WATCH: Goldrush Stables employee fired, arrested after horse whipped

A Goldrush Stables employee was arrested and fired after a video was circulated of him whipping a horse.
A man has been fired and arrested after whipping a horse at Goldrush Stables in Pigeon Forge TN
A man has been fired and arrested after whipping a horse at Goldrush Stables in Pigeon Forge TN(Kaylee Guinn)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 4:11 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2022 at 10:13 AM CDT
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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An employee from Goldrush Stables was arrested Friday after a video on social media showed him whipping a horse, according to officials with the Pigeon Forge Police Department.

Lt. Matthew Pendleton with the PFPD 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.

A Goldrush Stables employee was arrested and fired after a video was circulated of him whipping a horse.

David Allen Whaley was arrested for cruelty to animals, according to Pendleton.

“The horse was observed and did not appear to have any injuries,” Pendleton said.

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

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

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

Wilson said she did not want to fire him immediately because the employee is a father of six, including a seven-month-old baby. Ultimately, 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 worried about the care of the horses to visit the stables.

A cruelty to animals charge classifies as a Class A misdemeanor which holds up to an 11-month sentence and 29 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

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