Hearing reset for Blount County trainer in horse soring case

Cross-posted from KNOX News

Reported by LANCE COLEMAN

Authorities seized 19 horses who may have been subjected to animal cruelty from a Blount County, Tenn., barn and transported them to safety on Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Kathy Milani/Humane Society of the United States)
Authorities seized 19 horses who may have been subjected to animal cruelty from a Blount County, Tenn., barn and transported them to safety on Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Kathy Milani/Humane Society of the United States)

MARYVILLE — The case against a Blount County horse trainer charged with aggravated cruelty to livestock due in court this morning was reset to June 26.

Larry Wheelon, free on $5,000 bond after his April 25th arrest, was given a reset date in front of Blount County General Sessions Court Judge Robert Headrick because Wheelon needed time to consult with his recently hired attorney, Rob White, of Maryville, officials said.

According to Assistant District Attorney General Ellen Berez, Wheelon’s preliminary hearing was put on a special setting docket, “meaning there won’t be a docket with 50 to 70 other cases on it.”

Wheelon, 68, was charged after federal and local authorities removed 19 injured horses from his stables April 25.

Investigators suspect the horses’ injuries were caused by soring, a banned practice of applying caustic chemicals and chains to a horses’ front legs to produce exceptional high-stepping, known as “the Big Lick.”

Several of the horses were barely able to stand, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

Wheelon also is being evicted from the stables he rents as well. Read full report >>

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Nineteen sored horses seized; trainer charged with felony animal cruelty

4 thoughts on “Hearing reset for Blount County trainer in horse soring case”

  1. Check this out: The Taos News, MAY 21ST AT 12:15 A M WROTE “Are Horses Food” written byTrish Hernadez. With dramatic input from the AG of the State of New Mexico.

    Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 17:55:35 +0000 To: greenfarm@hotmail.com

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  2. I live in Maryville Tennessee, and am anxious to see what happens to Larry. These Walking Horse people lie all the time about how they do not sore their horses, etc.etc… They appear to be normal, good people (on the outside), but anyone that is involved with this extreme abuse cannot be a good person. I just hope that the new laws are enforced, and that Larry is sent to prison for a long time. I also hope that he is not allowed to ever own, train or “help” train another horse. Please don’t let this fall throught he cracks!

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  3. When you commit this type of crime against an innocent victim, who has no say so, it is the worst possible crime and should be treated as such , I have no tolerance for these type of criminals, I would make examples out of all them !!!!

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    1. Very well said! I totally agree!!! Wonder if he needs some new shoes and would like to walk on all fours.

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