03/26/2015 9:44AM

West Virginia jockey charged with attempted murder


Sylvester Carmouche III, a rider with a spotty race record over the past several years, was arrested on Wednesday by West Virginia police and charged with attempted murder, arson, and cruelty to animals after allegedly setting fire to his girlfriend’s house when she and her children were inside.

No one was injured in the late-night Tuesday incident, which was set in the house’s basement. According to local police, the woman, her three children, and their dog were displaced by the fire.

According to the reports, the woman said Carmouche allegedly started the fire after an argument at the house. Carmouche was arrested on Tuesday night not far from the home in Mercury Village.

Carmouche has had two mounts this year, both at Mountaineer Racetrack, and had only 26 mounts in 2014, all of them without a win. During a five-year string from 2006-2010, his mounts won more than $1 million each year.

Carmouche is the son of Sylvester Carmouche Jr., who received a 10-year ban for an infamous racing incident in 1990 in which he hid his horse in a fog bank shortly after the start of a one-mile race at Delta Downs in Louisiana. He restarted the horse as the other horses in the race approached the stretch, and won by 24 lengths.