If you’re a horse lover and a true crime show devotee, then Farm Crime is the series for you. Entering its second season and now streaming free on CBC Gem, the true-crime documentary genre once again takes a truly Canadian turn with a deep dive into the world of farming and agriculture. And the award-winning series’ latest run offers up two equine storylines.
Episode 3 follows the story of Rachael Bakker, whose sudden illness left her unable to care for her two horses. A friend in the equine community introduced her to a woman who agreed to lease the animals. But when Rachael sought to get her horses back a year later, they were nowhere to be found. Instead, she discovered a chain of horse theft, illegal sales, and broken promises that stretched from Southern Ontario to Nova Scotia. This episode was directed by Alexandra Lazarowich who is a Cree director and producer from Edmonton, Alberta, who previously directed another equine short documentary called Fast Horse in 2018.
The Farm Crime season 2 finale is set in the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, where Sykes Powderface raises Paint horses in the Rocky Mountains foothills. When three of his horses go missing, he and his daughter Corleigh reach out to their community on social media and eventually involve an RCMP livestock investigator. The search for the missing horses reveals a long trail and ends with a moral dilemma for the family who end up in possession of the stolen animals. It was directed by filmmaker Conor McNally, who is based in Amiskwaciy (Edmonton, Treaty 6) and a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Farm Crime launched in August 2018 and was the most-streamed CBC Gem original unscripted series over its first seven days. Since then, Warner Bros Unscripted Television has also optioned the Farm Crime format to develop a US version of the show.