Animal Abuser Gets Only Three Days for Leaving Welts

Five days ago, 4-year-old Lady In Fashion finished 2nd in a race at Running Aces (harness) in Minnesota. She was then, as is the protocol, sent to the test barn. There, the Racing Commission reports, the regulatory vet “saw welts” on the mare’s right hip. After review, the stewards unanimously concluded – wait for it – that the driver, Luke Plano, “caused the welts.” But because this was Plano’s “first welt offense at Running Aces in 2022,” he was given but a $500 fine and three-day suspension. Imagine that.

While this may be Plano’s first welt offense this year, it is not his first whip offense there this month: He was guilty of “excessive use” in a Jul 17 race, and that, the stewards noted, was his second whip violation at RA in 2022. So the above would make it three. Plano, of course, has been brought up on numerous other charges, including (as a trainer) a pair of drug violations just this year, just at this track.

As for “causing welts,” Plano is a serial offender. Here are just a couple: Cal Expo, Hoosier Park. And, needless to say, he’s also been complicit in killing. In short, Luke Plano is, at least in regard to how he treats innocent animals, a bad man. Not only should he not be allowed to work around animals, he should be in jail.


  1. My personal opinion, and therefore my comments would mean my committing a criminal offence with regards to what I would love to do to this ‘man’, so I shan’t bother. Not that I give a damn about the law, they don’t give a damn for the welfare of horses, but so I can continue to comment here.

  2. SHUT DOWN this vile industry — with all the evidence of continuous cruelty and hate to the Horses, when will we start looking at PROTECTING them — SHUT DOWN this depravedly immoral industry — in any other area, such abuse and deaths would NEVER be tolerated, yet it’s ok in Horseracing — SHUT them DOWN

  3. This piece of shit should be punished by 40 lashes across his backside and thrown into solitary confinement for five years. That would be too good for this low-life abuser of horses!!!!!

    • The punishment should fit the crime. Any trainer/jockey like PLANO that is found to have abused a horse should not be fined but ought to be whipped in the buttocks as many blows as it takes to show welts.

      • Exactly, Christine! It would not take 40 lashes to do that, but he is a repeat offender. He deserves more than two welts!
        This whole industry needs to be shut down!!!!

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