Soring Charges Dismissed Against Farrier

Tennessee shoer finds himself caught in the middle of a much larger, complicated situation

Charges of animal cruelty against farrier Blake Primm were dismissed in late August in a Tennessee courtroom. The Louisville, Tenn., farrier had been arrested and charged in conjunction with several others in a soring case in mid-June.

After the September/October 2013 issue of American Farriers Journal went to the printer, Blount County, Tenn., general sessions judge Robert L. Headrick dismissed pressure-
shoeing charges against Primm. Three other cases against trainer Larry Joe Wheelon, who was charged with felony-level aggravated animal cruelty, and two of his employees, Randall Gunter and Brandon Lunsford, who were charged with felony animal cruelty, were also dismissed.

The Aug. 28 dismissal of the charges against the farrier came after the dismissal of the charge against Wheelon took place on Aug. 15. Wheelon is a long-time Tennessee Walking Horse trainer who was charged with animal cruelty abuse after an April 18 raid on a Maryville, Tenn., stable that led to the seizure of 19 horses that authorities said appeared to have been sored.

As reported by The Daily Times of Maryville, Tenn., the criminal complaint alleged that the application of caustic chemicals and mechanical devices were used on the hooves and legs of these horses to deliberately inflict pain and force the horses to perform the artificial high-stepping “Big Lick” gait for the show ring.

The online newspaper in Chattanooga, Tenn., reported that Wheelon had been suspended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at least 15 times from 1993 through 2012 for violations of the Horse…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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