For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Red Springs, N.C. – After PETA notified Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins that illegal drug use and deaths would be likely at Sunday’s unsanctioned horse races at Carril Red Springs, two prominent horses used in the races died. Both of them—Trump My Record, the most famous horse on the black market circuit, and Hotstepper, winner of the $1.2 million 2018 All American Derby—were champions at regulated racetracks before being switched to unregulated racing. PETA fired off a complaint to Wilkins this morning calling for an investigation into the horses’ deaths.
PETA had informed Wilkins that the races had been moved from Georgia to North Carolina in an apparent attempt to avoid the scrutiny of law enforcement after a PETA exposé revealed racing teams’ practices of electroshocking horses and doping them with street drugs, resulting in injuries (including fatal ones) to horses and jockeys. PETA’s investigators witnessed workers from Cuadra Cristo Rey—the stable behind both horses who died after Sunday’s races—injecting horses on the tracks, and the horses’ jockey, Alex Carrillo, was filmed using electric shock devices. It appears that Wilkins didn’t take any action, however.
In addition to widespread doping with methamphetamine, cocaine, Ritalin, and other substances, PETA’s 10-month investigation into underground Quarter Horse racing (covered by The Washington Post) documented the exchange of hundreds of thousands of dollars in likely illegal gambling—all of which PETA reported to Wilkins before Sunday’s races.
“Black market horse races bring cruelty and catastrophe wherever they go, and now, they’ve claimed two more victims in Robeson County,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on the Sheriff’s Office to determine whether these horses were injected with illegal drugs, electroshocked, and pushed to their deaths.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.