CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP)/WMOT — A federal judge in Chattanooga has sentenced a Tennessee walking horse trainer caught abusing horses in an undercover video to three years' probation and fined him $75,000.
The video, shot by informants for the Humane Society, shows Jackie McConnell and others applying caustic substances to horses' legs and hooves and beating the horses to make them stand.
The process is called soring and is used to enhance the horses' high-stepping gait.
The Humane Society’s Director of Equine Protection, Keith Dane, says the Society is disappointed McConnell didn’t get jail time, but still believes the sentence will have an impact on the industry.
“The total damages to Mr. McConnell will be close to $100,000. That sends a pretty significant message to other trainers who may not be able to come up with that kind of fine that there are going to be consequences for violating the federal law and torturing animals for profit and to make a living.”
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that during the sentencing McConnell cried as he read a statement saying that he takes responsibility for what he did.