As reported by Margaret Ransom on USRacing.com, and relayed here nearly a month ago, the father-daughter duo of Chuck Borell and Maria Borell has been on a rampage for nearly three years. They have been accused with animal cruelty to horses under their care with indisputable evidence, and most recently a plot of land owned by them was discovered to have at least 32 abandoned horses. Their reign of terror is seemingly coming to an end.
This week, officials in the state of Kentucky arrested Chuck Borell for 43 cunts of second-degree animal cruelty. He is being held currently by the sheriff’s department in Mercer County after returning to his farm just outside of Lexington where he was finally apprehended. The state’s agriculture department is determining the extent of his crimes and continuing to file paperwork as of this writing.
The Borell family first entered the mainstream news after Maria was fired after her trainee Runhappy won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The daughter of Chuck Borell had worn out her welcome with Jim McIngvale but many of us did not know why. The biggest moment in the young trainer’s career turned in to her strangest.
Unfortunately a win at the world championships is not what will define Chuck and Maria Borell’s lives. They had previously leased Colby Field Farm and left the facilities in dire straights with a lack of care and maintenance that sadly extended to the horses as well. Assistant trainers and other employees under the Borell pair reported vast actions of animal cruelty but their voices were ultimately never heard.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that this sport avoids bad press at all costs. But establishing a standard for horse trainers is a must in this sport even if it means turning over some ugly stones. The case of widespread animal cruelty perpetrated by the Borells is a cautionary tale.
For now it seems that their extortion plans have been halted. Maria Borell was fired fro Drawing Away Stables a few months ago and has not really resurfaced, while Chuck is now behind bars where he belongs. Animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor under Kentucky law.
It is a wonder that Runhappy, who was likely viewed as a meal ticket to the Borells, was not dismantled in the wake of their destruction. The now four-year old sprinter is pointed towards the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile since last winning the Malibu Stakes in December of 2015.
The same can not be said for another 32 horses who were found at the Borell farm. Six of them have been sent for rehabilitation due to malnutrition, while the rest of them are being taken care of by equine specialists and volunteers. The department of agriculture will oversee the process of finding them homes eventually.