06/27/2016 8:17PM

State officials examine abandoned horses on farm tied to Borell


Kentucky Agriculture Department officials met with Mercer County officials Monday to look at 43 abandoned Thoroughbreds to evaluate their condition in a case involving horses that had been in the care of or owned by Chuck Borell and his daughter Maria Borell.

Rusty Ford, spokesman for office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian, a division of the Agriculture Department, said a team of veterinarians looked at the horses on a farm in Mercer County, some 30 miles southwest of Lexington, and reported that the vast majority are now in good condition.

“The Department of Agriculture and the state veterinarian department agree that the horses meet the criteria as being abandoned,” Ford said.

“The horses for the last three weeks have received elevated care daily. They have received care since early June, when this situation was brought to our attention.”

When told that recent reports suggested that the Department of Agriculture was just now looking into this, Ford said that was not the case.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” he said. “This first came to our attention on June 3, and the horses have been getting care. The volunteers who have helped these horses are the ones who deserve a lot of credit. The condition of the horses today is much improved.”

Ford said that only two of the horses would be considered seriously underweight, but none of the horses are in a life-threatening situation. He said one horse has a serious hoof abscess.

Ford said that Department of Agriculture officials met Monday with the Mercer County Sheriff and attorneys. Veterinarians from Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington also were on hand to help.

Determining who owns the horses is an issue that may require legal proceedings.

Ford added that a number of people have come forward saying that they are the owners of the horses and want to take care of them.

Some of the horses are reportedly owned by Maria Borell, who trained Runhappy to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint for owner Jim McIngvale but was fired the day after the race in a dispute. Borell has trained horses on the Kentucky circuit.

Chuck Borell has been reported as the person who leased the farm in Mercer County.

Lafe Bassett More than 1 year ago
egregious, yet not new! Rex Ellsworth, the stalwart of early west coast racing i.e. (Swaps, Candy Spots, Olden Times, Prove it, etc.) was found guilty of the same offense! If you cannot reproduce or earn income, and don't find a private home you go from odds to lbs. for overseas consumption. Claiming horses, which are 60 to 70% of racing venues, are entered for less until they prove to be non revenue producing. Your chose, feed for life or pass IT on. IT is alive!
Steve Waddington More than 1 year ago
I wonder if Drawing Away will continue to send horses to her?
Frank More than 1 year ago
This is what the sport lies about.  People in the sport generalize and say all these horses are treated with great care and respect - but the truth is only the horses at the top and ones who produce paychecks are treated this way.

This is more what happens with horses who no longer can perform or perform at the lowest levels - In these cases its rare that these kind of horses are cared for and live full lives.
Andrea Morris More than 1 year ago
These were not washed up horses, this is an example of a psychopath who does not care about the animals in their care.  Those could have been Arabians, Quarter Horses, or ponies.  This is not the norm, this is a case of criminals owning animals.  Don't blame horse racing, blame the rotten human beings involved.
Frank More than 1 year ago
this is what is killing this sport -- this is why young people will NEVER come to this sport and it will die over generations.

These horrible people are what kill it -- and nothing ever happens to them. 
Andrea Morris More than 1 year ago
Frank if you hate horse racing so much, why do you follow racing stories?  You are extremely misinformed! 
Kathy Breakall More than 1 year ago
This has been going back on way before June as I have been reading about issues with Borell and owners trying to get their horses and neglect for months. Kentucky officials are way late to this but game
Donna Hathaway More than 1 year ago
This is horrible, why is it taking so long and why are the Borells not in jail!? Those poor creatures.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
Rick Porter has taken a personal interest in the situation and has been involved in working out a permanent solution .
Gregg Thomas More than 1 year ago
Folks, there are photos of the horses taken on the 24th of June. They are : http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/unfathomable-horses-dire-condition-animal-neglect/ 
Judge for yourself.
Moira Clegg More than 1 year ago
Yes. Why does Mr. Ford deny the dreadful condition of the horses in the 24th June photos?
PalmMeadowsFarm More than 1 year ago
Why hasn't anyone been arrested?
PalmMeadowsFarm More than 1 year ago
Why hasn't anyone been arrested???