Skip to content

When The Government Investigates You



Reprinted from American Farriers by Jeremy McGovern   

As a farrier, you don’t have to like Blake Primm. You don’t have to like how he and other Tennessee Walker farriers shoe their clients’ horses with padded packages. But if you are a horseshoer, you should be concerned about how the government investigated hoof-care practices in his case.

You can read an account of Primm’s story here. For brevity’s sake, here is the Cliff Notes version that’s pertinent to this post: the USDA raided a Tennessee Walking Horse trainer’s barn. While there, the USDA flagged a foot on a mare as a soring candidate because of the presence of Equilox impression material. The USDA requested Primm appear at the barn and pull the shoe. He did and explained what the package and Equilox combination was for. The USDA X-rayed and hoof tested the horse and couldn’t find any soreness. The USDA asked Primm to essentially shoe the horse the way it had been shod. In other words, everything was A-OK. Weeks later, Primm was charged with animal cruelty.

What should worry you is how poorly prepared the government was in its investigation. The farrier accompanying the USDA during the investigation reportedly couldn’t pull a padded package and shoe from the mare because  “he only works on Quarter Horses.” That’s an accompanying expert?

Furthermore, the government didn’t know what impression material is. Primm had to explain what the material is and provided instructional material to the USDA on what it is.

After USDA veterinarians tested and X-rayed the mare, they said the horse was not being sored. Under the lead of the USDA agent, Primm was then asked to put the shoe and package back on the way it was found on the mare.

This is only my opinion, but it seems the government was so hell-bent on including a farrier in this investigation as a witness against Wheelon that it recklessly pursued Primm in hopes he’d help them land the trainer. I’d like to get the USDA’s point of view on this, but they didn’t return inquiries for an interview, so it remains only my opinion.

So why care about Blake Primm and the thousands of dollars he spent on his defense? After all, you very likely don’t shoe Walking Horses, which are in the crosshairs because of soring concerns. But maybe outsiders next target a breed/discipline you work with and an aspect of how they are shod or used. Morgans? Racing Thoroughbreds? Show jumpers?  Cruelty is in the eye of the beholder.

Look at how absurd the investigation is from Primm’s point of view.  Here’s three points to reiterate:

• The USDA accompanying farrier doesn’t possess the knowledge and/or skillset to be considered an expert.

• The USDA investigators know so little about footcare that they can’t identify or explain the usage of a product found on most farriers’ rigs, but want to investigate that product.

• The USDA told Primm to return the shoe and package back to the foot, only to charge him with what the investigators told him to do.

So that is who will investigate any farrier in an animal cruelty case. They lack the expertise and competence, but have the resources of the U.S. government to fund that investigation and case against you. No legal defense fund exists for you as a practitioner. No group you belong to is prepared to aid in your defense. Good luck!

No, you don’t have to like Primm or package shoeing, but you should be concerned with how the U.S. government investigated a member of your trade. Actually, any citizen who worries about abuse of power by government should be concerned about this.

- See more at: http://www.americanfarriers.com/blogs/1-from-the-desk-of-afj/post/7043-when-the-government-investigates-you-afjen#sthash.vIomPV32.dpuf

More Stories

  • Obituary - H. Cloyd Philpott

    H. Cloyd Philpott, Jr. 84, of Lexington, NC passed away on Tuesday, June 8. A Memorial Service for Mr. Philpott will be held on Thursday, June 17th at 2pm at the First Presbyterian Church which is located at 15 West 3rd Ave, Lexington, NC... Read More
  • Christmas In July announces added money for Extravaganza classes!

    The Christmas In July Show to be held June 29-July 1, at the Bedford County Agricultural Center in Shelbyville will offer additional prize money in its extravaganza classes featuring two-year-olds and two other classes ending nightly sessions. In total, four classes will be paying $1000 first place money... Read More
  • Obituary – Mike Janeway

    The Report recently learned of the passing of Mike Janeway on Wednesday, June 9. A full obituary will be posted as it becomes available... Read More
  • Cornersville Lions Club selects Byard

    Cornersville Lions Club Horse Show, scheduled for July 16, 2021, has selected Dean Byard to mark the cards for this year’s event. The show will be held at the Lions Club Show Grounds in Cornersville, Tennessee... Read More
  • Walking For Hope releases class schedule

    Walking For Hope, scheduled for Saturday, June 19, has released their class schedule. The show will be held at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Stanford, Kentucky. Chad Adams will mark the cards for the event... Read More
  • Obituary – Susannah Borg

    Nancy Susannah Schmoe Borg, 68, of Monticello, Florida, passed away June 8, 2021 in Gainesville, Florida... Read More
  • Belfast Lions Club selects Sorrell

    The 60th annual Belfast Lions Club Horse Show, scheduled for August 5, 2021, has selected Sam Sorrell to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at S.W. Beech Memorial Field in Belfast, Tennessee... Read More
  • Red Carpet Show of the South selects Hilley

    The 81st annual Red Carpet Show of the South, slotted for July 24, 2021, has selected Mike Hilley to mark the cards for this year's event. The show will be held at Giles County Agriculture Park in Pulaski, Tennessee. Read More
  • Obituary - Larry McCrory

    Larry McCrory, age 74, of Summertown, TN passed away Friday, June 04, 2021, at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tennessee... Read More
  • Latest Issue 6 7 21

    Read More