9 People Indicted in Illegal Texas Horse Racing Ring Case

Officials say unsanctioned “bush tracks” like this one contribute to the spread of EIA and piroplasmosis in U.S. horse populations.

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9 People Indicted in Illegal Texas Horse Racing Ring Case
Evidence collected during the investigation included several syringes allegedly containing illegal substances used to increase a horse's racing performance and related drug paraphernalia. | Photo: Courtesy Parker County Texas Sheriff's Office

A grand jury in Texas has indicted nine people for operating an illegal horse racing meet near Fort Worth. Animal health regulators report that illegal racing at so-called “bush tracks” is associated with the spread of serious horse diseases, such as equine infectious anemia and piroplasmosis, and puts horse welfare at risk.

Last October the Parker County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, the Texas Animal Health Commission, and several others to investigate a bush track in Springtown.

Bush tracks are unlicensed makeshift racetracks that operate in rural areas of the United States and Canada. They are not sanctioned by state racing commissions, which regulate the number of times a horse can compete in a 24-hour period; prohibit the use of banned substances and devices to enhance a horse’s performance; and require current equine health certificates and proof of negative Coggins blood tests (which detect EIA antibodies in a horse’s bloodstream)

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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