ANIMAL CRUELTY

Judge sends Mallorca man to jail for killing his own horse after race

The case marks the first time in Spain someone will serve prison time for animal cruelty

A race at Son Pardo Hippodrome in Palma de Mallorca in 2013.
A race at Son Pardo Hippodrome in Palma de Mallorca in 2013.Tolo Ramón

A 41-year-old man was admitted into prison on Wednesday after being convicted of beating his own racehorse to death with a metal bar in 2012.

This is the first time in Spain that someone has been sent to jail for animal abuse, said Silvia Barquera, president of the political party PACMA, which campaigns for animal rights.

Eugenio Sánchez, a resident of Manacor (Mallorca), will serve eight months at the Palma penitentiary after a court denied his request to have the prison term commuted to community work.

“The atrocious death of this racehorse inside his own stall at the racetrack constitutes an aberration in the 21st century,” wrote the judge in her decision, handed down on September 21.

The sentence says that Sánchez, co-owner of Sorky das Pont, used unusual violence against the animal, beating him with a metal bar that broke the animal’s neck as it tried to flee its tormentor on December 30, 2012.

The horse had just been disqualified from a race for trotters in which the animal lost its pace and broke into a gallop. The total prize money was €500.

In May, the same judge handed down a one-year prison sentence to a man who starved his dog to death

The six-year-old trotter, descended from a US sire and a Swedish dam, had won 24 out of 112 races, earning its two owners nearly €6,000 in prize money.

Trotting is a traditional sport on the Balearic Islands, where there are five racecourses.

In May, the same judge handed down a one-year prison sentence to a man who starved his dog to death.

English version by Susana Urra.

More information