Land Trust Purchase

BAR HARBOR, Maine — A land trust that held a conservation easement on a local stable is the new owner of the Crooked Road property, now that it has been sold at a foreclosure auction.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, which had lent the previous owner the money she needed to buy the 37-acre property, acquired it on Sept. 23 for $410,000.

Joanne Sullivan, former owner of Eochaidh (pronounced yawkee) Stables, defaulted on her mortgage on the property after she became involved in a custody battle with the state over her horses.

Citing concerns about the health of the animals, the state seized 18 horses from the farm in April 2007, about a month after a horse died of colic at the property. Sullivan successfully took the state to court to get back custody of the animals. A judge in Ellsworth District Court ruled last summer that the Maine Animal Welfare Program could keep five of the horses temporarily, but that the rest were healthy and should be returned to Sullivan immediately. The others were to be returned to Sullivan when they regained their health.

Horses not owned by Sullivan that were being boarded at the stables had been returned to their owners while another died in state custody. Eight of the horses were returned to Eochaidh Stables last October.

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