CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (AP) -- Two men and a woman involved in training horses for shows have been charged with cruelty violations such as placing bolts in the animals' feet, injecting chemicals and applying irritants to accentuate their gait.
The three -- 38-year-old Barney Davis of Lewisburg, 25-year-old Christen Altman of Shelbyville and 33-year-old Jeffery Bradford of Lewisburg -- appeared today before a federal magistrate who released them pending a March 24 arraignment in Chattanooga.
The charges include conspiring to violate the federal horse protection act by "soring" -- using chemicals, injections and mechanical devices that cause the animals to quickly lift their feet to relieve the pain. A conviction carries a maximum possible penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Neff requested bond restrictions that include not allowing the defendants to have any contact with each other. He said investigators seized soring materials.
An attorney for Altman, Jerry Summers of Chattanooga, told U.S. Magistrate Bill Carter that Davis and Altman have a child and operate a used car business but will live separately.
Carter agreed to allow them limited work contact.
The indictment says Davis operates a stable. Summers said about 30 horse owners each pay $400 a month to have him keep and train their animals there.
The indictment also charges Davis with shipping and transporting horses that were sored for showing, a misdemeanor. A conviction on that charge carries a maximum possible penalty of one year in prison.
Davis, Altman and Bradford are all charged with making false entries in records. A conviction carries a maximum possible penalty of three years in prison.
UPDATE: Barney Davis, Jeffrey Bradford, and Christen Altman are scheduled to be in federal court May 31.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
CHRISTEN ALTMAN; and