GOSHEN – A racehorse trainer has been indicted by an Orange County grand jury on two felonies in connection with the beating of a racehorse on July 17, 2023 at the Pine Bush Training Facility in the Town of Crawford.
The indictment charges Frederick Bourgault, 26, of Canada, with beating a racehorse named “Finish Line” so hard with a pipe that the horse valued at $5,000 had to be euthanized.
Bourgault was charged with criminal mischief and interference with or injury to certain domestic animals
Vice President of PETA Kathy Guillermo said the trainer allegedly beat the horse because it accidentally stepped on his foot.
“It’s probably the worst case of animal abuse from a harness racing trainer that I have heard of, and that’s saying something because we get reports of cruelty all the time,” she said. “But to beat a horse to the point that the horse can’t even survive is something that needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law without question.”
Guillermo said Bourgault who raced at Monticello Raceway and Tioga Downs, was suspended by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario in 2020 for beating a horse who placed fifth in a race. She also said he has a long history of violations in New York and has been fined and/or suspended for kicking horses and for excessive use of a whip.
In 2022, she said the New York State Gaming Commission fined Bourgault for whipping a horse after a race and directed him to take an anger management course. But in April 2023, he was again fined for excessive whipping.
Guillermo said PETA wants to know why the gaming commission and tracks have still allowed Bourgault, with his documented history of violence and violations, to continue racing and why New Yorkers are forced to support the harness racing industry with $100 million in subsidies every year.
Bourgault was released as neither charge is eligible for bail as per recent bail reform laws.
The district attorney, however, sought the court to hold his passport pending further proceedings
Source: Mid-Hudson News