SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has fined and suspended two breeders of champion Tennessee walking horses in connection with allegations that they violated the Horse Protection Act more than 10 years ago.

William Bill Johnson and Sandra Johnson of Atlanta, who own Waterfall Farms in Shelbyville, were suspended for a year beginning on Jan. 21 and each ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Federal law prohibits soring, which accentuates the breed's high-stepping gait by using chemicals, injections and mechanical devices that cause pain.

According to documents obtained by the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, the suspension stems from their champion horse, JFK All Over, which was entered in a May 2000 show in Shelbyville.

The documents say the Johnsons waived their right to an oral hearing on the matter, but neither admit or deny the allegations.

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Information from: Shelbyville Times-Gazette, http://www.t-g.com

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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