Alabama Horse Trainer Sentenced for Soring

Alabama horse trainer Chris Zahnd has been sentenced to two years probation in a horse soring case.

Zahnd pleaded guilty to soring violations in connection to a 2009 horse show where a Tennessee Walking Horse he was training was wearing a nerve cord in it’s mouth. Inspectors determined the horse was bilaterally sore.

United States Attorney Jerry E. Martin said, “The use of illegal soring techniques undermine the equine industry while giving unfair advantage to those who engage in such cruel, painful, and inhumane training methods. This office is committed to prosecuting such abuses that are in violation of the Horse Protection Act.”

Zahnd is now managing Choose Your GAIT Breeding from his Swingin’ Gate Stables in Decatur. His program includes working with Friesians as well as Tenessee Walking Horses.

As part of his sentence, probation officers and USDA officials are authorized to visit Zahnd’s barn to monitor the welfare of the horses. Additionally, Zahnd will be required to supply information on all horses under his care.