Illegal Drugs and Death at Unregulated Horse Track Highly Likely, PETA Warns Sheriff

After Exposé in Georgia, Black Market Races Move to Red Springs, Hoping to Avoid Scrutiny

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2022

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Red Springs, N.C. – Horse racing teams caught in a damning new PETA exposé doping horses with drugs including cocaine and methamphetamine, using electric shock devices, and whipping animals are scheduled to race this Sunday in unsanctioned races at Carril Red Springs in Red Springs. This morning, PETA sent an urgent letter to Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins, asking him to investigate the unregulated races. PETA explains that the races—which will include Trump My Record, a featured horse on the black market circuit—were originally scheduled in Georgia but are now believed to have been moved to North Carolina in order to attempt to avoid the scrutiny of law enforcement.

PETA notes that its 10-month investigation into underground Quarter Horse racing (recently covered by The Washington Post) also documented injuries, including fatal ones, to both horses and jockeys and the exchange of hundreds of thousands of dollars in likely illegal gambling—all of which will likely occur locally if law enforcement fails to act.

“Black market horse racing is a cesspool of greed, gambling, drugs, and cruelty and an indictment of the local area it gets away with operating in,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Officials mustn’t look the other way when they’re charged with upholding the law, including in cases of cruelty to animals.”

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.

PETA’s letter to Wilkins follows.

August 23, 2022

The Honorable Burnis Wilkins
Sheriff of Robeson County

Dear Sheriff Wilkins:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally—to request that you investigate unregulated horse races that are advertised to take place at Carril Red Springs (188 Jockey Ln., Red Springs, NC 28377) on August 28. These races were originally scheduled to be held at Rancho El Centenario in Milner, Georgia, on August 21 and are apparently being moved to North Carolina in order to avoid the scrutiny of Georgia law enforcement following our recent exposé.

On August 5, PETA released the results of a 10-month investigation into underground Quarter Horse racing, exposing widespread doping with various substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and Ritalin; the use of electric shock devices; injuries, including fatal ones, to both horses and jockeys; and the exchange of hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparently illegal gambling at Rancho El Centenario, the largest black market track, or “bush track,” in Georgia. PETA has now filed complaints with state and local authorities calling for criminal investigations into these and other acts that appear to violate numerous laws. Our video footage available here and photographs available here indicate what may occur at 188 Jockey Ln.

PETA’s investigation encompassed all the teams currently advertised as racing in Red Springs on August 28. Cuadra Cristo Rey, the premier Quarter Horse stable based in Georgia, is scheduled to race the most famous horse on the circuit, Trump My Record. PETA’s investigators witnessed workers Cuadra Cristo Rey workers injecting horses on the tracks at Rancho El Centenario and Rancho El Canelo as part of their regular pre-race routine. This stable’s jockey has also been filmed using electric shock devices.

Cuadra La Araña will be coming from Illinois. PETA filmed jockeys from this team wearing electric shock devices and whipping horses behind the starting gate. Other personnel stationed at the gate hit horses at the start of the races as well.

PETA documented on multiple dates that workers from another stable slated to attend the event, Cuadra La Noria, injected horses on the track and used electric shock devices.

These races moved from Georgia would be in addition to Carril Red Springs’ regularly scheduled races for August 27, which likely would feature the same

issues. We urge you to investigate and take all appropriate action to prevent or prosecute violations of North Carolina’s anti-cruelty, gambling, and drug laws.

Thank you for your time and consideration. May I please hear from you about this important matter?

Sincerely,

Kathy Guillermo
Senior Vice President
Equine Matters Department

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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