08/01/2016 2:56PM

Chuck Borell pleads not guilty to animal-cruelty charges


HARRODSBURG, Ky. – Chuck Borell, a Syracuse, N.Y., resident who was charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty in Kentucky in June, entered a plea of not guilty on all counts through his attorney at an arraignment Monday in Mercer County, Ky.

Larry Catlett, Borell’s attorney, entered the plea in front of Chief District Court Judge Jeff L. Dotson at the arraignment. A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 8 at 9 a.m.

Borell did not appear at the arraignment. Catlett would not speak with reporters following the arraignment, refusing even a request to verify the spelling of his name.

Borell, the father of Maria Borell, the former trainer of 2015 sprint champion Runhappy, was arrested on June 29 when he arrived at a farm in Mercer County that he had previously leased. Chuck Borell was listed as the caregiver for 43 horses at the farm, according to Kentucky Department of Agriculture officials, who have said that the charges of second-degree animal cruelty were based on claims that he had abandoned the horses.

Chuck Borell was released on bond shortly after his arrest. A warrant has been issued for Maria Borell, but she is no longer a resident of the state, and officials have said it is doubtful she will be extradited.

A second-degree animal-cruelty charge in Kentucky is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

Kentucky agriculture officials have said that many of the horses at the farm did not have clear claims of ownership. The officials have moved some of the horses to other farms for care and have posted photos of the horses on a local website in an attempt to identify the owners.