Central Saanich trainer convicted of using a horse as a weapon

A Central Saanich horse trainer has been convicted of using his Arabian stallion as a weapon to assault a woman and her 14-year-old daughter.

Terry Cardin, owner of Valle Vista Stables, was also convicted Wednesday of criminally harassing Shauna Morros and her daughter and threatening to harm them.

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Cardin was convicted of mischief under $5,000 for leaving three deep scratches on Morros’s car. The incidents happened in May and June 2013.

Victoria provincial court Judge L. Wayne Smith found Cardin deliberately and aggressively directed his horse backwards toward Morros and her daughter.

“The horse was being used as a weapon,” said Smith, who ordered a report with a psychiatric component to assist him at sentencing.

Cardin’s defence lawyer, Jeremy Mills, said he will explore the possibility of an appeal.

The judge said he found the evidence of Morros and her daughter to be credible, reliable, trustworthy and compelling.

He did not accept the evidence of a defence witness who worked for Cardin and “was adversely affected by his close relationship.”

The court heard that two confrontations between Cardin and Morros arose out of a long-standing conflict between Cardin and Morros’s friend Marianne Neill, who co-leased a 10-acre property with Cardin.

Morros testified that she went to the farm on the morning of May 22, 2013, to groom Neill’s horse.

About 11 a.m., Cardin appeared and told her she was not allowed to ride there.

Morros told him she was grooming the horse and wouldn’t be there much longer.

Cardin told her she couldn’t park her car where Neill had told her to.

She replied that’s where she had been told to park.

Cardin became angrier. His face was flushed, his voice louder, Morros testified.

Then he said: “You get off my property you little c--- or I’m going to come over there and drag you off my property.”

Morros testified she was afraid as Cardin came closer.

A little later, Morros saw Cardin walking around the side of her car with his arm out.

When she checked the car, she found three deep scratches that cost about $1,200 to repair.

On June 10, 2013, Morros took her daughter to go for a trail ride on Neill’s horse.

Her daughter, with her dog on a leash, walked around some buildings out of sight of her mother. As Morros cut through the paddock area to catch up with her, she heard a man’s voice say: “I’m going to get him to kick you,” Morros testified.

She ran toward her daughter. The girl was backed against a wall with the dog beside her. She looked scared, Morros testified.

Cardin was 10 to 15 feet away from her, pulling the horse by a lead rope.

The rear of the horse was facing her daughter.

Cardin was waving at the horse, trying to get the horse to back up toward the girl, she recalled. He was hitting the horse in the chest, neck and head area and pulling on the lead rope to make it back up.

The horse appeared to be confused. It moved backwards a couple of steps, then forwards, then backwards.

Her daughter did not have an escape route, testified Morros. She believed the horse was within kicking distance of the girl.

Morros took the dog from her daughter and yelled at Cardin. Then the horse back toward Morros. Cardin was still pulling on the lead rope. At one point, the horse was six to eight feet away from her, Morros testified.

Cardin said a number of times: “You called the cops on me. Now I will give you a reason to call the cops.”

Cardin’s next court appearance has been scheduled for April 16.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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