Video footage has surfaced showing Kyle Husted—a harness racing driver—viciously whipping a horse named Donna’s Beach well after she’d crossed the finish line during a July 26 race at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Illinois.
This morning, PETA sent a letter to Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx calling on her office to pursue cruelty-to-animals charges against Husted for his abusive actions.
In the race replay video footage taken directly from Hawthorne Race Course’s website, Husted—who is Donna’s Beach’s trainer and driver—struck her with a whip at least three times, the first time 18 seconds after she’d finished the race in second place. The act appears to have been a punishment, and the Illinois Racing Board itself recognized it as “excessive and abusive.” The incident appears to violate Illinois’ cruelty-to-animals statutes, which state, “No person … may beat, cruelly treat, torment, starve, overwork or otherwise abuse any animal.”
There’s no excuse for Husted’s actions. We urge State’s Attorney Foxx to file appropriate charges against him for this violent attack.
Husted has been penalized for multiple infractions at racetracks in at least four states. Since 2011, he’s been suspended at least four times and fined at least 30 times for excessive whipping, striking at and interfering with other horses, careless driving, improper conduct toward officials, failure to pay fines in a timely manner, and failure to abide by racing rules, despite having been warned repeatedly. Just four days before his attack on Donna’s Beach, Husted was fined $100 for violating the Minnesota Racing Commission’s whipping rule.
Help Other Horses Like Donna’s Beach
In addition to not attending horse races, you can take direct action for horses in the racing industry who are drugged to mask their pain or enhance their performance.
Click the button below to tell your congressional representative to help these animals: