Fired Goldrush Stables worker arrested after whipping horse


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) — A Goldrush Stables employee was arrested Friday after a social media video showed him whipping a horse, according to Pigeon Forge Police Department officials.

PFPD Lt. Matthew Pendleton said the video was recorded in May and showed a horse being whipped. The video showed the horse tied to a fence and the man whipping it multiple times.

David Allen Whaley has been arrested for animal cruelty, according to Pendleton.

“The horse was observed and appeared to have no injuries,” Pendleton said.

The employee has since been fired from Goldrush Stables, according to owner Peggy Wilson.

Goldrush Stables and Stage Lines posted a statement on Facebook regarding the video and the employee’s arrest:

WVLT News spoke to Wilson about the incident. Wilson said he saw the video the day after it was taken, about two months ago. “I had a seizure. I said [the employee] it will never happen again,” Wilson said.

Wilson said she didn’t want to fire him immediately because the employee is the father of six children, including a seven-month-old baby. In the end, Wilson said she had to let him go.

“We take care of our horses. We take care of our staff,” Wilson said. She encouraged anyone concerned about the care of horses to visit the stables.

An animal cruelty charge is classified as a Class A misdemeanor that can result in a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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