“Horse Capital Of The World” title tarnished in horse abuse scandal in Pendleton Co, Ky

Disgust, Horror, Sadness, Anger, Sickening, Nausea, Hatred, Revolting, Furious, Outrage etc.. are words that should come to mind when you review the ‘Larry Browning’ case from Pendleton County, KY. Mr. Browning’s repeated behavior of neglect and abuse coupled with an unfavorable resolution to the case should speak not only to the ‘implied’ hidden corruption but also to the integrity and manner in which this case was handled. The title “Horse Capital of the World” must mean nothing if this continued neglect and abuse is a common occurrence in the equine industry throughout our Commonwealth.

There are two sides to a story. What defines those sides, are the characters in the story and the evidence submitted. The facts alone are astounding and speak to behavior I myself can not comprehend. Photos don’t lie, regardless of what a report says. If we as Kentuckians, continue to allow this picture to be painted as a means to attract Industry and Business, then we are surely destined for demise and failure not only in our economic landscape but in our moral landscape as well.

No one should be above the law! It would seem though, that is exactly what we are led to believe looking at THIS case. The County Attorney, Jeff Dean did not exercise his full power to prosecute Mr. Browning and allowed Mr. Browning to enter an Alford plea, offering at best, a minimal punishment that might as well be a blank sheet of paper. Did I mention that Larry Browning still has horses? Mr. Dean was elected to do a job and took an oath to be fair and impartial. He had every opportunity to recuse himself from this case and did not in spite of Mr. Browning being his friend.

You could also infer from the actions of Deputy Sheriff Todd Dennie and Sheriff Craig Peoples as being culpable, as they too refused to be involved and even went so far as to agree to be witnesses for Mr. Browning’s defense. The counties own animal cruelty officer Steve Johnson, refused to investigate, ignoring the complaints and DOCUMENTED evidence. Ask yourself, if these individuals are capable of being complicit in turning a “blind eye” to this type of abuse, then what else are they capable of?  As elected paid officials of their county, they took an oath and were SWORN to uphold the law, even when the person breaking it, was a friend.

Mr. Browning’s disregard for horses dates many years prior to the 2011 case and even then no charges were filed. The investigations start in 2011 up until his last plea deal in January of 2015. Mr. Browning’s defense has continually been “they were dropped on my property” Browning denied any allegation of abuse. “I’ve actually traded ponies and horses for 50 years. I’ve never been accused of starving anything in my life. I don’t believe in it. I wasn’t raised that way,” Browning said. That’s the same thing Browning said in 2011 when he was investigated and 10 horses were in such bad shape they had to be euthanized. Browning was not charged in that case. I challenge Mr. Browning’s defense. How the hell do that many horses get trailered in and dropped off in the dark on a state road? Furthermore, why did he not report any of them?

As much as Mr. Browning and others would love us to buy into that story, you can not, based on the repeated offenses, condition of the horses, testimony of others and the photos. Collectively, they paint a very disturbing picture. Make no mistake, these animals suffered a very painful, ghastly, horrific death. Those that did not die, suffered unimaginable pain, starvation and dehydration.

What are we to take from this case when the outside Equine Cruelty investigator from Kenton County, Scott Pracht appointed by Pendleton Judge Exec Henry Bertram, submits his resignation on Jan 15, 2015 because of a LACK OF A PROSECUTION? If that does not speak volumes to the atrocities in this case, then nothing will.  The toll financially and physically has left many in the county scarred, heartbroken and traumatized. I urge you to write county officials and express your outrage at the inexcusable outcome in this case.

Attached below are photos, the plea deal, the facts and links to various sites and stories. Thank you for your consideration in reading this article. It took stomaching these pictures for days to figure out the best way to convey this story. DON’T LET IT JUST BE BURIED!  Write and call your lawmakers. Tell whomever you can about the abuse in our state. Support those in Pendleton Co/Falmouth who would like to see Co Attorney Jeff Dean removed from office~
Debbie Wimsatt

*FACT 1-

49 dead horses found on Pendleton Co. farm`APRIL 2014~In what one investigator called the ‘worst case of animal cruelty” he’s seen, 49 dead horses and 15 others that appeared emaciated were found on a Pendleton County farm Monday.

Some of the horse skeletons on Larry Browning’s farm were found still wearing halters. Some were so starved their ribs showed through their skin. There was very little hay for the horses to eat, some of it in pools of water along with horse carcasses, county animal control officials said. Browning told them he planned to sell all the horses, either to private owners or to slaughterhouses outside of the country, by May.”In nine years, this is the worst case of animal cruelty I’ve seen,” said Scott Pracht, the county’s equine investigator.



*FACT 2-

Animals’ Angels Inc., a non-profit organization that investigates cases of animal abuse and other instances of cruelty in the slaughter pipe line in the United States, claims “this incident wasn’t the first time Browning was accused of mistreating his animals”. Animals’ Angels reports investigators found about 100 horses “very thin, emaciated, lethargic and coughing” on Browning’s farm in 2011.
“Some were penned in an area used for manure disposal, standing on ground covered with manure and urine, their hay thrown on top of the filth,” the report states. Animals’ Angels investigators said they obtained photographs taken at Browning’s farm on June 15, 2011 that show “extremely emaciated horses.”

*FACT 3-His former stepdaughter  Rhonda Clark-Crosby  writes:

Hi everyone, My name is Rhonda, and I just wanted to 1) apologize for this horror! I am in no way personally responsible, but you all should know up front, that at one time I was his stepdaughter for many years. It sickens me to think back on those years or to be associated with this DEMON in any way! 2) I wanted to ask I’d anyone has any fresh info on the status of this case. My Mother & I know this man too well & Have known him up close & personal for 40 years. He is guilty!!! He is guilty of all these charges & so much more!!! I only wish the police & investigators had bothered to question me or my mom…but they didn’t! Mom divorced his nasty wicked self 11 years ago, but OMG, THE STORIES WE COULD TELL! My Mom managed his horse business for years & is very familiar with his cruelty to the horses among other things! It’s really killing her to think that he will actually get away with this….again!!! Mom has tons of facts & info that can be proven, that would absolutely win this case against him, so why have we not been questioned?!! The answer is, because the people who know about us are keeping their mouths shut because they know we can & will help the prosecution hang his ass from the highest tree…so to speak! 3) I am here to open myself up to you all, no matter who you are, ask me anything you want & I will answer you truthfully. Just please be respectful, I am a Christian woman. 4) is there anyone or any groups or organization that can help ensure his prosecution & conviction? He can not be allowed to get away with this evil again! He already believes he is charmed & untouchable & can do anything he wants…After all, he’s been doing it for 50 years and getting away with it!!! Is there “anyone” out there that will help me make sure he answers for his crimes?

*FACT -4
One county official calls dealing with Browning for the last 10-years a “complicated situation.” Pendleton County Judge-Executive Henry Bertram says, “the care for his animals has deteriorated.” 


PETITION FOR A RETRIAL OF THE CASE~ by signing this as over 20,000 have you lend a voice to CHANGE


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date of seizure 7-20-14

date of seizure 7-20-14

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Contact County Attorney


102 thoughts on ““Horse Capital Of The World” title tarnished in horse abuse scandal in Pendleton Co, Ky

  1. faith thomas says:

    Oh also this must be the only thing you herd but there was a women who had 25 dogs living in there own filth and shuved in cages some where very very skinny like on there way to during also down here in Pendleton

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly Faith, this is a two fold issue. Not only are the laws ill written, making them subjective and drenched in ambiguity, we must also place blame on our judges and prosecutors, who in many instances, allow the perpetrator to walk with minimal fines and no jail time even though what little laws we have give them the ability to inflict punishment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Apparently this man is Very sick.. I just cant imagine anyone one in their right mind to let this happen.. And if the Law is allowing this to continue its pretty sad and disgusting…I would love to have one of those horses to love and take care of.. Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer says:

    All he had to do if “the animals were dropped there” is call the police. Or call his vet and say, “I’ve got more animals than I can feed…and they’re going to starve”. I’d put a bullet into a horse before they suffered or starved. Absolutely No excuse. They’re living creatures that need care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All of the facts of this case need to be brought into the State police (not the local sheriff dept) Then this needs to go before higher court (not the county court system which is where Im sure it was tried) All of these officials that have over looked the severity of said abuse need to be charged with neglecting their sworn duties as elected officials. Mr Big shot animal murderer/abuser needs to pay for his crime and be barred from owning or possessing any living creature (not even a goldfish) and should be ordered to make weekly payments to animal cruelty/rescue organizations for the rest of his life!! Really a shame that the punishment does not fit the crime, because if it was up to me he would be residing in a 4×4 cell with no food water or human contact until the coroner came to pronounce the sick bastard dead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The KSP was involved. Pendleton co’s own ACO refused to get involved, so another ACO/Equine Cruelty Investigator from Kenton Co, Scott Pracht was brought in to investigate. There was no trial because the Co Atty Jeff Dean, accepted Mr. Browning’s Alford Plea.


  5. nathan hughes says:

    Me being a farm hand on that farm several times and growing up with the Brownings personally first hand that the media has blown this situation way out of proportion. Larry browning was a good man and took in sick horses trying to save them. When you take in horses that are half dead as it is and you have as big of farm as he does how the hell are you supposed to no if one wonders off and dies. And the carcuses that were found were the same one from 2011. I’m not saying g he isn’t in the wrong for not keeping his shit together and staying on top of cleaning things up and stop taking in sick horses when being good hearted got him in this situation in the begging. Same as with the lady who had all the dogs. People took them strays because they had a better shot in life with her then going to the so called “animal shelter” we have. So those of you who don’t no what’s going on in Pendleton county. Should probably stay out of the matter. We have a judicial system for a reason they do there jobs how they see fit. They didn’t fully punish Larry because they knew what Larry was trying to do. Just became over whelmed. Same as the dog lady. They’re guilty of negligence yes. But as far as being animal abusers. I think not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So I’m curious Nathan, which is it? They were dropped off or he took them in? Repeated behavior indicates a problem in my book. Taking in horses that are half dead is WHOSE fault? Why were they not reported? “Not keeping his shit together” as you write seems to be an obvious issue.


    • Kay says:

      Nathan, Perhaps one or two horses might have been dropped off. But there is no way on Earth that that number of horses were dropped off there, off-loaded on a busy state highway without the neighbor’s seeing. And the neighbor’s DIDN”T see anything. Not to mention, there were no dead horses there after he was investigated in 2011. And between 2011-2013, 50 horse carcasses were picked up through the soil and conservation district’s dead animal removal program. And by APRIL 2014, there were 49 more dead horses! That is 99 dead horses in just over 2 years. Even just counting the live horses there in April – around 50 – plus the 49 dead means there were 99+ horses on 70 acres of land. That is not nearly sufficient pasture and land to support the number of animals there. And that count does not include the cattle and goats on his property. If you think what he has done is acceptable and okay, there is no way I would want any of my animals in your care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Terri Lee says:

      If Larry was going to “take in ” sick horses that made him responsible for them. That means you check up on them and make sure they are seen by a vet. Larry should have quite a file of vet records if he took in so many sick horses and did his best to help them. Maybe he can share all those vet records with the public to convince all of us just how committed he was to helping all these sick horses he “took in.” If what you call negligence results in unnecessary suffering and death Larry and the “Dog Lady” are guilty of violating animal cruelty laws…period…no matter how the animals in question came to be in their possession. Enough excuses.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      This is WAY more then a good man overwhelmed, etc. This man has major issues. If his property is to large then he needs to hire someone, etc. Bottom line is….this man couldn’t care less. And anyone, from Pendleton co or from Mars With common sense at all, know it!! Abuse is abuse, wake up, this is 2015, times have changed from the days when letting your animals suffer was ok…….it’s not ok and making pathetic excuses for this sub human is disgusting. This man should be locked up and the key thrown away!!!!


  6. Kathy howard says:

    This not right and so wrong, how can any one take something so beautiful and not take of them ,is this guy in jail if not why not.May be something else could be done,like tar and feather him and let him starve in the cold .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Teddy says:

    Nathan, you are a moron.
    There are people posting on here who are from Pendleton County and very familiar with Larry’s crappy business dealings.
    By the way, there were no dead horses left over from 2011.
    And when you take in sick horses to rehab them (which Larry did not) you just don’t throw them out on the back 40 and forget about them.
    Nathan, I hope you don’t have any kids. Good grief!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kathy Porter says:

    Very sad situation indeed. If you can’t afford to take in the animals then find someone or an entity that can. That can take care of them responsibly and rehab them for a better life. It doesn’t matter if it is horses, dogs or cats they deserve to be treated with humanity not thrown out like yesterdays garbage. Shame on all involved who did nothing to help !!!!

    And I really think that Nathan was wearing rose colored glasses if he thought that the Brownings were doing a good thing and couldn’t see the damage that was being done. Stop and smell the rotting flesh and maybe you will understand!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. FG123 says:

    Hi Melissa, I noticed the link to the USA Today posting. Has anyone tried going to media outlets to report and had any success. Local or national (which might be better in this case). Just wondering if law enforcement and local officials will not do anything, if enough people made pleas to the media for investigation perhaps this could shed a better light on this awful, awful situation. I’ve noticed that sometimes when you can’t get the law to work with you, the court of national public opinion will force the right people to get involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi yes the media has been contacted and the story was picked up in different places but it is typically as it enrages people for a day and they move on. What needs to happen is locally a facebook page and movement need to take place to get people connected in that community to implement change and remove Mr. Dean


  10. Kay says:

    Anyone wishing to verify for themselves the truthfulness of this blog post and the details of the case, I would encourage you to file an Open Records Request. You will need to file requests with BOTH the Circuit Clerk of Courts office located in the new Judicial Center as well as with the Pendleton County Fiscal Court Office located on the 2nd floor of the old court house in order to get the court proceedings and details, the equine investigator’s report, veterinary reports, etc. They are entitled to charge you for paper copies (and according to the attorney general website that cost is 10 cents per page) and electronic copies where available (If the information was submitted electronically) might not have a charge. You need a name and a signature and can request the records either in person or ask that they be mailed. You do not have to provide proof of identity and they can not discriminate based on your identity. There is a nice guide online at the KY Attorney Generals office website about how to ask for public records.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anonymous says:


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Paul says:

    I have lived in Pendleton county my whole life. Everyone knows there has been a problem at Browning’s for many years now. The evidence does not lie and the fact that the county officials have let this go on year after year is totally wrong. We know of the 49 dead, how many do you think have died in recent years. The numbers are probably in the hundreds. I will say at least our old Judge Executive Henry Bertram, head of our fiscal court got the charges filed and tried to put an end to it even though he had to go outside the county for an animal control officer and to the Kentucky State Police. What sickens me most is how useless our Sheriff’s department is. They think they are too good to investigate animal cruelty or do they think suffering and dying animals are ok. Animal cruelty is a state law, Browning broke that law and the good ole sheriff’s wouldn’t do their duty and enforce the law. These guys aren’t law enforcement, hell they are not even men, if they can’t defend a helpless animal. You are no sheriff Mr. Peoples!! Yes, Jeff Dean needs to step down. He is no prosecutor, he is a coward. With every trial there is risk but in this case Browning should have went to trial. This case is not just about the money the county spent, it is about the suffering and dying horses that deserved their story to be told in court.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, did you recently see the front page of your Outlook paper with your new Co Judge and other officials being quoted for stating how much they appreciated the effort Mr Dean put into the case? That made me fall off my chair


  13. oleta allen says:

    Too bad Browning is not in Texas! By darn we can still hang horse thieves & animal cruelty is as punishable as child abuse! From what I have seen in Kentucky since moving here two yrs ago, the laws definitely are for the “good ol’ boys”. We have been scammed by a set of contractors & our ass’t co att says $30,000.00 is civil, not criminal, so I can imagine a “dumb” animal not standing a chance with this mentality.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I posted this to the Today Show Facebook page. Can we all blow up the national media and get this man shut down and possibly change the laws here in Kentucky. Can we create some heat for our elected officials. Come on folks. We can do this. Whose with me? We can make a difference if we all let our voice be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Just wanted to let you know that on Jan 25, 2015, Larry Browning is running classified ads in the Falmouth Outlook for horses and cows. Yep–we taxpayers will continue to support his lifestyle choice by paying for dead animals to be removed from his farm due to lack of food.


  16. Stacy says:

    In response to Nathan,
    If these horses were “dropped off” as you say…then why weren’t the authorities notified? I would certainly notify authorities is sick horses suddenly and mysteriously started appearing in my fields. Any lover of horses would have concern about half-dead horses appearing.


  17. Irene Stone says:

    If someone has requested and obtained the public records, can they be posted here? Also, copies of his ads in the local papers for more horses and cattle? As for Nathan, how do explain the fact that ads are still in the paper seeking horses and cattle, in violation of the court’s order? Who is the vet who examined these horses he was trying to save? (Does he even have a vet??) Frankly, between the horse abuses, the rampant breeding and abandoning of foals for nurse mares, and the shipping of horses to slaughter, I think we should all chip in for giant signs along the highways leading to the upcoming Kentucky Derby that show the true state of Kentucky’s treatment of its horses. Even banners – I would volunteer to help hold banners along the routes to the Kentucky Derby. With lots of pictures of how Kentucky shows its love for horses.


  18. Kim says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I am uncertain whether you live in Pendleton County or not. I was hoping to contact you or anyone involved with this case. I want to help get the law in the county changed and find out if a retrial is legally possible? I will be contact Gary Viers instead of going to the attorney. I believe he will brush it off. Best to go up the ladder.




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