Criminal Investigation Begun in Hiteman Case

I’ve heard from many of you that the Madison County Prosecutor’s office has responded to your entreaties regarding Dale Hiteman. Thought I’d share my own interaction.

First, my email to them:

Dear Deputy Prosecutor Hanna:

I am sure by now your office has been made aware of a horse beating committed by trainer Dale Hiteman at the Hoosier Park racetrack on June 1 of this year. As I am the person who filed the FOIA request with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC), and subsequently disseminated the information, I wanted to write to you directly.

We believe that a fair viewing of the video in question must lead to a conclusion of animal cruelty as defined by Indiana statute 35-46-3-12 (“Abusing Vertebrate Animal”):

“A person who knowingly or intentionally abuses a vertebrate animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to industries involving animals, historically, county and state prosecutors have deferred to the relevant regulatory agency – in this case, the IHRC – in all matters of welfare. But not only are there typically conflicts of interest on these commissions – pro-racing inclinations if not direct connections to the people they’re tasked with sitting in judgement of – but the commissions by law have limited punitive tools at their disposal (fines, suspensions, but obviously no criminal possibilities). Hence, the critical need for intervention by your office.

I am including the video, the hearing (with a transcript that we commissioned from a court reporter) and my original post from our website. We are humbly and respectfully asking that you prosecute this man. This would truly be groundbreaking and would send a loud, unequivocal message to horse abusers that they will no longer be able to hide behind “common industry practice” and that the days of wrist slaps from racing commissions are over. (I have documented time and again Indiana drivers whipping so hard they leave welts on their horses – and the IHRC merely levies token fines.)

Please, Deputy Prosecutor Hanna, strike a blow for that poor young (just two years old) horse, who, by the way, is still under the yoke of Hiteman.

my post:

Hiteman video on our YouTube channel:

Hiteman hearing on our YouTube channel:

The transcript has been attached as a file below.

Thank you in advance. And please feel free to call should you wish to talk directly.

Patrick Battuello
President, Horseracing Wrongs

And his response:

Good afternoon,

This case has been referred for criminal investigation.

All the best,

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  1. Let us hope that those tasked with the investigation are animal advocates and don’t go to the race track. This first step is encouraging. Thank you Deputy prosecutor Hanna for having the integrity to start this ball rolling. Thank you to HRW and Mr Battuello for the unremitting commitment to ending this form of horse abuse that exists in plain sight. Indiana, we are looking to you to step above the parapet and do the right thing.

  2. A well-written letter to prosecutor. Thank you and your organization for doing everything you can to help Princess Laa.

  3. This is really groundbreaking! We will keep pushing the DA to pursue this case. We cannot let these abusers hide behind common industry practice anymore. There needs to be justice for Princess Laa and that justice will continue for all of the horses. Thank you all for your support and we will continue to fight!

  4. YOU ARE WONDERFUL, this horse received one of the most BRUTAL ATTACKS (I’ve seen a lot, between the MASS doping in EVERY horse related ‘sport’, I have seen enough to get away from a PASSION I knew & lived as a child & younger adult), HORSE RACING & ANYTHING to do with HORSES, except now just to provide 4-EVER homes for a few. I have seen trainers, grooms, riders (NOT EVER a jockey), do VILE things to horses/babies, who are kept PRISIONERS in their 10 x 10’s. I have been pulled in & threatened by racetracks security for “whistle blowing” (putting at risk my lively hood, my home, my entire life), for these poor sweet WONDERFUL horses, I personally have had a horse SHOT & KILLED & my goat I bottle raised shot & killed (FAMILY MEMBERS, NOT “pets” to me), But THIS was by FAR one of if not the most brutal attack’s I’ve ever seen, for his strength & ferocity he HIT HER IN THE HEAD, short of starving one to death this horrified me so deeply, I have to THANK YOU for helping these horses. You & your entire team have done wonders so far & you are going completely ‘SHUT THIS SHIT DOWN’, at least in 5-10 years from now not so many will be born to be ENSLAVED, BULLIED, SLAUGHTERED, live in FEAR for these MONSTERS & their overwhelming majority of supporters.

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