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Horse trainer indicted again for animal cruelty

Dec. 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

MARYVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A Tennessee Walking Horse trainer and show judge was indicted by a Blount County, Tenn., grand jury on animal cruelty charges for a second time.

Larry Joe Wheelon, 68, of Maryville, Tenn., and three others are accused of applying acid to the horses "in a depraved and sadistic manner," the indictment, delivered Monday in Maryville, reads.

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Unscrupulous trainers burn horses' pasterns, the area of the legs immediately above the hooves, to induce the breeds' longer and higher gait, a process caller soring, the (Nashville) Tennessean reported Wednesday.

Similar charges were filed against Wheelon, a former ethics committee member of the Walking Horse Trainers Association, in the spring, but were dismissed after a prosecutor's procedural mistake during a preliminary hearing in August, the report said.

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