Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com

I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Big Name Trainer commits abuse UPDATED AGAIN

This story is breaking now:

Cleve Wells, a very big name QH trainer, has been accused of horse abuse.
Rather than repeat the whole story please go read it here:


You can see all the photos here:


I actually had this story sent to me three weeks ago by a lady really close to the issue and was sitting on it until I could get a statement from the owners of the horse, but looks like Cathy beat me to it. Regardless, I'm glad the info is out there. When people posted inquiries about this on the PHF they got banned and their posts yanked, so once again the PHF is in complete denial about abuse by BNT.

I would be willing to bet a lot of money if the owners had not retrieved their gelding when they did it would have had a mysterious bout of colic and ended up dead and buried before they could get there to see it.

Here's another story on the abuse case, complete with veterinary statements and more photos.


Looks like Mr. Wells sponsors are not happy!

This is what his sponsor page used to look like, just last year:


This is what it looks like now:


Also, Mr. Wells has written several books, one of them Going for Broke, ( kind of an ironic term considering the condition of the horse's jaw he abused) is published by Primedia Equine Network , http://www.workinggraphics.com/mockup-primedia2000-1.htmlwhich is the same group that publishes Equus, Horse and Rider, Dressage Today, Arabian Horse World and other magazines. They have the website Equisearch.com as well. Contact is Susan Harding. I suggest you let this company know what you think about their publication of his articles and books.


CassyW said...

If this story is true then he needs to be drummed out of the horse business, permanently


ZTIG said...

It would be nice if people would write AQHA and any other organization this man is involved in. He needs to become a PR nightmare for him to be removed from AQHA and the only way for that to happen is if everyone who is outraged writes/complains/calls news media.

Smurfette said...

Now, mouse...I don't think you are being completely accurate there.

I am following the story on PHF and a new forum on Delphi "Just Horsin' " which is an non deleting version of PHF. The posts number close to 1000 (618 on PHF alone), and 99% of the writers want to have CW drawn and quartered. The thread on PHF was closed to new posting, not deleted, I just checked. This abuse is HORRIBLE, and is especially anger producing since it came from someone that a lot of the ppl looked up to. You are always more upset when a "legend" falls than when Joe Smuck does so.

I believe (its hard to remember after reading 1000 posts) that numerous people are writing both AQHA and this man's NUMEROUS sponsors in protest. You can do so too.

There is indeed "shame in the showring" and it should be stopped, but lets be accurate.

GoLightly said...

Who do we write to?
I will happily write a letter, but to who? Ooops, english, whom????
Can anyone post a link, please?
Unbelievable, what qualifies as training.
That's abuse of power, isn'ta?

Good old boy network needs a damn good shakin'. Maybe a few spur gouges, and broken jaws, too:(

To Good Training. Not sadistic abuse.

Lope Em said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smurfette said...

At CleveWells.com you can look at some of his sponsors. This is the link to Wrangler in America: http://www.wrangler.com/wr_home.asp

The AQHA website is AQHA.com

Tuffy Horse said...


Trojan is correct. The first post made about this on the PHF got deleted and the person was banned. I know it for a fact because it was a friend of mine that made the post. Then as more information leaked out the moderator must have realized the problem with CW was true and has allowed things to stay.

Tracy M

sandmarc said...

I brought this up on the Pleasure Horse Journal Forum on November 30. All I said was had anyone heard that Cleve Wells had been reported to AQHA for horse abuse. The discussion was 131074 but you will see that it has been deleted. I received an email from the forum owner stating I needed to post my full name with any comments remotely like the statement you made about Cleve and read the forum rules before I would be reinstated.

I also asked this question on another list and the list owner contacted Cleve whom she knows. She is a QH person and when she asked Cleve about this he said that the person that has a problem with him is sure welcome to call him direct and discuss the issue rather than to do it behind his back but he also said he has no idea who it is or what the problem is. He said if he responds to allegations then it becomes a conversation and gets bigger than it really is. He also said that people who know him, know him well and know who he is and people who don't, don't really matter. He has a barn full of good horses and happy clients and that is all that matters.

sandmarc said...

I just checked the Pleasure Horse Journal Forum and the discussion on Cleve Well's situation (thread 133992) is closed for posting after 618 posts. The forum owner posted "Regretfully we should tell you... as it is common Knowledge now that Cleve Wells is having trouble with a SITUATION NOT LAWSUIT in regards to a single horse abuse situation. In an effort to keep from posting hearsay and assumptions, we have spoken with Cleve directly just tonite.

This is his statement as he is at a Denver horse show and cannot defend himself via internet...

He has asked us to "Remind everyone that there are always TWO SIDES to every story. Instead of gossip and speculation in regards to this horse, he invites anyone that would like to discuss this matter with him personally to call him on his cell phone at 817-455-0875".

Trainer X said...

OMG when I was growing up I remember a "big name trainer" in the Seattle area, who at the barn I worked at would have his horses bloody and scarred... ugh
They should have there hands and feet chopped off....


Trojan Mouse said...


Looks like I was accurate, so your little PHF buddies have indeed been trying to squash free speech when it is against one of their own.

I find it interesting that when I posted about WP abuse a few months back I was just the worst lying bitch ever. And now one of the BNT trainers is caught red-handed and you're all denouncing him, yet when I said this crap happened I was just making things up and didn't have a clue what I was talking about.

Funny how the truth will out, huh.


appycowgirl64 said...

T Jean, thought your readers would like to see this email response I got from Tabatha with Ariat last night. I thought it was quite interesting. I already posted the response on Fugly.

Hello -

Thank you so much for contacting us. Ariat does not sponsor Cleve
Wells. I contacted him earlier today and asked that he remove us from
his list of sponsors on his website.

Again, thank you for contacting us. Have a wonderful Day.


appycowgirl64 said...

Also here is the link to horsemanslibrary that I used when I sent emails to Sundowner, Rambo, Ariat and Wrangler.

Basically I told them in an email about this individual and about his horse being abused by CW who they sponsor and here is the link to the website with pictures and letters from the vet and owner. Not quite verbatim, but at least you get the idea.

appycowgirl64 said...

Not sure how it can be hearsay and assumptions when anyone who wants to can go read the letters from the owners and the vets and witness the pictures for themselves. I wouldn't call that hearsay at all. Looks more like the plain old facts to me. To me it looks like the owners crossed their "t"s and dotted their "i"s on this one as they probably knew this would go down this way. The only way you catch these folks and get them put down is with pics, witness statements and actual voice recordings.

appycowgirl64 said...

Well he still hasn't gotten the website manager to take down Ariat's sign yet.

Anonymous said...


He has asked us to "Remind everyone that there are always TWO SIDES to every story. Instead of gossip and speculation in regards to this horse, he invites anyone that would like to discuss this matter with him personally to call him on his cell phone at 817-455-0875".

So why hasn't he publicly said what happened to the horse? If he's worried about their being two sides to every story, why not go public? It seems to me that the evidence is right there, showing that the horse has been abused. Plus apparently this guy has a history of abuse. There isn't much more that can be done than the diligent work the owners of this horse did to prove what's going on. He's going to have a really hard time fighting this one.

Also, my question to you, since it seems you're supporting him: are you blind? Did you not see the photos? Even if those wounds weren't caused by abusive training methods, they are oozing puss. Puss = infection. Infection develops when wounds are not treated. Therefore, this all means that: 1) he didn't contact the owners to tell them about the injuries, otherwise I'm sure they would have called a vet to come out, and 2) he obviously didn't propoerly treat the horse if its injuries were caused by something other than abuse. He's at fault right there, if nothing else.

sandmarc said...

Wait a minute! I'm not supporting him! That was a quote from someone else and I just posted it. I posted something about 6 weeks ago regarding this and got royally ripped for asking if anyone had heard about the incident. How dare I say something terrible about BNT?

appycowgirl64 said...

Katphoti, I can tell you right now that I know that Sandmarc does not support him or any other trainer that treats a horse badly. I am saying this because I have known Sandmarc for many, many years.

She was just trying to post the info so that people who do want to question him on this and get his side, can call him, since he says there are two sides. I can agree with anyone that there is always two sides, but with the pics and everything, it will be interesting.

He probably has gone quiet on this whole thing and is probably only discussing this with his attorney, because I am sure his attorney has advised him by now to not say another thing, except in depositions or court. He would be smart to keep it that way as well and let his attorney release a statement after everything is said and done.

Worse thing is some of the stuff he has said on these clinics that were recorded and produced on stuff like You Tube, may really come back to haunt him.

Anonymous said...

Oh crap, I'm sorry, sandmarc. I didn't even see the thing about the quote. I was reading too fast. I'm very sorry about that! I hope you can forgive me!

GoLightly said...

The BNT is an SOB.

"Worse thing is some of the stuff he has said on these clinics that were recorded and produced on stuff like You Tube, may really come back to haunt him."

One can only hope.

Hoping for Quarter Horses.

sandmarc said...

This is from the Paint Horse list

Thank you for your concern with regard to our sponsorship of Cleve Wells and for your information we will not be renewing this sponsorship in 2009.

Please come back to me if I can help you in any way with regard to Horseware Ireland and its products.

Best Regards


David Smith

Global Marketing Manager

Horseware Ireland Ltd.

Tel: Office (353) 42 938 9000

Tel: Mobile (353) 87 770 1428

Tel: USA (1) 252 775 1131

E-mail: david.smith@horseware.com

Web: www.horseware.com

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Excellent news! Good for Horseware Ireland!

ZTIG said...

Candy at FHOTD posted the address for the DA involved in this case. I figured it would be a good idea to cross post here.

Please write a letter to them:

District Attorney
Honorable Dale Hanna
Phone (817) 556-6802
Fax (817) 556-6816
Guinn Justice Center
204 S. Buffalo Ave Room: 209
Cleburne, Texas 76033

According to the posters there the following has happened:

A) Ariat is not a sponsor of Mr. Wells and are contacting him to remove their logo
B) Rambo is NOT renewing their sponsorship (they earned lifetime business from me for that one - and I let them know)
C) AQHA does have an active investigation going on

Smurfette said...

ROFLOL....was the current sponsor page supposed to come up BLANK? Now, that is a hoot. One post I read somewhere (this issue is being discussed on a LOT of horse forums), it looked like Wrangler denied that they EVER sponsored CW, and that he had just posted their link on his website, and that they were going to have him remove it. If I read correctly, that is another slap in the face of his "honesty."

Trojan Mouse said...


>ROFLOL....was the current sponsor page supposed to come up BLANK? Now, that is a hoot.

A few weeks ago that page was loaded with logos, like he had mre sponsors than a nascar driver.

I noticed on the PHF that someone was trying to say the horse was suffering from various medical conditions that actually look like abuse, but aren't. I saw sarcoids mentioned.
I know all about sarcoids and they do not reach the level where they drip pus unless they've be ignored for years and years, and get injured to boot.
That horse is too young to have the types of symptoms from long term cancer. Plus the fact that now the injuries are healing up, means that trying to say it was a disease is just so much bullshit.

T Jean Maus

Anonymous said...

OMG, I could not stop laughing when I saw the sponsorship page. And kudos to all those sponsors for jumping on this! This guy is SO going down!!!!!

mulerider said...

I sent an e-mail to Horse & Rider when this first hit the web. My e-mail was polite and rational, no ranting and raving. I have, as yet, received no response.

I love the fact that his sponsor page is now blank.

Since this news broke, I've been following the story and have been aghasted (love that FHOTD word) at the number of people who have witnessed Cleve Wells and other BNTs abusing horses, but did nothing. In this day, when everybody and their brother has a cell phone with camera, how can you not pull out your camera, get photographic evidence, and file a complaint? It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

mulerider said: "In this day, when everybody and their brother has a cell phone with camera, how can you not pull out your camera, get photographic evidence, and file a complaint? It boggles the mind."

I think because of the reprocussions that are possible. In the TWH sore horse world, people who are noticed taking pictures at the show grounds of the abuse are usually chased off at the least, threatened at the most, and followed to their car in the parking lot at the worst. I'm not kidding about this--people have been killed over trying to expose others for soring.

Plus, I believe it's also the same mentality of when you see some woman hit her kid harder than a normal spanking in the Wal-Mart. Most people nowadays just want to stay out of it because they believe it's none of their business.

It's a hard choice to make as well. I mean, how good is a person going to look if they walk up during a horse clinic and say I just saw you abuse that horse? For example, a friend of mine went to a David Lichman clinic. Lichman is a 5-star/7-diamond/pink heart Parelli trainer (or whatever crap he has going now) who took the ideas and attributed them to gaited horses. So he runs around showing people how to ride their gaited horses bareback with no bridle pushing a giant ball using resistance-free methods. She said that he was having a lot of trouble with a horse at the clinic she went to. The horse just wasn't doing well and was very jumpy. So he said he believed the horse wasn't handling the arena situation well, so he was going to take a break, let the horse stand for 20 minutes and get out of the arena, then come back after the break. So he left with the horse. My friend's seat was off to the side where she could see his helpers backstage where his gear was and stuff like that. She watched him walk the horse over to that area and promptly beat the shit out of the horse. After the 20 minutes, he brought the horse back in the ring and he was miraculously calm. No, she didn't say anything other than get up and walk away. She was so shocked and disgusted that she couldn't stand it and left. I know I would have gone up to his crew and told them flat out what I'd just seen and that I was going to report him to Parelli. But then again, how loud can just one voice be? If no one else saw it, then what kind of clout does she have?

There might also be the idea of well, he's a professional, he must know what he's doing. Especially for beginner hosre people. I didn't know any better when I saw the guy I bought my horse from beat on his horses to get them to do things. I figured that's just what you did--dominate horses.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I guess there are lots of whys. Maybe someone can also comment on what you said and we can get other ideas.

Tuffy Horse said...

Katphoti wrote:

>Plus, I believe it's also the same mentality of when you see some woman hit her kid harder than a normal spanking in the Wal-Mart. Most people nowadays just want to stay out of it because they believe it's none of their business.

This is true. BUT it is also the organizations that ignore such behavior. I turned in a WP trainer that I personally saw hitting a horse in the head with a whip, while riding the horse with a blinker hood, in the practice arena. The complaint was "lost" and this loser still shows in the ApHC, leaning back and sticking his nose in the air.

So what can you do when the associations refuse to prosecute their big show people?

Tracy M

Dreamcatcher1 said...

I thought that in America you were innocent until proven guilty! You have the whole horse industry already hung.I see you regularly delete comments from people who call you on your propaganda and lies. You are a coward. Also you are intellectually dishonest. Did I forget to mention completely uneducated?

jodi said...

I quit working for a trainer because of what they do. Seen blood and knots on their neck from them hitting the horses on the neck. A person went to cleve wells place in january he had yearlings tied to huge tires and tied all day long to keep them tired to raise their heads up. WP trainers tie horses heads up high to keep their heads tired. They tie them in their stalls all night to keep them tired. Go to the shows in Ohio at night APHA AQHA you will see the big trainers tying horses all night in the corners of the stalls. Look at ropers who hit their horses in Oregon in aqha with their ropes against aqha rules. Look at cutting trainers at the spurs they use and the sides of those horses. Cleve wells clients probably will buy off the DA's office. I know some others are calling sharks and peta on Cleve Wells. People need to go to their trainers when they don't expect it..thats your right. Take pictures. But be aware...Some people have money and connections as I have learned and thats where things can get complicated.