The suspension of Tommy Manion, who admitted to shooting his horse with a BB gun, has been reduced in an out-of-court settlement with the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).
The NCHA announced Thursday afternoon the sanctions levied against Manion for violating the association’s Zero Tolerance Policy had been modified to a six-month suspension, $10,000 fine and one year of probation. Manion also wrote an apology letter to the NCHA members.
The breeder of earners of more than $6 million had been serving a two-year suspension until he and the governing body “successfully mediated the case on Oct. 11,” according to a letter filed in Tarrant County District Court by mediator John Hughes, P.C. The decision comes days before a scheduled court hearing in Fort Worth.
Manion dropped his lawsuit against the NCHA in exchange for a reduction in his suspension, which prohibits him from exhibiting at NCHA events. His suspension will now be lifted in February.
In Manion’s letter, which was provided to Quarter Horse News by the NCHA, Manion said he regretted his earlier attempts to control his horse, Smooth Maximus, were unsuccessful and the method of control he used – a BB gun – caused such controversy.
“I join with the Association in continuing to take a strong stance against animal abuse, and in protecting the animals we all love so dearly,” he wrote. “I appreciate the NCHA’s continued commitment to completely eliminate abuse in our industry.”
Messages left for Manion’s attorney were not returned as of 6 p.m. Oct. 12.
Manion, a leading cutting horse breeder and the owner of Equi-Stat Elite $22 Million Sire Smooth As A Cat, filed a civil lawsuit against the NCHA on Sept. 18 in Tarrant County in a bid to overturn a two-year suspension issued earlier this year for allegedly violating the association’s Zero Tolerance Policy by shooting his horse with a BB gun at a cutting in Whitesboro.