Kentucky racing brothers Wayne and Duane Murty were in court Monday for what should have been a simple arraignment.
One of the more interesting exchanges was when Duane said to the judge “Excuse me, what did you say honey?” The judge replied, saying, “I said your risk level, I’m not honey. Your risk level is low moderate.” Local NBC affiliate Lex18 was in the court room.
The pair was arrested Thursday after complaints of malnourished horses led to a focused cruelty investigation. They are each charged with seven counts of second-degree cruelty to animals, according to the Woodford County Detention Center inmate records.
Both pleaded not guilty.
Animal control authorities opened their investigation after finding two dozen horses reportedly in deplorable conditions. The men were leasing a part of the former Hopewell Farm, where the majority of the horses were found in a barn. Two horses were euthanized.
The Murtys moved their horses to a new farm in Bourbon County earlier this month. A third horse was later found dead at the new property.
Wayne Murty, a former international race horse trainer, said the horses’ bad health was from a weed he claims is toxic to horses. He said a veterinarian told him the creeping buttercup was poisoning the herd.
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