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
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
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
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.
Without Cleve's side of the story, I feel that it is wrong to persecute him. Everyone seems to want to see the successful fail. Nobody wants to see horses injured, but show horses try to "commit suicide" in the stall almost every day. The WHOLE story has not been told.
I have been out of the Quarter Horse industry for a long time because of several trainers including this one. I took all my clients with me to the Texas Classic all most 20 years ago and had them stay up with me all night and watch what happened to the horses. It was total abuse what those young talented horses went thru for the 2yr old and three year old $$$ classes. Rode hard and tied uncomfortably high all night, some could reach a little hay, but most could not. For the sake of what??? They all were aghast. They all wanted to photograph everything and turn them all in. I said that was great, but lets take all our horses home. These individuals do not care about the horses in trusted in their custody and control. They would think nothing of getting even with us thru the horses we all loved and cared about. We left and never went back what a shame. What a good group of owners and breeders. None of them will ever trust a trainer. Yes judges could help stop this, but it is truly up to the owners to advocate and protect their hoses just as these owners have done. You must take care of this your self, and set the standards. I do not advocate showing up all the time a disrupting your trainer he must have time to do his job, but if there are not enough stalls for horses that would be a clue, spur marks, bleeding mouths ( young horses tender mouths and sides do get rubbed) not bleeding or oozing. If something dose not seem right it probably isn't. Good luck you are fighting a good fight.
I can only imagine the pain this horse had to endure,and for what reason?You will never get anywhere abusng an animal. Once the trust is gone, what is left? I hope this horse makes a full recovery,in the hands of the owners who truly care and love him. I hope the AQHA steps in......but all to often they look the other way, or use the excuse that they do not want to get involved.This trainer needs to be suspended and also turned in to the humane society.
I don't understand how a trainer, or anyone for that matter would/ could lose "control" of themselves or the situation to the point of causing harm like that to any animal. Looks like they had razor blades for spurs. Obviously, the method wasn't working - - they should've just sent the horse home long before all this happened.
I also want to commend the owners of this horse for sticking up for themselves, their rights and their horse.
Its sad that your horse and most likely others have had to endure such cruelty. I saw Cleve at a clinic in Australia, and along with many other spectators, I was not impressed with his harse methods. My partner breaks in horses and faces some very tough and difficult situations and has never had to turn to methods which have hurt the horse or caused any kind of major injury. There is some trainers here who I would never send my horse to as i have witnessed some cruelty of horses in their care and if thats what it takes to win, then I think our sport needs better rules such as in the racing industry. Good on you for standing up to them.
It is very sad I,ve seen it first hand not only big trainers even small time trainers abuse the horses. If the judges continue to pick those horses in the western pleasure pen whom crawl with hips so far to the inside heads hung on the ground, with no natural movement the abuse will continue it must start with the judgeing to end the abuse the trainers place on our horses to acheive this unnatural movement it must stop .
The DVM comments and pictures made me sick. I've been involved in "training" of a very easy-going horse by a hard-handed trainer-instilling fear. Cruel training implements are not required to teach a horse. Excellent horses are produced from training with repetition and gentle actions. The pain this poor horse endured makes you wonder "why" he would want to do this - out of fear, broken spirit? I've already seen what another "big name" trainer can do and the results. Perhaps people should not look just for big names, but rather smaller names w/proven works. My prayers for the recovery of your horse - mentally and physically. Glenda
I am totally shocked at this report and applaud the owner of the horse for bringing this to the attention of all !!!
We all want the best for our horses and I have shown AQHA for many yrs ,,,,and yes I have bought all of Cleves DVD'S and video's and have been to his clinics at Congress,,,,,I had total respect for this man ,,,,,
NOW ,,,,We see the reality of a top trainer !! Who hasn't wished we could all 'afford 'the best training for a good horse who we beleived could go to the top ? And who to train it but the 'Great Cleve Wells' !!!!
The pics are just 'Horrendous' and a great case of absolute animal abuse HAS JUST BEEN PROVEN !!! It made me sick !!!
I hope the owners of this horse persue this to the max and Hopefully Mr. Wells will get some jail time and also be suspended from AQHA !!!!!
I will no longer hold this trainer in high regard as I am sure a lot of AQHA, and other breed specific people will not either !
as far as Mr. Wells comments goes ,,,,,,I do hope all your 'Wealthy ' clients drop your cruel butt in the mudd !!!!
Yes, it is sad that MOST trainers follow suit...they get into "making" the horse instead of "training" the horse.
I have met Cleve...and he isn't an evil person - I suspect that this horse was not catching on as fast and easily as he wished...but it doesn't make it right. Spurs are a necessary tool - but when the horse loses flesh over it, its time to try something different or go back to basics.
I have worked for a wonderful trainer in the past... one with respect...and in 12 years, I never seen injury from his spurs... or to the horses mandible for that matter. ...so I know that training doesnt have to injure to be effective.