Robert Howard Dimitt, 58, of Sallisaw entered a blind plea to animal cruelty charges in Sequoyah County District Court in Sallisaw Monday.
Dimitt pleaded not guilty to five charges of animal cruelty in relation to race horses in his care. He was arrested Aug. 3, 2015, for animal cruelty and is free on a $25,000 bond. Dimitt trains race horses but lost his trainer’s license in Oklahoma after being accused of drugging horses. He continued to train under the names of other licensed trainers.
According to reports filed with the charges, other trainers told investigators that Dimitt would carve out the bottom of horse hooves, called the frog, because "it made the horses run faster." Four of the five horses have died or had to be euthanized, according to the report.
After the investigation, all horses were removed from Dimitt’s care.
On Monday a presentence investigation was called for by the court, and Dimitt’s sentencing is scheduled for March 23.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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