The leniency in which Tennessee Walking Horse abuser Jackie McConnell is being dealt with in Court feels like part of an unbelievably awful made-for-television movie.
Here’s how The Tennessean reports this afternoon’s Sentencing Hearing:
Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell was sentenced to three years probation and a $75,000 fine for abusing horses on Tuesday under a plea agreement reached in federal court in Chattanooga.
McConnell, who was recorded beating horses in a video released by the Humane Society last May, could have been given as much as five years in prison and fined up to $250,000 for his offenses.
As part of his plea agreement, McConnell has to report all of his dealings with horses in federal court.
Joseph Abernathy and Jeff Dockery, two employees of McConnell’s stable in Collierville, who were charged along with McConnell for their role in the abuse, also were given probation but did not have to pay fines. U.S. District Judge Harry “Sandy” Mattice ordered them to write an article on the practice of horse soring.
Press conferences were held following the Sentencing Hearing, so the papers will be full of more reports tomorrow no doubt.
Tennesseans should be ashamed, but obviously this does not concern either the majority of its citizens or its Courts. It seems they like the spectacle and revenues these equine cruelty “treasures of tradition” (as one of their politicians put it) bring into their coffers too much to be too incensed.
Of all the outrage we have heard not just in America but other parts of the world against the horrific pain and suffering inflicted on these beautiful, gentle horses, very little has come from the citizens of the State of Tennessee themselves. Considering the tortuous lives horses suffer throughout the U.S. for the sake of human entertainment and riches, they are hardly alone in their shame.