Undercover video shows trainers abusing horses

Three trainers are accused of beating horses and using chemicals to make them walk with a high-stepping gait.
Three trainers are accused of beating horses and using chemicals to make them walk with a high-stepping gait.

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WAFF) - A group of Collierville, Tennessee horse trainers face federal charges for abusing horses under their care.

Undercover video shot by an investigator with the Humane Society of the United States showed the trainers beating the horses and subjecting them to an illegal process in which chemicals are put on their lower legs to induce a high-stepping gait.

The animal rights group said trainer Jackie L. McConnell of Whitter Stables and others subjected show horses to banned practices. McConnell and three other men were named in a 52-count federal indictment earlier this year.

According to court documents, McConnell will plead guilty next week to conspiracy to violate the Horse Protection Act. His attorney said he faces up to five years in prison and expects other charges will be dropped.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.