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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

PETA accusing Ocala Breeders’ Sales of overdriving, euthanizing horses in request for criminal charges

An animal rights group is asking the state attorney’s office to pursue criminal cruelty-to-animal charges against Ocala Breeders’ Sales for “recklessly overdriving” two horses who were subsequently euthanized.

On Thursday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued a letter to William Gladson, the State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Florida.

In the letter, attorney Jared Goodman, who represents PETA, requests that the state “pursue felony and misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges against those responsible for cruelly causing the deaths of a young colt this month and a young filly in April 2023.”

Frosten, the “young colt” referred to by Goodman, was involved in an accident during an under tack workout race.

In a video compiled by PETA showing video obtained from OBS, the horse can be seen racing along the track for a short distance before attempting to jump over the inside track barrier.

The horse is then seen colliding at high speed with the barrier, causing the jockey to be thrown from the horse’s back.

As the horse is being tended to in the video, the staff administers pink fluid injections into its neck. Shortly thereafter, the horse’s body becomes stiff.

The other horse cited in the letter was involved in an on-track incident on April 21, 2023. Video of the incident shows the horse rearing up, appearing to suffer an injury to its legs.

PETA claims the horse suffered a “catastrophic musculoskeletal injury” at a similar under tack show that required the horse to be euthanized.

The letter goes on to suggest that there is a “wealth of evidence” that both horses died from “serious injuries and catastrophic breakdowns” due to “excessive speed works in short sprints at under tack shows.”

Earlier this month, the Director of Sales at OBS was arrested after he was accused of snatching a backpack from the PETA investigator who was recording staff during Frosten’s on-track incident.

In a statement announcing the letter, PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo condemned the races at under tack shows, a common refrain by animal activists.

“Ocala Breeders’ Sales knowingly risks these young horses’ lives to inflate auction prices,” said Guillermo in a statement. “This practice is extremely dangerous, cruel, and we believe illegal, which is why PETA is calling on authorities to file charges against those responsible for these horses’ deaths and injuries.”

Last week, OBS concluded its 2024 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds, where it sold 633 horses for over $82 million.