Two Horse Deaths, Suspected Drug Use at Black Market Tracks Spell Trouble; PETA Warns Officials

Authorities Pushed to Investigate Upcoming ‘Bush Track’ Races

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Walterboro, S.C. – Today, PETA sent a letter to Colleton County Sheriff Guerry Hill Jr. and State Veterinarian Michael Neault, urging them to look out for possible doping and other abuses at Carril 57’s unregulated horse races this weekend. The urgent request follows recent reports that two “bush track” horses in Barnwell County were destroyed after contracting equine infectious anemia, likely from shared needles.

At least four black market racing tracks operate in South Carolina, all of which could serve as breeding grounds for disease if authorities don’t act in time, and PETA’s new investigation into underground Quarter Horse racing encompassed stables that regularly race at Carril 57. The exposé revealed widespread doping of horses with cocaine and methamphetamine, fatal injuries to both horses and jockeys, the exchange of hundreds of thousands of dollars in likely illegal gambling, and the use of electric shock devices. In recent months, two jockeys were photographed at Carril 57 wearing the devices on their wrists.

“Black market horse racing is a cesspool of greed, drugs, abuse, and disease, and its existence is an indictment of any jurisdiction that allows these races to take place,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Given that equine infectious anemia is an incurable disease, PETA is calling on officials to do all they can to prevent its spread and uphold anti-cruelty laws.”

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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