The Mercer County farm in central Ky.

The Mercer County farm in central Ky.

Rick Samuels

Charles Borell Enters Not Guilty Plea

Pre-trial hearing scheduled for Sept. 8.

An attorney for Charles “Chuck” Borell on Aug. 1 entered a plea of not guilty on his client’s behalf to 43 charges of second-degree animal cruelty in connection with the abandonment of horses at a farm in Central Kentucky.

Borell, of Syracuse, N.Y., was not in Mercer County District Court for the brief hearing in which Larry Catlett entered the not guilty pleas. Chief District Judge Jeff L. Dotson scheduled a per-trial hearing for Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. EDT.

Catlett, who practices in Harrodsburg, Ky., located in Mercer County, declined any questions following the court session.

Borell remains free on bond, and a warrant has been issued for his daughter, trainer Maria Borell, who also faces 43 charges of animal cruelty.

Second-degree animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. Officials have been unable to locate Maria Borell, who is best known as the trainer of 2015 champion sprinter Runhappy  when the colt won the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I).

The charges against the Borells stem from 43 horses apparently being abandoned on a 121-acre farm located about seven miles outside Harrodsburg.

After local and state officials were notified, volunteers began caring for the horses, many of which had varying degrees of health issues. Since then, the effort to care for the horses has been assisted by the Thoroughbred Charities of America and Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, which relocated some of the horses.