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Man Charged In Connection With Horses Seized From Mercer Co. Far - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

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Man Charged In Connection With Horses Seized From Mercer Co. Farm

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HARRODSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) - State officials who seized six sickly horses from a Mercer County farm say a celebrated horse trainer may be responsible.

The state veterinarian's office took the thoroughbreds from the farm Tuesday. Investigators say they believe horse trainer Maria Borell, whose horse "Run Happy" won the 2015 Breeders' Cup Sprint, was caring for the animals.

Angie Cheak is one of the volunteers who has been caring for the 43 horses on the property. She says pictures don't capture how sickly the horses looked when she found them.

"The water, the feed, the hay situation--was dire. If they had... it was horrible," Cheak said.

She says some had deep sores and hoof damage, and some were so dehydrated that she couldn't read the tattoos to tell who owned them.

"This could not have happened in a little bit of time. This happened over months and years," Cheak said.

The Sheriff says Borell hasn't returned his calls and the Kentucky Racing Commission has her license on hold for trouble with creditors.

The Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office says that officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture  have charged Chuck Borell, Maria Borell's father, with 43 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals in connection with the sickly horses seized from the farm.

"That statute requires that an owner provide for the well-being of the animals," Dr. Robert Stout, the Kentucky State Veterinarian, said. "In this case, we felt that this was not happening."

Chuck Borell was taken into custody and turned over to the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, according to Dr. Stout.

Officials say they have a warrant out for Maria Borell.

"I don't think that any justice that's every done towards who had done this will ever make it OK," said Carleigh Fedorka, another volunteer. "The horses still had to suffer."

The Thoroughbred Retired Foundation has taken on all six of the horses. Two of which were Silver Cliff and Z Camelot. The two horses will be cared for by inmates at Blackburn Correctional Facility, where TRF has a farm. Identities for the rest of the horses have not been released.

Dr. Stout says the farm operates under a business entity called Beacon Hill Farm, "Mr. Borell is listed as the owner of that entity and Ms. Borell is listed as the manager of that entity."

Volunteers are relying on donations to help feed the remaining horses. A Gofundme page has raised more than $13,000 for feed and veterinary care. Click here if you'd like to contribute: https://www.gofundme.com/AbandonedHorseFund

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