An incident of alleged horse abuse at a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA)-approved event Saturday, July 15, near Whitesboro, Texas, on Tuesday continued to attract attention from people in the industry. Recently, a Quarter Horse News(QHN) staff member was given the chance to watch two short cell phone videos said to be of the event in question.
The first video clip shows a horse tied to a wall. The horse is approached by a man with his lower arms covered in a jacket, and seconds later, the horse pulls back against the lead rope. A popping noise is heard just before the horse jerks back. Shortly after, an individual off camera yells at the man, who was still standing about 2 feet from the horse, and asks if he feels it was necessary to shoot the animal with a BB gun.
In the second clip, the man who approached the horse still has his hands and lower arms hidden by the jacket on a day when temperatures reached the mid-90s in the Fort Worth area. He drops something from underneath the jacket, quickly picks it up and puts it back underneath the jacket.
The person in possession of the videos said they depict a sample of the alleged abuse being investigated by the NCHA, which announced July 22 it was investigating a complaint of horse abuse at an event July 15 in rural Whitesboro.
The NCHA, which turned the case over to the Grayson County (Texas) district attorney, has not named the suspect. NCHA Executive Director Chuck Smith had no comment on the video footage seen by Quarter Horse News or other details of the case, citing legal advice and a desire to preserve due process during the investigation.
Per NCHA rules, the grievance committee will look into the allegations. It will take a minimum of 21 days and be conducted independent of any police investigation, Smith said.
An official at the Grayson County district attorney’s office said the prosecutor’s office in Sherman, Texas, on Monday, July 24, received information about the incident from the NCHA and forwarded it to the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office for investigation. If deputies believe charges are warranted, they will send the case back to the district attorney for review.
Grayson County investigators are not the only ones looking into the July 15 incident. The SPCA of Texas, a Dallas-based animal welfare organization, is investigating an anonymous complaint of a horse being shot by its owner July 15 at an event near Whitesboro.
Investigators at the SPCA of Texas work seven days a week. The outcome of its cases can range from owner education to court-ordered seizure of animals or criminal charges.