EQUINE HEALTH NEWS
Breaking Developments in Horse Abuse Case
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Photo of Slow Lopin Scotch at Cleve Wells Quarter Horses taken April 11, 2008, four months prior to alleged abuse.
Slide Show

In a breaking turn of events, GoHorseShow.com has learned that as of January 10, a case is pending with the Johnson County Texas District Attorney's office involving an alleged horse's abuse while in the care of Cleve Wells Quarter Horses in Burleson.

News on the matter has been well documented as information continues to circulate throughout the internet.  Graphic photographs of the horse’s injuries, along with signed statements from two veterinarians, a witness and the horse’s owner (see below for links) have the horse world talking.

In a signed statement from Nicole Marr, co-owner of Slow Lopin Scotch, she alleges that “the horse was cruelly and unnecessarily abused while in training at Cleve Wells Quarter Horses in Burleson.”  We spoke at length with Cleve Wells and Nicloe Marr for an update on the situation.

According to an email GoHorseShow.com received Saturday afternoon, owner Nicole Marr stated the following:

          "As of this morning (Jan 10) there is a case pending with the District Attorney's office in Johnson County
          Texas against Cleve Wells. Detective Shaw is the man in charge of our investigation, and told the
          person that contacted them that he was not at liberty to discuss the matter any further.

          We have learned through dealing with this matter that the County Attorney handles the misdemeanor
          charges and all felony charges are handled through the District Attorney's office."

Reached by phone on Friday evening, owner Nicole Marr offered the following on the current status of the situation.

          “I had watched the Cleve (Wells) tapes before and decided to send my horse for an evaluation. That
          was it. He kept the horse in training and we were always told he was doing very well. I was starting to
          feel like he could end up being a champion and that’s what I wanted. But if that’s the price of having a
          world champion, I don’t want it. He has a permanent home now and he will never be sold.

          Mentally, he’s doing great. The injury on the left is now about 1” x 3”. He still has swelling in his mouth. I
          had to have his check ligaments cut. He has a tooth coming in that’s basically growing straight forward
          and the vet said it’s more than likely from the swelling in his mouth. But, he’s still very trusting and
          loving.

          This is very disappointing. I feel as though I’m the only person who hadn’t heard all the rumors. I guess
          you can’t be too careful. I was disillusioned with what I was getting and what I got.”

GoHorseShow.com also reached Cleve Wells for comment on Friday. Following several lengthy phone conversations, Cleve provided a statement citing his side of the story, including his version of what happened regarding the alleged abuse. Saturday morning, after discussing with advisors, he changed his mind and decided not to come forward at this time with his statement and version of the events. We were informed of this decision via the following text message:

          “Good morning --- customers suggested to continue silence an let everyone bury themselves then they
          will move in…i have to support there decision because they support me as i said i have a very loyal and
          wealth set of clients… That speaks for my integrity honesty and loyalty. Thank u for ur respect and i do
          believe u will do what is right”

Below are links to the documents which owner Nicole Marr has made public as proof to her allegations.

    Nicole Marr, Owner Statement   
    Karen Adler, D.V.M. Statement
    Larry McConnell, D.V.M. Statement
    Gary Russ, Witness Statement

Click the slideshow link located below the main image to view photographs of the horse’s injuries.
WARNING - the images are graphic in nature.

GoHorseShow.com will keep our readers informed as this situation continues to unravel.

47 comments for this article Reverse Comment Order
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Added: June 13, 2012. 07:03 PM CDT
Arabian abuse
Hello. I am 18yrs old and recently bought my first horse. He is a registerd Arab stud named Invincible Proof Sired by Nf Proof +/-
damed by Galiope. he is 13 yrs old and a real mischeivious stud. but up till he was 3 he was pushed to the limits by his breeder and almost died to first time. then when caught by cops he was properly cared for by these same people till he was 9. just being left in a box stall connected to a small pasture. but at 9 a woman bought him and his larger older brother becuse she wanted to wake up and see them out her window in the morning. so she got them and 2 yrs later the brother was decomposing in her small backyard while my horse way dying himself. so a man driving by saw call police and he gained ownership of the horse. a yr later i found him for sale and bought him. he was stillo pretty bad where he hadnt gotten proper care and exersice yet, but within 2 months i had him back to normal weight and he is always trying to grab his carrots out of my back pocket any chance he gets. so if only someone could devote proper time and care they dont have to go through what mine did. but all the barn tenants now say he truly is Invincible to survive all those yrs and still be so sweet. thats all the Proof any one should need. Pun not intended.
Arab stud lover
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Added: August 20, 2011. 09:24 PM CDT
Are you kidding me?
To the person who commented with this"

"Is it Cleve or is it a wimpy horse owner that cannot handle the training needed to straighten out some of these rookies?"

You must be joking, right? A person who is concerned about the humane treatment of his/her animal and the ethical training practices of the trainer is a "WIMPY" owner???

That is a terribly sad, sad statement if it is what you truly believe. And it is sad that this man (and all the other trainers out there who get away with behind the barn abuse) are allowed to continue. That owners sweep the issues under the rug, turn a blind eye to cruelty, and accept the "whatever it takes" mentality.

Never forget that these are ANIMALS we are dealing with. We owe them respect.
Kristin
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Added: January 26, 2010. 05:32 PM CDT
well i am kinda defending Mr. Wells cause it might not have been his fault he could have put the horse to pasture or it could have been and accident that had happened recently and he was taking care of it. the only reason i say that is cause it has happened to my horse and Mr. wells has been training for years and it is the first time it has happened.
Anonymous
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Added: January 22, 2010. 12:35 AM CDT
CRAZY!
WOW. I can not imagine ANY trainer putting marks on a horse like that! You know what those injuries show me? IMPATIENCE and ABUSE! Poor poor boy! :( My prayers are with him and his family.
dressagerider
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Added: December 30, 2009. 07:59 PM CDT
Percentages
C'mon, get real! Cleve has been training for years. If this is the first allegation, then DO THE MATH!! If I wrecked my truck today, you would most likely doubt my driving skills. BUT, if you knew that I've been driving for 28 years without a wreck, you may blame the other driver. Is it Cleve or is it a wimpy horse owner that cannot handle the training needed to straighten out some of these rookies? Cleve has a wealth of clients, and yes, many are wealthy too. How did Cleve get to where he is? Surely not advertising, it's because he gets results! Sounds like someone is lawsuit happy. Cleve can afford one attack though. If you can't stand the heat........ then get a fish.
linda&jeff'snephew
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Added: April 03, 2009. 10:24 AM CDT
Any Update on Cruelty Allegations?
The truth and the facts don't seem to fit. Is there any updated information? I hate for any one to be labeled unfairly but more than that I hate for anyone to get away with abuse.

Is this still being investigated or has it been swept away? Mr. Wells needs to be cleared or convicted.
Susan
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Added: March 24, 2009. 11:27 PM CDT
Horrified
I cannot believe that anyone could defend that this is not abuse. I show AQHA and I think that whether he or one of his assistants did this they should have to answer to what has happened to this horse. The QH industry has become very competitive to the point that the horses are the ones that suffer the most. The best thing they can do is to punish him and make an example that this will not be tolerated!!! This is animal abuse plain and simple. I am very happy the owner came forward to defend the horse as he /she cannot defend themselves.

QH Lover
Lisa Turner
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Added: February 24, 2009. 03:13 PM CDT
Sick!
It doesn't surprise me that this happened. When you get to Mr. Cleve's level, it's all about the win; afterall, that's how he makes his money. My hat is off to the woman for speaking up and reporting it. He has done clinics in my area and I wouldn't waste a dime to see him. I have heard too many horror stories to go see him. I could care less about his technique because if he was a TRUE horseman, his technique would not involve ABUSE. I hope this horse recovers completely. When horse showing becomes about nothing but winning at any cost, it's time to hang up the spurs and sell your horses. I hope this will open the eyes of horse owners around the world.
maineah
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Added: February 19, 2009. 10:42 PM CDT
Very Sad.
This does not shock me in the least, It makes me sick . What is this people standing up for Cleve? That even makes me more sick, This happen in HIS barn under his care rather he did it or not is beside the point BUT there were also horse there that were in not too good of shape also , do you think Cleve does not have any idea this is going on ? Come on people get real stop turning a blind eye, there is a lot of this going on in trainers barns and it is time to make a stand . If this was any other Joe Blow you bet he would be done for. So I must ask you that are standing up for Cleve wells , Is your horse in taining with him, what if this had happen to you? I bet you would not be standing up for old Cleve . Get real he did a awful thing and he needs to be accountable for it PERIOD.
beth777
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Added: February 18, 2009. 11:59 AM CDT
horrible
This sounds horrible and I feel so sorry for the owners. Good Luck.
steinergal
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