Harness Driver Viciously Whips Horse, Sparking PETA Legal Complaint

Investigation, Cruelty-to-Animals Charges Needed After Kyle Husted Beats Mare After Crossing Finish Line, Group Says

For Immediate Release:
October 4, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cicero, Ill. – 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 driver Kyle Husted for viciously whipping a mare named Donna’s Beach well after she’d crossed the finish line in a harness race at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero on July 26.

According to 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 17 seconds after she’d finished the race in second place, an act that appears to have been a punishment and that the Illinois Racing Board itself recognized 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.”

“Kyle Husted whipped a horse after the race was over, and there’s no excuse for this,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling for appropriate charges to be filed against Husted 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. And just four days before his attack on Donna’s Beach, Husted was fined $100 for violating the Minnesota Racing Commission’s whipping rule.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind