Video: Horse Dead, Jockey Injured, PETA Investigator Assaulted by Ocala Breeders’ Sales Staff

Police Complaint Filed Over Assault, Unlawful Detainment, and Theft of Backpack

For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Ocala, Fla.

Earlier today, a PETA investigator was assaulted and his backpack was stolen by Ocala Breeders’ Sales (OBS) President Tom Ventura and another staff member at the OBS Two-Year-Olds in Training under-tack show while he was filming the euthanasia of a young horse who had suffered a catastrophic breakdown. At under-tack shows like these, very young horses are forced to run at rightly named “breakneck” speeds to drive up sales prices. The investigator filed a police report with Ocala police alleging assault, battery, theft, and false imprisonment.

The investigator’s video footage shows that he was quietly filming the euthanasia of the horse at a distance when one of the men ordered him to “put your damn camera down!” As detailed in the report filed with local police, a man repeatedly grabbed him by the arm and then ripped his backpack off his body.

“Ocala Breeders’ Sales acted disgracefully by forcing these immature horses to run faster than they ever will again, killing a horse, risking a jockey’s life, and then assaulting PETA’s investigator to try to cover it all up,” says PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Tom Ventura and the thug who works for him should be prosecuted, and these death races should end.”

Livestreamed footage of the breakdown—obtained by PETA before the auction’s livestream went private—shows the young horse, named Frosten, who wasn’t yet 2 years old (though considered that age under racing rules), crashing through the track barrier, sending the jockey plummeting to the ground, where he lay motionless. PETA has developed a comprehensive plan to make under-tack shows at auctions safer for everyone forced to take part in them, including by holding the events in the fall rather than the spring so that the young horses have more time to develop.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out thatEvery Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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