Veteran harness racing horse seized in PA cruelty case

It was a scene out of a Charles Dickens novel right in Philly Dawg's backyard and it is now making international news.

A 12-year-old standardbred horse was seized near Gettysburg two weeks ago after humane officers found his owner whipping him as he was pulling a cart and bleeding from multiple lacerations, including deep wounds from an ill-fitting harness.

The horse was identified through a tattoo as a former pacer (or trotting horse) named Give Chrome, who raced 56 times in his career in two countries. The owner, Wilbur Frost, convicted of abusing two draft horses in March in Kansas, told humane officers he planned to drive the horse to Oklahoma, according to a report in Harness Link, which covers international news in the harness racing industry.

Abigail Avery, an officer with the Adams County SPCA said Chrome was "dripping blood," suffering from the harness wound and also 10 leg lacerations that she believes  were the result of bottles being thrown at the horse.

Frost told officers he bought the horse from "an Amish man in New Holland." More than likely Frost bought Chrome at the infamous New Holland auction where horses are sold to the Amish for plow and buggy use and also to "kill buyers" who truck them to slaughter every week. Philadelphia Park in Bucks County is among the thoroughbred racetracks now banning the sale of retired racehorses at auction. Philly Dawg is unaware of any similar program in harness racing.

Avery said cruelty charges are pending against Frost, who is being held in Adams County jail on weapons charges. Several guns were found in his cart at the time of the seizure outside a market in Littlestown.  

The United States Trotting Association's SOS fund for abused and neglected horses donated money to help with Chrome's care, but additional donations are needed. Abigail said Chrome despite his cruel treatment is a perfect gentleman and they hope to find him a good home soon. 

Send a donation toward Give Chrome's care to the Adams County SPCA, 11 Goldenville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17352. To inquire about adopting him call Officer Abigail Avery at 717-334-8876, extension 26, or e-mail her at