Monty Roberts Sued By Owners of a Mustang

The Horses Trail of Tears: Lawsuits Against Monty Roberts for Fraud, Horse Abuse and Much More

“Mustang Cody” Lawsuit:  Six months at Monty’s Flag is Up Farms Results in the Horse Nearly Killing its Owner

by John Dolan

Horse Trainer Monty Roberts will have his day in court to explain why a horse in his care for nearly six months comes home and nearly kills its owner in less time than it takes for flies to land on the manure heap.

The self-proclaimed “Man Who Listens to Horses” wasn’t listening too closely when the owners of a mustang said their horse desperately needed behavioral training for its skittish nature. Roberts’ farm manager Crawford Hall took the horse under his wing and instead of properly training him, he arranged to have the horse taken for walks around the pristine property of Flag is Up Farms in Solvang, CA. Then, Hall sent the horse home, duping the owners into believing they now had a safe horse. Hall called the mustang “bullet proof”, “tame enough for a kid to ride.” Soon after, the horse trampled one of its owners, sending her to the hospital with massive injuries to her legs.  As the injuries primarily entailed soft-tissue damage, there was nothing they could do.  They sent her home with a ton of Vicodin and she spent five weeks in bed in agony.  Her doctor and, later, a plastic surgeon confirmed that her crushed calf muscle cannot be healed; nor can the nerve damage, nor can either of her battered knees, or the scars.  She’s lucky the horse didn’t kick her in the head.  She’d be dead.

In discussions that followed, Monty Roberts’ people admitted that the horse wasn’t trained and the reason for it is that “mustangs can’t be trained”. Yes, you read that right!  For those not familiar with Monty Roberts, the man who only thinks he listens to horses, this is the man who claims that he has based his training philosophy on the observations of wild mustangs and who even allegedly “captured” one for a BBC documentary depicting that philosophy. Now to have your farm manager and your own attorney-son, Marty Roberts, admit that mustangs can’t be trained, one can only wonder about the massive fraud being perpetrated not only on the victims in this case but on the entire world. The lawsuit against Monty Roberts and his clan did not come lightly, say the horse owners, but only after Monty Roberts defrauded them, repeatedly lied about it, then denied all responsibility toward the injured woman.  Monty Roberts and his son Marty told the couple that they would pay for the injured woman’s medical expenses.  The couple provided hospital receipts to them after which, Monty Roberts ran to the Santa Barbara’s District Attorney and complained that he was being extorted by them.  The D.A. didn’t bother to pursue that angle, believing instead that Mr. Roberts was lying.

Updated info:  During the trial, which I attended as a spectator, Monty Roberts himself claimed that “mustangs can’t be trained”.  He denied he knew anything about the mustang, saying he was out of town most of the time, even though the couple had been told that Monty himself would be training the horse in addition to his farm manager, and even though Monty’s son said he passes ALL business by his father.


Monty owns the Judge! — by John Dolan

Two victims of fraud and breach of contract by Monty Roberts were forced to drop their lawsuit against him the same day testimony began after the judge openly and deliberately prejudiced the jury against the plaintiffs and then refused to declare a mistrial. This travesty of justice occurred on March 29, 2000 in Santa Maria, California, Monty Roberts’ home district.

The couple said the judge earlier showed clear preferences for the horse trainer and against them even going so far as to order them to negotiate settlement points that had absolutely nothing to do with their case. Also cited were remarks by the judge that he would be “irritable” if he had to hear their case. The assigned judge also was predisposed against horse injury cases no matter what the circumstances. An injury was merely what precipitated the lawsuit after Monty Roberts and his personnel had admitted that they had duped the victims into believing that their mustang horse had been trained when all along it had not been.

During an initial court ordered settlement conference the victims’ attorney told them that neither plaintiff nor defendant was allowed to address the judge, that only the attorneys had that privilege. But at its conclusion the victims discovered that Monty Roberts had personally spoken with the judge at length while they were forced to wait in a conference room in another building.

When the judge refused to declare a mistrial, Monty Roberts and his son Marty, who is also charged in the case, smirked at the plaintiffs as if to send a clear signal that they knew all along the plaintiffs had no hope of ever receiving a fair trial in Monty Roberts’ territory.

The judge was enormously pleased that the case was promptly dropped. It should be noted that re-election is coming up in that district. Perhaps the judge felt the need to keep his constituents happy. The plaintiffs, after all, are out-of-towners.

Note: Isn’t there an enormous conflict of interest in having the judge who created the prejudice be the same person who might then issue the ruling on the mistrial? Why would the judge want to impeach himself for wrongdoing? Answer: He wouldn’t!