A federal grand jury in Chattanooga, Tenn., returned a 52 count indictment on February 29, 2012 against Jackie McConnell, Jeff Dockery, John Mays and Joseph Abernathy.  The indictment alleges the four conspired to violate the Horse Protection Act.  No trial date has been set.

Walking Horse Trainers’ Association President Jamie Hankins issued the following statement in response to the allegations, “It would be unfair for me to comment until we have had time to review the indictment and better understand the charges.  The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association works tirelessly to educate our members on the Horse Protection Act and the importance of compliance with the law.  We continue to dedicate more resources to the education of our members as it relates to the welfare of our great horse and proper training techniques.  Once we have had time to review the details surrounding this situation we will be able to comment further,” said Hankins.