Abused horse doing ‘great,’ drunk rider faces two misdemeanors

Since the Dispatch first reported in the sheriff’s blotter about a Gilroy man who abused his horse while riding drunk down the middle of a busy street, a handful of readers have inquired as to the status of the horse’s health.

The equine – a handsome Paint estimated to be around 10- or 12-years-old – “is doing great,” reports Supervisor Brigid Wasson with the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter in San Martin.

Wasson said the horse is under veterinary care, has gained weight and had his feet tended to by a farrier.

“He’s doing really well,” Wasson assured. “How long he’ll be here, I don’t know.”

Wasson says she doesn’t know what the horse’s name is.

Whether the equine will be available for adoption depends on the results of the case against Valentin Jimenez, the 39-year-old Gilroy resident charged with two misdemeanors for animal cruelty and being drunk in public.

Jimenez was arrested at 3:54 p.m. April 29 near the intersection of Foothill and San Martin avenues in San Martin for riding the horse down the middle of a busy street and obstructing traffic.

According to the sheriff’s arrest log, Jimenez pulled the reins extremely hard several times, causing the horse’s mouth to bleed and causing a skin injury to its face. The horse was also missing a shoe, limped badly, was extremely sweaty and breathed heavily.

Officers reported that Jimenez smelled strongly of alcohol and appeared to be under the influence.

Jimenez has a court hearing June 28 in Dept. 90 inside the South County Morgan Hill Courthouse, according to Sgt. Jose Cardoza with the Sheriff’s Office. If convicted, Jimenez – who lives on New Avenue in unincorporated Gilroy – would face a fine of up to $20,000.

Jimenez was released from custody after posting his $10,250 bail.

“All I can say is if the horse does not get reclaimed by his owner, he will be up for adoption,” confirmed Wasson.

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