A horse trainer with a history of fines and suspensions for animal abuse is now facing felony charges in the death of a Hudson Valley horse.

26-year-old Frederick Bourgault was arraigned this week and charged with two felony counts. The harness racing trainer is accused of beating a racehorse to death at the Pine Bush Training Facility.

Sadly, this isn't the first time Bourgault has been accused of cruelty towards a horse.


A History of Fines and Suspensions for Frederick Bourgault

Bourgault has been fined and/or suspended several times for mistreating animals. In 2020 he was suspended by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for beating a horse who placed fifth in a race.

In 2021 Bourgault was racing a horse named Grey Bell and was fined $300 and suspended after he failed to keep a line in each hand and was seen whipping the horse one-handed before the 3/4 pole at the Monticello Raceway.

According to PETA, the New York State Gaming Commission also fined Bourgault and required him to take an anger management course for whipping a horse after a race in 2022. A year later, the 26-year-old was fined again for excessive whipping.


Bourgault Charged With the Death of a Horse in Pine Bush, New York

The newest charges against Bourgault come with two felony counts in connection with the beating death of a racehorse at the Pine Bush Training Facility in July. According to the indictment, Bourgault allegedly struck a horse named Finish Line with a hard object which resulted in a skull fracture. As a result, the horse had to be euthanized.

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that Bourgault was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree damaging the horse that was worth at least five thousand dollars. The trainer was also charged with Interference with or Injury to Certain Domestic Animals, which is a felony.

PETA's senior vice president, Kathy Guillermo, applauded the State Police for bringing Bourgault to justice but had harsh criticism for the gaming commission.

Bourgault is a repeat offender who should have been booted from racing years ago and banned the first time he whipped a horse after a race was over.

District Attorney David M. Hoovler calls animal abuse cases a "high priority" and says his office will continue to work with law enforcement to prosecute those who are guilty of mistreating animals.


What's next for Frederick Bourgault?

Bourgault was arraigned in Orange County Court but neither of the felonies he's accused of are eligible for him to be remanded to jail. Because he is a Canadian national, the court ordered Bourgault to surrender his passport. The horse trainer is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

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