Tennessee Walking Horse trainer, show judge indicted for animal cruelty

There maybe hope that soring will become a thing of the past, looked upon with disgust. The indictments came this past Monday. ~ HfH
From: The Tennessean
By:Heidi Hall

Larry Wheelon from the Daily TimesA Tennessee Walking Horse trainer who has served as a show judge and on an industry group’s ethics committee was indicted Monday on animal cruelty charges related to a soring case earlier this year.

Larry Joe Wheelon, a Maryville, Tenn., trainer, along with Randall Stacy Gunter, Brandon Lunsford and Blake T. Primm, are accused of applying acid to walking horses “in a depraved and sadistic manner” for “competition in horse shows,” the indictment reads.

The only horse specifically named in the indictment that includes Primm is Jose’s Happy Feet/Laura Kate.

A second indictment with the other three defendants includes Los Lobos, Country Bumpkin, Fred/Coach’s Twisted Play, Lady Antebellum, Ferrell Hugh’s Final Score/The Stimulus, Night Shade/Black Night by Choice, In My Pocket, She’s Just Sweepin’/She’s a Sweeper, Sweepover, Shades of Cash/Greg, Sweepstakes Pzazz (sic), Sweepstakes Mare/Sweep Sister, Sweeping Up the Cash, Coach Filly and Neyland.

Similar charges were filed against Wheelon and the others in the spring, but were dismissed after a prosecutor’s misstep during an August probable cause hearing. Wheelon was at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration days later and said that he was innocent of the charges all along and was suffering financially because the horses he had been training were seized as part of the case.

He didn’t immediately return a voicemail left this afternoon.

It was cathartic to see charges refiled against Wheelon after having to return 19 sored horses to him after the August hearing, said Kellie Bachman of the Blount County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Her group aided in the case.

“To know the truth and the circumstances and manhours and time and blood, sweat and tears we put into it, especially having to return the horses, it wasn’t just upsetting, it was heartbreaking,” Bachman said.

She said a search warrant executed in April revealed moaning horses who couldn’t stand.

Wheelon formerly sat on the ethics committee of the Walking Horse Trainers Association and was a judge for Shelbyville-based SHOW, a horse inspection and judging group.

Unscrupulous trainers burn walking horses’ pasterns to induce the breed’s naturally longer, higher gait. The process is called soring.

Check with Tennessean.com later today for more on this story.

Read Original Article for updates

  • NLaurel

    I sure hope they are able to stop ALL of them! Of course they are cruel..but as STUPID as they are cruel! To repeat after such a close call, and get caught still doing it. What kind of perverse pleasure can people get from this!?

    December 4, 2013
  • Rachel

    The indictment says he applied acid “in a depraved and sadistic manner” – is there any other way to do it? Of course torturing the beautiful Walking Horses in this way is depraved, and I’m glad the courts are finally recognizing that and prosecuting this monster!

    December 4, 2013
  • Yaaaaaa Hoooo for the Natural Tennessee walker !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2013
  • As for the piece of Human Garbage Pictured above, If hell had a face , I am sure it would look just like him !!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2013
  • Yvonne

    Where are the horses now, are they being treated. Is it possible to treat their hooves after being destroyed with acid? He was indicted, that doesn’t mean he will be convicted or sentenced to time in jail. He needs a dose of vigilante justice to guarantee that he doesn’t go back and redo what he has been doing to these beautiful horses. He will continue as before, just look at that old chimp mug, evil man.

    December 5, 2013