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July 28, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


BARNEY DAVIS DETAINED AND BOND SURRENDERED IN CASE INVOLVING HORSE PROTECTION ACT VIOLATIONS AND RELATED FINANCIAL CRIMES

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - At a revocation hearing today in U.S. Magistrate Court, Chattanooga, Barney Davis, 38, of Lewisburg, Tenn., was ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Carter to be detained after Davis voluntarily surrendered his pre-trial bond. The revocation hearing was then rescheduled for August 11, 2011. The trial is currently set for October 18, 2011.

The United States had sought revocation of Davis’s release based on allegations that he violated various court ordered conditions, including the training and “soring” of horses.

Davis was charged in a 34-count superseding indictment in April 2011, along with Christen Altman, 25, of Shelbyville, Tenn., Jeffery Bradford, 33, of Lewisburg, Tenn., and Paul Blackburn, 35, of Shelbyville, Tenn., charging them with violations of the federal Horse Protection Act and related financial crimes. According to this superseding indictment, Davis, Altman, Bradford, and Blackburn conspired to violate the federal Horse Protection Act by “soring” horses and falsifying entry forms and other related paperwork. “Soring” is a unlawful practice where items like bolts are driven into horse’s hoofs, foreign objects are attached to the legs of the animals, or chemicals are used to produce pain and sensitivity to alter the gait of a horse. The altered gait is valued at horse competitions.

As part of Davis’s horse training operation, Davis and Altman collected payments from out-of-state clients based upon false representations that horses would be trained in accordance with the Horse Protection Act. They then used these funds to perpetuate the horse training operation, using methods specifically prohibited by the Horse Protection Act, including mechanical and chemical soring procedures.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General leads the investigation in this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Neff and Kent Anderson represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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