Louisiana Jockey Charged With Cruelty as Black Market Horse Races Exposed

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Bossier City, La.

In the wake of PETA’s 10-month undercover investigation into unsanctioned Quarter Horse racing at two notorious “bush tracks” in Georgia, prosecutors in the state have charged six jockeys with cruelty to animals and one bookie with felony commercial gambling. One of the jockeys, Germarius O’Neal, raced at Louisiana Downs in the past month.

images of a man implicated in a PETA undercover investigation
Jockey Germarius O’Neal (right) whips a horse in a black market race in Georgia (left).
syringe shaped pens filled with a yellow liquid and the text Atlanta GA printed along the side
Georgia “bush track” owner and convicted felon Arthur “Brutz” English IV recently taunted law-enforcement officials by creating promotional pens shaped like syringes and printed with the track’s logo.

PETA investigators captured footage that shows rampant doping of horses, including injections of cocaine, methamphetamine, and methylphenidate (Ritalin); jockeys using electric shock devices on and relentlessly whipping horses; and gruesome and fatal injuries to horses and jockeys. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal wagers changed hands.

The Washington Post just revealed in “The Feds’ Raid on a Bush Track Fizzled, so Horses Kept Racing—and Dying” that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture planned to raid the Georgia tracks following PETA’s investigation, but at the last moment, for reasons known only to the agencies, didn’t—allowing the abuse to continue.

“The Louisiana Racing Commission should not tolerate these jockeys’ participation in black market racing,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA’s video footage shows these jockeys relentlessly whipping horses or wielding shock devices—actions that are illegal in Indiana—and the commission should yank their licenses immediately.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners announced new policies against unsanctioned horse racing after PETA’s investigation, confirming dangers to the horses from this abusive drugging and from equine infectious anemia, an uncurable disease caused by the importation of tainted blood-doping products and the reuse of needles on multiple horses.

Recently, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) instituted a new rule after being alerted by PETA to the rampant cruelty at more than 170 bush tracks operating in over 30 states across the U.S. Specifically, the CHRB amended Rule 1902, “Conduct Detrimental to Horse Racing,” to prohibit licensees from “participation in, or presence at, any non-recognized race meeting where racing occurred.”

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 PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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