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Hockley woman says trainer injured her daughter's beloved horse

HOCKLEY, Texas – A Hockley family says it is devastated its beloved horse returned home from a horse trainer appearing underweight with a cut on its head.

Cody Lavelle, 6, grew up with her horse, “BigYin." “He is a really, really, really good horse to me,” Cody said.

Last month, her family sent BigYin to a horse trainer, so he and Cody could compete in rodeos. When BigYin returned to the family on Monday he had a large gash on his head and looked like he had not been eating enough. “I felt very mad and very upset,” Cody said.

“I’ve never seen my daughter so distraught. That’s her best friend, the first horse she ever rode,” said Louise Lavelle. 

The horse trainer says BigYin suffered the gash when he got spooked and hit his head on a trailer. As far as the weight, he says the Lavelle family did not provide him with enough food, which isn’t included in the cost to train him. 

But Louise Lavelle says even if both those claims are true, the trainer should have contacted the family to relay the message. She says after four weeks went by, the trainer would not answer her calls. She says the horse was finally returned to them on Monday by someone who works for the trainer. “I trusted this man. I’ve been out with him in public and I did not think this would happen at all,” Lavelle said.

BigYin is getting better, but the family wants to warn other horse families to be cautious when choosing a horse trainer.

The Lavelle family has filed a report with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The trainer says he is now thinking about suing the family for slander because of posts they’ve made about him on Facebook.