Horse Tested Positive for Meth; Now PETA Wants Harness Trainer’s License Revoked

For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cleveland, Ohio

The Ohio State Racing Commission has suspended harness trainer Samuel J. Schillaci for one year and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine after Gardys Legacy A, a horse trained by him, tested positive for the dangerous drug d-methamphetamine after a race at Northfield Park on September 3, 2023, according to records just obtained by PETA. Today, the group sent a letter to the commission calling for the permanent revocation of Schillaci’s license.

Gardys Legacy A in the winners circle

Gardys Legacy A in the winner’s circle

“Evidence shows this trainer administered a dangerous street drug to a horse and got a slap on the wrist for it,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “There should be no place in Ohio racing—which receives subsidies that could be going to the state—for someone who risks a horse’s life with meth.”

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.

PETA’s letter to the chair of the Ohio State Racing Commission follows.

January 29, 2024

Scott Borgemenke


Ohio State Racing Commission

Via e-mail

Dear Mr. Borgemenke:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which has nearly 200,000 members and supporters in Ohio, to urge the Ohio State Racing Commission to revoke the license of trainer Samuel J. Schillaci.

Records show that Gardys Legacy A, a Standardbred horse trained by Schillaci, tested positive for d-methamphetamine at Northfield Park after the first race on September 3, 2023. The commission suspended Schillaci’s license for one year and fined him just $1,000.

This small administrative fine and suspension aren’t commensurate with such a serious violation. Administering meth endangers a horse’s life, and trainers who treat a horse so callously will do the same to others, too. The commission should consider not only the safety of Gardys Legacy A but also that of all the other horses in Schillaci’s barn.

Your commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethics and safety within the state is crucial. Those who demonstrate such cruelty even one time show a clear disregard for the regulations and shouldn’t be granted the privilege of competing in your state ever again. By permanently barring Schillaci from competing in Ohio, you would create a safer environment for all participants.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.


Kathy Guillermo

Senior Vice President

Equine Matters Department

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