Indicted Horse Trainer Surrenders on Release Violation

A Tennessee man under indictment for allegedly using illegal training techniques on gaited horses is in federal custody after surrendering his pre-trial bond last week.

Earlier this year a Federal Grand Jury indicted Spotted Saddle Horse trainer Barney Davis of Lewiston, Tenn., along with Christen Altman and Jeffrey Bradford, for allegedly conspiring to violate the Horse Protection Act (HPA) by applying soring techniques to horses. The HPA prohibits "soring," the deliberate injury of a horse's feet and legs to achieve a high-stepping so-called "big lick" gait. The indictment further alleges that Davis and Altman used others as nominee trainers to obtain trainers' licenses and that the three falsified horse show entry forms and other documents claiming that Bradford and others were trainers of horses actually trained by Davis. All three were freed on bond.

Recently U.S. Attorneys prosecuting the case asked the U.S. District Court to detain Davis on grounds that he had violated terms of his bond release on the charges, said Bill Killian, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

"Some of those terms of release involved his being restricted from training and soring horses," Killian said. "Based on evidence he had violated those restrictions."

During a July 28 appearance in U.S. Magistrate Court in Chattanooga, Tenn., Davis surrendered his pre-trial bond, Killian said.

Attorney John Norton III, who is representing Davis in the case, was unavailable for comment.

Davis will remain incarcerated until his trial on Oct. 18, Killian said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners