Tennessee Walking horses watches worriedly from stall. HSUS image.

Tennessee Walking Horse abuser McConnell gets probation and a fine

Tennessee Walking horses watches worriedly from stall. HSUS image.
Tennessee Walking horses watches worriedly during soring investigations conducted by HSUS. Jackie McConnell, the man at the center of the cruelties committed, today received probation and a fine.

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.

Read full story >>

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.

11 thoughts on “Tennessee Walking Horse abuser McConnell gets probation and a fine”

  1. Love to get a BIG group of the good ol boys in the middle of an areans and do some serious Butt soring!!! Good ol boy Judge as the first up! I believe in Karma,just wish I was one of them swinging Karma around and swatting some butt!! And if not,there’s always….”When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge and which are turned away.””

    “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”—Francis of Assisi

    “Animals are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.”


  2. Very disappointing. Gotta love the old boys network.

    Let’s hope “the public” continues the vigilance and keeps the pressure on the community of gaited horse abusers.


  3. Disgusting. That judge’s info…as said “protector”…definitely needs to be let loose on the world, I agree. Change.org, hello! Money + power helps to erase a lot of pain and abuse, still.


  4. This judges’ office needs to be bombarded with emails, faxes, mail, phone calls, etc. with comments…..even from others outside of that State! Comments to articles in the newspapers as well. Also, lets hope NO cameras or recorders have been put away….THEY ALL need to be watched for a longtime to come! Don’t let this part of the horse industry (or others, for that matter) think we have all ‘gone away’.


  5. I’m quite upset over the court’s ruling. I’ve seen the video and was sickened by it! Any one that owns one of these beautiful horses should be ashamed of themselves to put these horses through such cruelty.
    The world is watching now to see how you train your horses.


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