In her heyday of horse breeding, Linda D. Crowley counted among her equine companions a legendary stud named Pride’s Generator, the sorrel once considered the envy of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry.
A world grand champion, Generator awed crowds and judges year after year in Shelbyville, Tenn., with an unmistakable flaxen mane and high-stepping gait. His success as a show horse propelled him to a prolific career as a sire, during which he produced more than 2,300 progeny before his death in 2001.
Today, Crowley owns about 100 horses and a farm just east of Waverly Hall that has quietly drawn a much different kind of attention. Neighbors and local animal rights advocates have increasingly voiced concern that some of the horses roaming the sprawling pastures aren’t getting enough to eat.
“These people have been perpetual violators for the last six to eight years,” said Van Hendricks, a Waverly Hall horse owner who said he has seen underweight horses on Crowley’s farm on many occasions. “The horses were just not taken care of.”
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has maintained an open file on the farm for years and regularly sent inspectors to the property. Citing the pending case, officials would not release documents related to the farm or discuss the inspections in detail. But agency officials acknowledged they have repeatedly asked for improvements on the farm because some standards haven’t been met. During an inspection this month, “six or seven” horses remained underweight to some degree, said Venessa Sims-Green, the agency’s interim director of equine health.
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