For Immediate Release:
September 1, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Altoona, Iowa – This morning, PETA sent a letter to officials at the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and the vice president of Prairie Meadows, urging them to revoke the state racing licenses of José Beltran and other jockeys known to participate in unregulated “bush track” races. The urgent request follows news that Beltran is slated to race at Prairie Meadows tomorrow and Saturday—even after a damning new PETA exposé documented him wearing a device that delivers electric shocks to horses.
PETA’s 10-month investigation into underground Quarter Horse racing in Georgia revealed widespread doping of horses with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, fatal injuries to both horses and jockeys, other abuse of horses, and the exchange of hundreds of thousands of dollars in likely illegal gambling. PETA is urging all state racing commissions to move quickly to revoke the licenses of jockeys who participate in underground racing.
“Black market horse racing is a cesspool of greed, drugs, and cruelty, and no jockey involved in it should be given a license to race,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on officials to launch an investigation as if horses’ and jockeys’ lives depended on it, because they do.”
PETA’s letter to Brian Ohorilko, Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s director of gaming and Prairie Meadows Vice President Derron Heldt is available here.
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.