Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

The Humane Society of the United States sent a letter this week to Charles Crawford, the District Attorney General in Bedford County, Tenn., urging him to investigate Dick Peebles and the farrier who had allegedly committed shoeing violations under the provisions of the Tennessee Cruelty to Animals statute.

A news release issued by the HSUS announced the notification and stated the recent allegations served “as a reminder that the industry is still inhabited by players who commit animal cruelty for the sake of a blue ribbon.”

The release also makes the distinction between the USDA’s authority to enforce the Horse Protection Act only through inspections at horse shows, and local officials’ authority to enforce the Tennessee animal cruelty provisions “wherever it exists in the state.”

Earlier this month upon notification of the alleged incident, the WHTA voted unanimously to initiate a full investigation of the matter by the Ethics Committee. The WHTA Ethics Committee negotiated a settlement with Peebles whereby he accepted a five-year suspension. Peebles did not admit guilt, but did accept responsibility that the violations possibly occurred while the horse was under his care.

The HSUS release claims the suspension does not prevent Peebles from training horses, or his clients from showing them.