06/29/2016 5:05PM

Chuck Borell arrested, warrant issued for Maria Borell in Kentucky


Chuck Borell, the central figure in the case involving 43 abandoned horses on a farm in Mercer County, Ky., was arrested by county sheriffs late Wednesday morning when he showed up at the farm. The charges of abandonment were brought by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, since the violations are of a state law, and the enforcement is on the local level.

There is an outstanding warrant for the arrest of Maria Borell, the daughter of Chuck Borell. Maria Borell, who trained Runhappy to win last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, reportedly owns some of the horses or had been charged with their care by their owners.

No one else is expected to be charged in this case.

The violations are a Class A misdemeanor, according to Dr. Robert Stout of the office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian, and the maximum penalty is up to one year incarceration. No monetary damages are specified in the law, but could be levied at the discretion of the court. Chuck Borell, who had leased the farm in Mercer County and was the caregiver of the horses, was charged with 43 counts of abandonment.

Six of the horses were moved off the farm on Tuesday. The other 37 horses remain on the property and are being provided care daily by a group of volunteers. A number of organizations have reached out to the state to offer to take in the horses and they will be finding new homes soon.

One outstanding issue to be resolved first, though, is the ownership of the horses, and the state and the local sheriff are working together to ascertain ownership.

Maria Borell, who was fired the day after the BC Sprint by Runhappy’s owner, Jim McIngvale, in a dispute, has not been seen in the state lately. Some reports have her in New York.

The horses were abandoned at the farm in Mercer County, which is about 30 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., in May, and the state has been monitoring the situation since June 3 when officials first became aware of the problem. Volunteers have been helping take care of the horses since then.

Rusty Ford, spokesperson for the office of the state veterinarian, said that the 43 horses were examined on Monday by a team of veterinarians and they categorized the horses as follows: three were severely underweight; 10 were underweight; 14 were of suitable weight; eight were overweight; and eight were of proper weight. None were in a life-threatening situation.

The six in the worst shape were sent to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s facility at Blackburn  Correctional Complex near Lexington.

Brian More than 1 year ago
Mcingvale took his horse away from Maria after she informed him she wanted to rename the horse Runhungry. ( Only kidding)
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
insert drum roll
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
Everybody is convicting them before the facts are known, of the 43, 13 were underweight.  Noone has determined what shape they were in when they came to the farm, or when they came to the farm.  Let the facts come out, than determine the culpability.  Abandonment and poor care are not the same, and the punishment needs to be appropriate.  I say this, as one who castigated the McInvale clan after the Breeders Cup, so I too, should have waited for the facts to come out.  Maybe Maria wasn't with Runhappy when she should have been, and maybe they had planned on firing her before the race, but were concerned about not being able to run in the race if they fired her before the race.  Lots of questions, not all of them answered yet....
A More than 1 year ago
Oh be quiet. Flip flopper
Mike Falleur More than 1 year ago
Being patient vs pre-judging this sorry tale seems prudent.  If Maria's operation was a mess for the last few years, what was Mac doing giving her a quality prospect like Happy? How did Happy seem to flourish with her, yet has been "off"  or turned out most months before and after MB? I've not heard that Mac took Happy away due to the conditions in which he was kept, but instead cos he wanted to race him in Calif.
Why was MB in Fla, if she had 40 horses to care for in central KY? Obviously, more chapters to be written.
Keith Valentine More than 1 year ago
The story I read here on DRF stated that she was fired because they wanted to work out Runhappy the day after the Breeders cup.  I think her quote was "are you crazy? The horse just won the BC Sprint." Not defending the abandonment of said horses but has many here have commenteted there might be more to the story.  But where is she? Most would step up if there's an arrest warrant out for them.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
she will just deny she owns the horses as will chuck. next go nowhere case.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this story has the spotlight right now , hopefully it will help make things a little better for the horses.
there is a serious problem with financial responsibility.
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
There had to be a "red flag" when she was fired after winning BC race.  FYI, I think she has not had a winner since?
Big questions here!
Mark W. More than 1 year ago
These horses should be cared for by professionals. The shape they are in now is so poor they wouldn't be allowed to enter livestock auction in Chicago.
Solon Lechonitis More than 1 year ago
Have just read this shameful article regarding the ignorant and ruthless Chuch Borell.I hope he will be brought to justice and never be allowed to Train or owe horses.Also I hope his daughter will be trated the same way.S.Lechonitis
Richard Glassman More than 1 year ago
Every racehorse regardless of performace deserves to be cared for. If she ran out of money then she should have spent time finding homes for them . To leave them to fend for themselves is cruelty to animals. Thankfully, in CA we have great organizations like CARMA  helping horse owners without farms to find homes for these retired angels. Most horse owners in CA allow the track to take a small portion of their earning to help offset the cost of aftercare. I personally believe that jockeys and trainers should also contribute some of their earnings because all of us share in the responsibility of these beautiful creatures when they get injured and retired. 
Bill Johnston More than 1 year ago
Try to get some of these greedy self-indulgent East Coast Trainers (ie: Toddy Pletcher) to give up a nickel. 
Valid suggestion though!
Amy Beach More than 1 year ago
Lame! They will make an example of her and her father to please the public and the Bafferts, Jacobsons, Asmussen's, Nevin's, and Rodriguez's its business as usual.
Jason Rothstein More than 1 year ago
If you want anyone to take what you say, seriously, you need to get specific. These broad all encompassing charges are worthless
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Now we R getting somewhere. Enjoy jail.