Another Horse Trainer In Big Trouble

A mid-state horse trainer is accused of knowingly filing false entry information for five horses and violating the Horse Protection Act during the Liberty Lions Club horse show in Shelbyville on June 15. According to a news release from the SHOW Horse Industry Organization, Joe Cotten has been suspended for 7 1/2 years and fined $5,000 based on the allegations. The suspension is effective immediately and will last until December 21, 2019. SHOW officials said in 2010 Cotten was issued a six-month suspension, two-year probation and $2,500 fine for threatening a judge. The probation was from July 26, 2010 until July 26, 2012. At the request of his doctor, SHOW waived a portion of the 2010 penalty contingent upon Cotten attending anger management classes and seeking medical help. At this year’s Liberty Lions Club Show, SHOW officials said Cotten hired Marvin North, a full time employee of 5-Way Farms, to take his horses through inspection and put them in the ring. SHOW officials allege that Cotten used North’s trainer’s license number and told North that he would pay any fines the horses received. SHOW officials said this is the same violation which caused the indictment of trainer Jackie McConnell and three of his employees. SHOW officials allege that Cotten entered five horses and falsified all of the entries, which is a violation of the Horse Protection Act. In addition, Cotten is accused of being verbally abusive to SHOW officials. SHOW officials allege in the days following the June 15 show, Cotten posted graphic pictures of Jose’s Wine & Roses, a horse under his care on Facebook, in which the horse’s front feet were badly injured. SHOW also suspended Marvin North for one year, fined him $1,000 and placed him on four-year probation subject to upward adjustment depending on the outcome of a hearing committee.