Larry Wheelon issued the following statement regarding his recent arrest on one count of animal cruelty and the seizure of 19 horses from his farm in Maryville, Tenn.

I would like to first state that I am innocent on the charges alleged against me.  These are serious allegations that carry serious consequences and I look forward to the opportunity to have my story known and my name cleared of these allegations. 

In the meantime, these allegations have caused the organizations I serve undue criticism and ridicule and in an effort to remove them from further criticism I am voluntarily stepping aside from roles as a board member of the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association and member of the Ethics Committee and as President of the East Tennessee Trainers’ Association.  I also understand and support the temporary suspension of my SHOW judges’ license.