Federal grand jury indicts four defendants on horse abuse charges

Federal grand jury indicts four defendants on horse abuse charges

April 26th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

A federal grand jury in Chattanooga today indicted four people charged with abusing horses used in Tennessee Walking Horse competitions.

The 34-count superseding indictment against Barney Davis, 38, Christen Altman, 25, Jeffrey Bradford, 33, and Paul Blackburn, 35, adds charges to the original indictment, which alleges the defendants violated the federal Horse Protection Act by "soring horses and falsifying forms and other related paperwork."

Davis and Bradford live in Lewisburg, and Altman and Blackburn live in Shelbyville, according to a U.S. attorney's office release.

"Some of the alleged conduct of the defendants contained in this superseding indictment constitutes federal felonies, if convicted," U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said in the release.

In the practice of "soring," bolts or other objects are driven into horses' hooves or chemicals are used to "produce pain and sensitivity to alter the gait of a horse," the release states.