"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

Sunday, June 9, 2013

NEWS and ARTICLES - Jackie McConnell Will Enter Guilty Plea; Articles from Shelbyville Times-Gazette

FINALLY.  Jackie McConnell was in court on Friday.  The results are that he will enter a guilty plea on June 18, as will Jeff Dockery and John K. Mays.

Remember: McConnell was arrested before the new TN animal cruelty law that states that animal cruelty is now a felony in TN.  So these will be considered misdemeanors.  However, he faces just less than one year of jail for each cruelty charge.  Unfortunately, he will most likely be available for probation, but at least he will most likely spend time behind bars.  He deserves it.

Here's the link to the article.  You may have to be a subscriber to read the article, so I copied and pasted the text below.

Collierville area horse trainer, two others to plead guilty on cruelty charges
Humane Society videotaped soring, other abuse inside stables
By Lela Garlington
Posted June 7, 2013 at 6:42 p.m., updated June 8, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.

Collierville area horse trainer Jackie McConnell and two co-defendants told a judge through their attorneys Friday that they were ready to enter guilty pleas in the animal cruelty charges they are facing involving more than a half-dozen Tennessee Walking horses.

Circuit Judge Webber McGraw set a June 18 plea date for the three men to return to court at the Bill G. Kelley Criminal Justice Complex in Somerville.

As McConnell, 61, left the courtroom with his wife and several others he told a reporter, “I don’t have any comments.” Afterward, his Somerville attorney David L. Douglas said his client is ready to put this behind him.

McConnell is charged with 22 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

His co-defendants, Jeff Dockery, 56, of Collierville, is facing three counts of animal cruelty and John K. Mays, 48, of Holly Springs, Miss., has 14 counts of animal cruelty. Both Dockery and Mays worked for McConnell at Whitter Stables in Fayette County, just over the Shelby County line near Collierville. Each count of animal cruelty carries just less than a year in jail.

In 2011, the Humane Society of the United States secretly shot video inside a training stable owned by McConnell showing caustic substances being applied to Tennessee walking horses’ legs and hooves and the animals being beaten to make them stand. The soring is meant to create a longer exaggerated stride and gait which is a more extreme version of what the horses do naturally.

Dane said McConnell has been disqualified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture numerous times for violating the Horse Protection Act. “This was the first time there was enough evidence to prosecute him criminally. Justice should be service. Violators should suffer consequences.”

“We anticipate probation,” Douglas said. “The federal prosecutors didn’t ask for jail time because of his age and lack of criminal history.”

In September 2012, McConnell pleaded guilty to felony charges of violating the Horse Protection Act. He received three years probation and a $75,000 fine.

“I think his barn is for sale. He essentially is shutting his barn practice down,” Douglas added. “I think the conditions of any plea will be that he no longer be involved in any horse training or ownership.”

Other horses, including Mucho Bueno, Taj Mahal, Master Streaker, Paroled In The Night and Cash Sweep had chemical compounds painted on their legs to make the horse “sore” solely for training the horses to compete in horse shows.

The allegations of animal cruelty occurred on various days in April 2011. Dist. Atty. Gen. Mike Dunavant said one possible condition for probation is that McConnell will be prevented from owning animals in the future.

Regarding the horses that were tortured, Dunavant said, “They were seized when the warrant was executed. They are now in the custody with the Humane Society of the United States.”

Both Douglas and Dunavant said McConnell only owned one of the horses. The rest are owned by private individuals.

Dane said the disposition of the horses has not been determined: “We would like to see them relinquished to us or to someone else.”

© 2013 Memphis Commercial Appeal. All rights reserved.


Jason Reynolds of the Shelbyville Times-Gazette has been writing articles concerning the TWH.  Unfortunately, it's just SSDD.  Here are the links to the articles--I won't post them here.

Perception vs. reality as Tennessee Walking Horse industry faces adversity

Equipment at heart of controversy

Most noteworthy is this quote by Mickey McCormick:  "I love these animals," McCormick said. "My kid shows. I'm not going to abuse one of these animals to make him do something he can't."

Yet McCormick has eight violations, according to the HPA database.  The most recent was in 2012.  I sincerely don't know how he ISN'T abusing horses.

I think Jason needs to do some more research rather than just rely on the same lies the industry continues to tell.  His articles are pretty one-sided.  He has not facts to back up the information, such as Inman's claim that attendance at shows are going up--just going on what people are saying.  (It's pretty obvious that attendance has gone down when you look at the videos and photographs and see empty seats and only a few horses per class.)  However, at least the majority of the public is realizing that these men are continuing to just make excuses for their need to profit from the sored horse.

No comments:

Blog Archive