A Utah horse trainer is facing charges after 10 of his horses died from dehydration in July.
American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman Shamus Haws, of Erda, was charged Thursday with 11 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.
In July, authorities were alerted to dead horses in a pasture. Salt Lake County Prosecutor Sim Gill states the horses went without water for up to five days. Temperatures during that time were near 100 degrees. Ten horses died and an 11th was found dehydrated, but did survive.
Felony charges were a possibility, but the prosecutor said the investigation showed negligence rather than intentional harm.
Haws’s business, Running U Livestock is “one of the largest Quarter Horse breeders in the western United States,” according to his website. Haws also trains horses, offers clinics, and does demos.
Haws is slated to be a 2015 Road to the Horse Wild Card competitor in the horsemanship competition.
If found guilty, Haws could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $11,000.