Charles Borell Offered Plea Deal In Case Of 43 Abandoned Horses

by | 09.09.2016 | 8:31am
Charles Borell, at Boyle County Detention Center, Danville, Ky.

Charles Borell has been offered a plea deal on 43 counts of animal cruelty related to abandoned horses found on a Mercer County, Ky. farm. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, details of the plea were not disclosed by Mercer County Attorney Ted Dean following a pretrial conference held Thursday.

Borell did not attend the conference.

If Borell does not take the plea deal at a hearing on Sept. 29, a trial date will be scheduled. He is free on $4,300 bond.

Larry Catlett, attorney for Borell, declined to comment on the case to reporters but did acknowledge he has received 740 pages of evidence and a thumb drive with photographs of the abandoned horses, many of which were Thoroughbreds, from Mercer County.

An arrest warrant remains active for former Runhappy trainer Maria Borell on 43 counts of animal cruelty, but she is believed to be out-of-state, and cannot be extradited back to Kentucky on misdemeanor charges. One local television news report earlier this year even suggested she may have left the country.

The horses, who were largely cared for by volunteers and donated funds for weeks during the investigation this summer, have all been moved to 14 different facilities to receive care and treatment while officials await a conclusion to the case. All, including the six horses moved to the Blackburn Correctional Center (which included two of the horses with the worst body condition scores), are gaining weight and regaining alertness.

Read more at the Lexington Herald-Leader

  • Mike Oliveto

    Why is this POS being offered a plea?

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    Not surprising really. In these cases that is often what happens. My guess is the deal involved a large fine, restitution costs, and community service with probation. Could be possibility of a suspended jail sentence and immunity if he chooses to testify against Maria should she ever be brought back to face charges.

    • greg

      he’ll never pay the fine and will still negotiate to avoid jail time, if he treated kids the way he did horses, or maybe even dogs, he’d not get a deal

      • whirlaway

        Don’t feel too sure about kids, unbelievable the crimes and lack of care people get away with that put their children in danger without consequences.

        • Flying J

          Sadly, very true.

          • whirlaway

            Unbelievable what we hear and see. I still have difficulty understanding how a child is left in a hot car some resulting in their death.

  • Richard C

    The report leads to plenty of speculation — and (yet…again) the triumph of politics.

    • Decimus_D


      Plea deals are offered in virtually every case in the US Justice system. If you’re guilty, and don’t want to deal with open court and the possibility of getting the book thrown at you; you plead guilty and take a (possibly) more lenient punishment.

  • Jan Colton

    Any plea agreement should prohibit owning and/or caring for and /or training horses for a minimum of five (5) years.

    • whirlaway

      Agree but even 5 yrs is too short for me. What owner in their right mind would give these people any horse to care for and train?

    • David Duran

      Should they be charged they should never be able to have anything to do with any animals at all.. ever

  • Mdn

    Maria is a breeders cup winning trainer who has a special bond with Runhappy

    • Tiznowbaby

      Too bad she didn’t have a special bond with the horses who were starved.

    • Jsmith

      have you read the FACTS of this case?

    • greg

      she had a special “bond” with Mattress Mac, when his sis-in-law (Wolhers) found out Maria was out

      • lastromantibune

        possibility ……

      • ridingtowin

        I highly doubt that. Knowing what type of person Maria Boreal is, I’m sure she would of already let us all know if it was true.

    • ctgreyhound

      In case you haven’t heard Runhappy has moved on (or should I say “run happily on”). He’s left her in the dust. Maria must have a split personality: trainer extraordinaire & animal abuser. Strange, but somehow these character traits aren’t compatible. Yes, Runhappy was one of the more fortunate horses to flourish under her care. The others were saved in the nick of time.

  • Tinky

    43 counts of animal cruelty = a misdemeanor?

    That ain’t right…

    • whirlaway

      Among thousands of practices in this country that are not right.

      • Tinky


      • comedyflyer

        Redirect….how not to solve one problem at a time…

        • whirlaway

          That is a definite.

    • Bob Dillman

      It sure isn’t!

  • Jsmith

    This shows more than ever that it is of vital importance to check the voting record, and stance of our local and state politicians up for election. If there are issues of concern to you (in this case animal cruelty and the punishment it carries) you need to check your county and state laws, if you don’t agree with the current laws then write/email/call your local elected (and those running for election) officials, ask for their position on the matter, and what they plan to do about changing it. Best to have some solid ideas ready of changes u would like to see for those who had not given the topic u r discussing any thought. If they didn’t have good answers keep bugging them until they are taking notice. YOU r paying their wages, they need to address your concerns. It helps if u can get others in your district to call too. We can sit here and complain about the lax laws until we r blue in the face, but we do have the power to have changes made. If we don’t do something how can we expect anyone else to? it’s your city, county, and state elected officials that have the biggest impact on your day to day life, so make an informed choice. Btw, Google animal cruelty relating to human abuse, some frightening statistics there.

  • Audrey Gulla

    Unfortunately I’m not surprised by this. The real judgmental power belongs with his future employers. Could a blacklist of these offenders ( like Borell & others ) be assembled & offered for any horseman to then check their credentials against? If he & others like him can’t find work hopefully that ends the problem. ( Simplistic yeah, but….) A lifetime ban preventing anything to do with animals would be greyt too….

    • Bob Dillman

      I’m pretty sure that Ms. Borell us essentially blacklisted by owners and trainers,…unless of course she changes her name or some crazy story about how she is innocent of these charges gets proven or surfaces on social media. Perhaps damsel in distress?

      • Audrey Gulla

        I just read another article about them that might interest you. The Blood Horse, 9/20 : State, Borells’, clash over horses’ ownership…by Frank Angst….You won’t believe their audacity!?!

  • Ida Lee

    Objection !! What is wrong with you people. This is not the kind of case where deals are offered. Borell needs to be made an example. Why a deal anyway ? If you have so much evidence, why the deal ??? I don’t get it….

    • Attorney

      Ida, it would seem as if you are not familiar with the justice system and the institutions in place. This case, despite it’s strong deviance from an ethical norm, is still simply a misdemeanor. Courts that obtain jurisdiction over such matter are more concerned about getting through their docket in a timely manner to preserve the right of due process.

      While making an example out of people is a method better known as retributive justice, it will unlikely be the case here under the current implemented statues. Further, it is the assistant district attorneys discretion to hand out an offer. Most everyone gets and offer, murders, rapists, etc.

      • Audrey Gulla

        Wow….that is really leagaleeze…….Believe me, I’m NOT being sarcastic. Thanks for your explanation. It has helped me understand.

  • john

    Even a deal needs to involve some jail time….

    • lastromantibune

      so how much time is Hillary going to serve ?

      • tigerwoman

        Fyi, this is a forum on a horse racing site. Please go grind your axe somewhere else. Thank you.

  • J

    Before he these the Plea Deal.
    He may need a Psychiatric Evaluation. The photo posted tells allot.
    He may be able to Walk.

    Good Luck Charles

  • Delrene

    The State of Ky needs to change their laws. 43 Counts is a felony deserving of time in a State Penal Institution. Thank you to those who brought these horses back from the brink of death.

  • just an observer

    How can this moron lawyer defend this degenerate Borell? I guess some people will do anything for money

  • Tom Davis

    If he turns down a plea deal and takes the matter to trial and loses, he most likely will get the maximum sentence or close to it because he’s ‘rolling the dice’ by going to trial. It’s all or nothing so to speak. He was told by the judge at the arraignment what the maximum penalty for this misdemeanor would be. He now must make a decision. We don’t know the conditions of the plea deal.

  • Michael Castellano

    Throughout history, horses have been essential animals for humans: for transportation, the delivery of goods, in wars, racing sports, and riding pleasure. In the modern era, why have they not been both honored and protected? You can abuse an animal in almost any way imaginable, and only get a misdemeanor? Well that is going to change one day, whether racing bureaucrats see it coming or not.

  • talkingman17

    When there is no MONEY people are forced to do bad things.

  • Richard C

    He is probably mumbling during the photo —- You mean I don’t get all the donated money for the horses??

  • ziggypop

    And this putrid charge is how much Kentucky “loves” their horses-a misdemeanor. Then to add insult to injury, they give him a plea deal.


  • Lisa Worrell

    She’s in Camillus NY. Saw her and talked to her today. She doesn’t know who I am but I know who she is. I have a picture of her license plate. FL plates.

  • Mdn

    Let’s not rush to judgment on the Maria everybody forgotten the special bond she had with runhappy ? It was magical and that hat she wore Breeders’ Cup fantastic.

  • Robin

    Not Right

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