A nearly one-year investigation in Kentucky cleared Thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen of allegations of horse abuse brought by the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) investigation found no evidence of rule violations by Eclipse Award winner Asmussen or his assistant Scott Blasi. The allegations were brought by PETA, which had an "undercover" member work for the Asmussen stable at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2013.

In March 2014 PETA released it said documented horse abuse; the issue received added attention when the New York Times ran the video on its website. The KHRC investigation vindicated Asmussen of all the PETA allegations that included "maintaining horses in poor physical condition," and "cruel or injurious mistreatment," by forcing horses in poor condition to continue to train.

"On the contrary, the investigation revealed that Asmussen-trained horses were well-cared for as measured by such factors as incidence of injuries and KHRC veterinarian scratches," the KHRC said in a statement read by its chairman, Bob Beck, at a Jan. 15 meeting. "The stewards concluded the allegations do not support any administrative action because no evidence of rules violations was found."

Beck said KHRC staff spent hundreds of hours analyzing the 22-minute video submitted by PETA as well as collecting information through interviews of witnesses including Asmussen and Blasi.

Clark Brewster, an attorney for Asmussen, said the trainer was confident from the start that his stable would be vindicated. H