Cutting Horses’ Hooves
“She was skinny as a rail, and shaking in pain and screaming for her life,” – Eyewitness
Oklahoma horse trainer Robert Dimitt was charged on Thursday with three counts of felony animal cruelty. He pleaded not guilty. Authorities are requesting a warrant be issued for an additional two counts for his alleged tortuous acts of horse abuse.
Deputies arrested Dimitt on August 3 after mutilated, dead horses were found on his horse farm. Dimitt denied any knowledge of cutting horses’ hooves until they bled as well as any wrongdoing prior to his arrest, according to court records.
One witness told authorities about the torture the horses endured.
“I would walk in the barn and he would be covered in blood, under the horse would be covered in blood, his tools would be covered in blood and he would be beating a horse that was trying to get away from him. He would drug the horses with a (sedative) to where they could no longer fight him. The horses would shake in pain some would even scream. They were lame when he was done with them they could barely walk. If they weren’t walking fast enough for him he would beat them with a stud chain…”
The female stable worker details Ty Blackwell, the horses’ trainer on paper, pleading with Dimitt to stop cutting on the AQHA racer Clouds Aflyin. She says there was “blood everywhere”. The horse was standing in the barn — loose on bloody nubs. “She was skinny as a rail, and shaking in pain and screaming for her life.”
Phillip Brassfield’s Vod Kanockers already died that week. Ashley’s Freight Train was standing in a pool of blood shaking as Dimitt continued knifing away at her feet, according to the barn worker.
The female worker said she tried to stop Dimitt from carving on the horses’ feet. She told authorities that she even hit him in the back of the head while he was cutting on a horse one day. According to court documents, “he [Dimitt] got her down to the ground and held a carving knife to her throat.” Dimitt told her to keep her mouth shut and not to tell anyone.
Ty Blackwell trains horses with Dimitt. He told authorities that Dimitt works for him because he [Blackwell] is licensed by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission. Dimitt lost his racing license due to horse doping violations. Blackwell admitted Dimitt knows more about the business and actually tells him what to do.
Blackwell told authorities, “Dimitt was concerned with winning at any cost, regardless of whether or not it hurt the animals”.
Neither Blackwell or Dimitt sought veterinarian treatment for the horses. Instead, horses like Clouds Aflyin were allegedly left to die agonizing deaths. Blackwell said before the two-year-old’s June 2015 death, the filly’s condition was so bad that one or more of the horse’s hooves had rotted off.
Blackwell never reported Dimitt because he said he respected him. Additionally, he didn’t want anyone to get in trouble. He said he thought if a vet saw the animals they would know, “something is not right and there would be a good chance the cops would be called and the racing commission would be called,” and for the “preservation of self and my business.”
The state of New Mexico has opened a criminal investigation into Dimitt. Stay with us as we continue to follow this developing case.
Horse Authority (formerly Rate My Horse PRO) champions social change initiatives to improve horse welfare. Since 2010, we’re empowering the equine industry through awareness and knowledge-based tools. Get involved in our horse community for good today because together we can do more to improve horses’ lives.