PORTLAND, Conn. (WTNH) — A horse trainer faces 20 counts of animal cruelty charges for allegedly abusing horses at White Birch Farm in Portland.

State police said an investigation began into White Birch Farm’s trainer Alexis Wall, 30, of East Hampton, back in May. State police said in an arrest warrant request that they received numerous anonymous tips, complaints, and eyewitness accounts of animal abuse at the farm during that time.

Wall is accused of tying horses for hours at a time without access to food or water, cruelly punishing them for acting out, excessively using spurs, and riding them too hard for hours, among other accusations.

Tying any animal in place for extended periods can cause them intense pain, strain on muscles and tendons, and cause physical and mental harm to them.

One eyewitness statement also described seeing horses at White Birch Farm bleed from their mouths due to excessive riding or having their head tied too tightly to a saddle and whipping as punishments. Another accused Wall of slamming a horse’s head into a wall.

These horses suspected of abuse were confirmed by the farm’s owner to be trained by Wall, state police said.

Wall’s methods are not considered acceptable training methods in the equine community, investigators said. For these reasons, Wall was arrested and charged on 20 counts of animal cruelty, including:

  • Two counts of overworking
  • Two counts of failing to provide proper drink
  • Seven counts of mutilating, cruelly beating, or unjustifiably injuring an animal
  • Nine counts of torture

Wall was arrested on Friday, July 29, and is due in court on Aug. 9.