7 Charged for Horse Abuse, Gambling at Bush Tracks

Huge news! As detailed in today’s Washington Post, Prosecutors in Georgia have charged six jockeys with cruelty to animals and a bookie with felony commercial gambling based on evidence gathered in PETA’s groundbreaking undercover investigation into unregulated Quarter Horse races at two “bush tracks” in that state.

jockey injects horse at bush track

This progress comes after a PETA victory in California, where we presented our findings to the state’s horse racing board, which then passed a groundbreaking regulation to prevent jockeys, trainers, and owners from participating in or even attending unregulated races. With this measure, California became the first state in the nation to ban its licensees from any involvement in unregulated Quarter Horse races.

Five of the jockeys who face charges in Georgia also race at licensed racetracks across the U.S., including Horseshoe Indianapolis (Indiana), Turf Paradise (Arizona), Louisiana Downs (Louisiana), Prairie Meadows (Iowa), Remington Park (Oklahoma), Red Mile Racetrack (Kentucky), Belterra Park (Ohio), Emerald Downs (Washington), Sam Houston Race Park (Texas), and FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (Illinois).

However, convicted felon Arthur “Brutz” English—owner of Georgia’s largest black-market track, Rancho El Centenario in Milner—has not yet been charged and continues to operate races at which horses are abused and doped.

 English recently taunted law enforcement by creating promotional ink pens in the shape of syringes, printed with his track’s logo. During PETA’s investigation into Rancho El Centenario, our undercover investigators collected dozens of syringes from the racetrack, where hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal wagers changed hands.

PETA believes that his conduct amounts to commercial gambling and a violation of the Georgia RICO Act, and we’re urging authorities to charge English for both.

What Happens at Georgia Bush-Track Races?

At Georgia unregulated tracks, PETA’s investigators captured footage of the following:

  • Rampant doping of horses, including injections of cocaine, methamphetamine, and Ritalin
  • Jockeys using electroshock devices and whipping horses relentlessly
  • Gruesome and fatal injuries to horses and jockeys

Please sign PETA’s petition urging Gov. Brian Kemp to take immediate action to shut down unregulated tracks operating in Georgia so that no more horses will be injected with street drugs, electroshocked, or die in gruesome breakdowns.

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