Charges dropped against Ore. high-end horse owner

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Animal neglect charges have been dismissed against owners of 120 high-end Portuguese Lusitano and Andalusian horses rescued last year from a snowbound Oregon ranch.

Wallowa County District Attorney Mona Williams tells The Oregonian (http://is.gd/t8qWX0 ) that the northeastern Oregon county spent $30,000 saving the Carpe Diem Farm herd near Troy in February 2011 and caring for the horses until June.

The owner, 78-year-old Byrde Lynn Hill of Bellevue, Wash., and her former husband, Frank Baxter, initially faced 100 counts of misdemeanor animal neglect.

Baxter denied ownership of all but a few of the horses. Williams says charges against Hill were dropped after she was declared mentally incompetent and a Washington state court appointed a guardian to care for her.

Williams says Wallowa County recovered all but $12,000 spent on the case.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com