11/16/2017 11:55AM

Jockey Roman Chapa gets 10 years probation for making false statements


Roman Chapa, the Texas journeyman jockey who was suspended for five years in 2015 for using an illegal electrical device on a horse, has been placed on probation for 10 years after pleading guilty to a criminal charge of making a false statement to a state investigator, according to court records.

Chapa, 46, entered the guilty plea on Nov. 8, according to the records of the Harris County, Texas, court. Chapa was charged with making a false statement during the course of the investigation into the use of the electrical device, which occurred during a race at Sam Houston Race Park in January 2015.

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The case came to light after the Sam Houston track photographer presented photos of the race to the stewards. The photographs, taken from the rail, showed that Chapa had an electrical device in his left hand as he guided the winner, Quiet Acceleration, through the finish line.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, which investigated the incident, said  Chapa had claimed to an investigator that the photo was altered and that he had never discussed the photo with the track photographer. Those claims were untrue, the Texas DPS said.

Prior to the 2015 incident, Chapa had twice been charged with using an electrical device on a horse, in 2007 and 1994. In addition to his five-year suspension, Chapa was fined $100,000 by the Texas Racing Commission.