"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEWS and ARTICLE - Barney Davis Pleads Guilty and Faces a Hefty Sentence

After Paul Blackburn pleaded guilty to having sored horses, Barney Davis seems to be making the same choice. However, his crimes were more egregious and he faces a hefty sentence: up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Rate My Horse PRO posted their on the article at this link.  I've also copied and pasted the article below.

To echo US Attorney Steve Neff a bit, this type of prosecution should keep trainers and owners from cheating (aka, soring) in the show ring.  The problem is the Big Lick community is brushing this off.  They truly believe that the Spotted Saddle Horse is a completely different breed, and this situation doesn't apply to them because the horse was not on stacks.

Reality check: The horse was pressure shod, which is one of the ways Big Lick horses are being sored today.  It absolutely DOES apply, because soring is soring, no matter what breed suffers from it.  And for those who think this has nothing to do with them, they are merely holding their fingers in their ears and saying la la la la la.  This is just another excuse for them to ignore the fact that soring is still rampant and that anyone who receives and HPA violation should be sent to court.

The sentencing is in February.  If I find out who to contact in order to request the maximum, then I will pass it on.  Also, be sure to let the USDA know that we want to see a lot more of these violators going to court so the threat becomes real.  Only then will soring stop once and for all.


Tennessee Horse Trainer Pleads Guilty to Soring

by RMHP Staff

A spotted saddle horse trainer and two co-defendants have pleaded guilty to violations of the Horse Protection Act.

Barney Davis pleaded guilty today to two felonies including conspiracy to obstruct justice and two misdemeanors, according to Assistant US Attorney Steven Neff. Davis faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He remains behind bars.

Christen Altman and Jeffery Bradford, who worked with Davis, pleaded guilty to lesser charges of conspiring to violate the federal Horse Protection Act (HPA). Bradford faces up to a year in prison and both may have to pay a $3,000 fine.

"We hope this prosecution and others like it will deter trainers and owners who are thinking about cheating and committing fraud in order to reap monetary profits and achieve notoriety," says Neff. 

In April, a federal grand jury returned a 34-count superseding indictment against Davis, Altman, Bradford, and Paul Blackburn charging them with violations of the federal Horse Protection Act and related financial crimes.

Court documents state Davis, who ran a horse training and boarding facility called Monopoly Farm, Altman, Bradford, and Blackburn, who pleaded guilty last month, conspired to violate the HPA by soring horses, falsifying entry forms, and documents.

Soring horses is an illegal practice where items like bolts are driven into horses' hoofs, foreign objects are attached to horses' legs, or chemicals like mustard oil are used to produce pain and sensitivity to alter the gait. A sored horse tries to escape the pain in his front end so it will snatch its legs up quickly, and gives tremendous lift in the front, known as "big lick." The altered gait is considered abuse by most horse enthusiasts. According to gaited horse experts, those that utilize soring can get the desired effect with training rather than abuse. 

The three will be sentenced in February. 

1 comment:

mary dixon said...

Thank heavens for hefty fines and for enforcement !

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