New information revealed in alleged Pine Bush racehorse beating death

Frederick Bourgault was accused of striking a racehorse with a hard object and fracturing its skull, causing it to be put down.

Blaise Gomez

Feb 7, 2024, 10:01 PM

Updated 139 days ago


News 12 has learned that a racehorse that was allegedly beaten to death by its trainer was buried and then dug back up during the investigation.
An animal activist close to the case provided photos of “Finish Line” before and after the animal died. The racehorse was allegedly struck in the head with a hard object at the Pine Bush Training Facility in the town of Crawford in July by 26-year-old trainer Frederick Bourgault.
Bourgault, who’s from Canada, was indicted and charged in January with felony criminal mischief and felony interference with or injury to certain domestic animals, under the state’s agriculture and markets laws.
Augie Abbatiello owns the farm. He says the trainer was hired by the horse’s owner.
“We don’t know if he did it or didn’t. He doesn’t remember and we don’t know,” says Abbatiello.
Borgault is accused of striking the horse with a hard object and fracturing its skull, causing it to be put down.
“It could be from when the horse fell down he cracked his head,” says Abbatiello. “It could be when they put him in the hole with the bobcat, they hit his head.”
The United Horse Coalition lists burial with a “backhoe” as an option for disposing of a deceased equine and News 12 checked with the Orange County SPCA which also said the practice is customary.
Authorities say “Finish Line” was worth more than $5,000.
“Hey, things happen,” Abbatiello says. “You know?”
News 12 reached out to the horse’s owner and the trainer’s attorney but hasn't heard back.
Bourgault was arrested by state police. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office says his charges are not bail eligible but that his passport was ordered to be held by the court.

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