New Jersey Harness Trainer Viciously Drives Horse Into Barn Wall; PETA Calls For Police Investigation

For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Freehold Township, N.J. – PETA just obtained documents revealing that following a race at Freehold Raceway, harness track trainer Jack Pelling whipped a horse named Magazine Theme and drove him into the exterior wall of a barn. In response, PETA this morning urged Freehold Police Chief Craig Dispenza to investigate and bring all applicable charges.

Welts on horse Magazine Theme’s body.

Welts on Magazine Theme’s body. Photos obtained by PETA through a New Jersey state public records request.


A state veterinarian documented numerous welts on Magazine Theme’s hindquarters after the incident, which took place in 2022. Witnesses say that Pelling, apparently unhappy with how the horse raced, said, “F*ck this piece of sh*t,” after he drove him full tilt into the side of the barn. The New Jersey Racing Commission imposed a $2,000 fine and a 180-day license suspension, but PETA believes that the treatment of the horse is a criminal act under New Jersey law.

 “Pelling should be prosecuted, banned from racing, and never allowed near a horse again,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Crashing a horse headfirst into a wall should land him behind bars.”

PETA notes that the New Jersey horse racing industry receives millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies each year.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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