator that he is, he probably dropped out at the first sign of trouble.

    I’d like to know who signed the check.


  11. I agree that technically, he is innocent until proven guilty but if he has $35,000 to spend, why isn’t it being seized as reimbursement for the monies paid by others to care for his animals? Sheltering money from bankruptcy proceedings is illegal and if he isn’t/hasn’t filed bankruptcy, why is he not being held responsible for the cost to the county/state/nation of taking care of his obligations? The county should be seizing the animals he bought back as payment for debts. I wonder if the Humane Society could file a lein against them. They could probably sell them at a better price than would have been received in the mass auction and recoup some of their costs.


  12. Well, we’re one of the suckers in Billings who contributed $100 to the NILE fund for those horses. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have done it. I complained to the NILE once I heard that Yellowstone County was turning the horses over to the BIA. Right, I know FIRST HAND about the Crow Tribal Council. They couldn’t take 15 Pryor wild horses (aka “Crow War Ponies”) and release them into their own Garvin Basin land where they belonged, but the greedy gluts whipped up the 800 horses, where over half (I’m sure) have been hauled to Sidney, MT in overcrowded holding pens, from there to Canada to be slaughtered. Yeh, right, this was “successful” as the Billings Gazette quoted. Successful my you know what!! Jerks.


  13. So Jim Leachman walks in to pay for his horses that his son bought for him at the auction??!!? This further shows what a PR*#K Jim Leachman is. He walked in personally, just so he could “show everyone” how arrogant and powerful he is. A@@hat! He wanted everyone to know that he got 60-70 of them back. He thinks he is above the law.

    I hope the prosecutor in the county (counties) where he is charged finds out about this and it is admissible at his trial. Too bad in Montana his crimes are only misdemeanors. The charges should be felonies. In Texas they would be.

    Personally, I hope these horses are eventually confiscated and he loses the $35,000. He doesn’t need to own another horse….EVER. I would love to be on the jury at his trial….


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