Statement from PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo on Felony Charge Against Jockey Roman Chapa

PETA is relieved that the Harris County, Texas, district attorney has acted on evidence that Roman Chapa used an electric shock device during a race on January 17 and has filed a felony charge against the jockey. Chapa has also been suspended from racing twice for using shock devices, been suspended for using a nail on a horse, been fined for whipping a horse in the face, and served 10 days in jail on a plea agreement after authorities said he beat a dog with a strap. If Chapa is convicted, PETA urges all racing jurisdictions to ban him from riding permanently. According to its own report, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission failed to interview Chapa, even though Scott Blasi, assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen, was caught on tape joking about an incident in which Chapa hid a buzzer in his mouth: “That silly-ass Roman Chapa put it in his mouth in New Mexico. They came in to shake him down, he stuck it in his mouth, then he spit it out in his wash bucket.” Chapa has ridden nearly a thousand horses for Asmussen. PETA—once again—calls on the commission to look more comprehensively at this issue. PETA’s full response to the commission’s report on our investigation and the commission’s omissions is forthcoming.

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“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