published Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Tennessee walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell gets three years of probation, $75,000 fine

Horse trainer Jackie McConnell, right, leaves the Joel W. Solomon Federal Courthouse downtown with his attorney Hugh Moore after a hearing in federal court in March, 2012. McConnel has been indicted for 52 counts of violations of the Horse Protection Act along with co-defendants Jeff Dockery, John Mays and Joseph Abernathy for allegedly participating in what is known as "horse-soring," an abusive practice which causes walking horses to lift their legs higher for shows.
Horse trainer Jackie McConnell, right, leaves the Joel W. Solomon Federal Courthouse downtown with his attorney Hugh Moore after a hearing in federal court in March, 2012. McConnel has been indicted for 52 counts of violations of the Horse Protection Act along with co-defendants Jeff Dockery, John Mays and Joseph Abernathy for allegedly participating in what is known as "horse-soring," an abusive practice which causes walking horses to lift their legs higher for shows.
Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A federal judge today sentenced a former hall of fame Tennessee walking horse trainer to three years probation and fined him $75.000 for soring horses.

Jackie McConnell, 60, said, “I take responsibility for what I’ve done.”

McConnell pleaded guilty in May to a charge of conspiring to violate the Horse Protection Act.

He had been charged in a 52-count indictment after hidden-camera video captured images of him abusing horses to make them lift their hooves in the exaggerated “big lick” of walking horses.

McConnell had started to cry during the statement, though he showed no physical reaction to the sentence.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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