(Fayette County, TN) Fayette County District Attorney General Mike Dunavant says several Tennessee Walking Horse Owners will be investigated to see if they knew their horses were being abused.
Nationally known trainer Jackie McConnell was charged in federal and state court after he was caught on tape using chemicals to burn the hooves of horses.
McConnell pleaded guilty to the federal charges and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $75,000 dollar fine.
McConnell was in Fayette County today were he is facing 17 counts of animal cruelty.
His attorneys are hoping for another deal.
“We’ve been in talks since April. It’s a complicated case, it’s a lot of counts, but we believe we can have some success in getting this case resolved,” said McConnell’s Attorney David Douglas.
McConnell’s case received national attention after the Humane Society secretly videotaped him soring or placing caustic chemicals on the horses hooves to give them a high gait.
McConnell , who has stables in Collierville and Fayette County, wouldn’t talk about his case today, but says he’s out of the horse business.
That’s not enough for members of Community Action For Animals who say McConnell has been soring horses for years.
“I’d like to see him serve jail time, but in the very least if they give him probation I’d like to see the court order that he cannot own or control animals in the future,” said Cindy Sanders.
McConnell has already been banned for life from the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration and removed from its hall of fame.
Two of McConnell’s employees are also facing charges in Fayette County and will appear with him in court in November.