DA: Trainer charged in beating death of horse in Pine Bush
A 26-year-old horse trainer was charged on Tuesday with two felonies for the death of a racehorse that was beaten back in July, according to the Orange County district attorney.
Frederick Bourgault, from Canada, struck the horse at Pine Bush Training Facility with a hard object causing a skull fracture and the horse having to be euthanized, according to prosecutors.
Bourgault is charged with criminal mischief in the second degree for having "damaged" a racehorse named Finish Line, that had an estimated value of at least $5,000. The indictment also charges Bourgault with the felony of interference with or injury to certain domestic animals under the New York State Agriculture and Markets Act for willfully and unjustifiably injuring or destroying a racehorse, according to officials.
"Animal abuse cases are a high priority in my office, and we will continue to work with the New York State Police and our other law enforcement partners to protect animals from abuse," says Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler.
Prosecutors say Bourgault's charges are not bail-eligible under New York's bail reform legislation. His passport was held by the court pending further proceedings.
He is expected to appear in court in Feb. 2.