Tennessee Grand Jury Indicts Former Tennessee Walking Horse Trainer Jackie McConnell


The Chattanoongan.com / April 1, 2013

Caustic paste applied

Caustic paste applied

A Fayette County, Tn., Grand Jury has indicted horse trainer Jackie McConnell and two co-defendants on 38 counts of animal cruelty for illegally soring and torturing horses.

The indictments followed a Humane Society of the United States undercover investigation in 2011.

McConnell was indicted on 22 counts of animal cruelty in Fayette County, for charges stemming from alleged soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.

McConnell is already serving three years of probation and has been fined $75,000 for his federal felony conviction in Chattanooga.

“We commend District Attorney General Mike Dunavant and Assistant District Attorney General Mark Davidson for filing criminal charges against McConnell and his co-defendants —the first case of its kind in Tennessee,” Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS. “Unfortunately, the owners who placed their horses in McConnell’s training stables have not expressed the slightest regret or remorse for the torture these animals endured, and still need to be held accountable.”

McConnell’s co-defendants in the federal case, John Mays and Jeff Dockery were also indicted. Mays was charged with 13-counts and Dockery with three-counts. Both men pleaded guilty to lesser charges in Federal Court for their role in the conspiracy to violate the Horse Protection Act.

To read more – CLICK HERE


AUTHOR: Jerry Finch


    April 3, 2013
    • Kim

      I’ll help you James

      April 3, 2013
  • Paula Denmon

    Good. Hope this one sends all 3 of them to Jail.

    April 3, 2013
  • Laurel

    I have seen McConnell interviewed, and he is still smirky and jerky. He is NOT remorseful in any way, and blames his troubles on “cry-baby bunny huggers”, stealing his livelihood. I only wish that the judge could have had better options for penalty, but his hands were tied by the toothless laws.
    Kudos to the DA for prosecuting. Hopefully, the consequences can be made more suitable to the crime.

    April 3, 2013
  • Don

    Jackie and his collegues need to have the same treatment chemicals] applied to their bare feet. I hope they never, ever have the opportunity to train or hurt horses again.

    April 3, 2013
    • sherriey

      …bare feet? i have another place that i would like to apply it too….and i guarantee you they will never reproduce and spread their dirty genes! they need to be fried in hot oil! scum!!!!!

      April 3, 2013
  • Janet Schultz

    It is good to see that people can be pissed off so bad they actually enforce the law. Maybe next time, their sensibilities will be a bit touchier.

    April 3, 2013
  • Sherillyn Flick

    The video of the abuse that took place in McConnell’s barn is sickening and disturbing beyond belief. The torture and cruelty these poor horses endured is indescribable. If there is a hell, I hope a special place is being prepared for Jackie McConnell.

    April 3, 2013
  • Sue Wallis Lies

    Let’s hope that all three of them get some jail time over this. Horrible just horrible treatment of these horses and the owners didn’t even seem to care what was happening.

    April 3, 2013
  • Margaret

    Part of the problem with the 75,000 dollar fine are the WEALTHY owners. It’s a drop in the bucket. They’ll pay it for McConnell.

    What I wish is that a judge could be made to see what happens when you attach a 12 lb block to the hooves. It has the potential to rip them off. I saw a clip of this last fall at the equine conference. I almost lost it. Who in their freaking right mind attaches such a device to the feet of an animal?

    This iis suppose to be a prized step. The higher the horse lifts his leg the more money he can make. Sorry but my own opinion of this gait is its ugly. It’s so false.

    And this association has had YEARS to clean up their act. They can’t or they are unable to. I don’t think it should take an Act of Congress to make them stop or at least it shouldn’t. Grow up. It’s past time to take responsibility for your breed and their actions.

    If it smells like a duck, walks like a duck, or quacks like a duck it most likely is a duck. Same thing for soring. If your horse has high stepping action it’s time to ask yourself or your trainer where this is evolving from.

    Only responsible owners and trainers will stop this insanity unless Congress steps in. Please don’t make them write a rule special for you about how YOU CAN’T ABUSE HORSES.

    April 3, 2013
  • Amy Miller

    The rules in horse shows should be changed to have the look where the Tennessee walkers are walking and racking their normal way. Not a made up way of hooves pulled so high that it looks unnatural for these gentle horses. They do not deserve this kind of treatment and $75,000 is not a good amount for the kind of abuse that has been going on for years with this trainer. He needs the book thrown at him and spend time in prison and not be allowed to train another horse ever again.


    April 3, 2013
  • Melisa Bale

    I to will help James, I think they got off to easy, 10-20 years in prison

    April 3, 2013
  • Mary

    One can only hope and pray that this man and all his workers AND the owners of the horses in his care who new what was going on ALL rot in the very depths of HELL ! They are as sick as sick gets ! Remember , do remember KARMA and you will get it ,,,,

    April 4, 2013
  • Arlene

    Finally Justice !!! Throw them all in Jail and throw the Key Away !!!!!!!!

    April 4, 2013
  • Sue

    People are always complaining about horse racing, the breeders and owners. Here’s a story about one of the good guys. There are MANY in the TB industry.

    April 4, 2013
  • LeeAnn

    Send the owners to jail too. Nobody would ever get away with treating my horse like that.

    April 5, 2013
  • Sherry

    The owners need to also be held responsable for this horrendous act of abuse. Until all are charged, it won`t do as much good. They will just find another trainer. Believe it or not, this is still going on at some shows.

    April 6, 2013
  • Elise Parish

    I agree with u all, hang those bastards! And the owners should be liable too.

    April 8, 2013