Ross Hugi is a veterinarian who loves rodeo. In fact, Dr. Hugi loves rodeos so much, that when animal protectors protested at a dirty, drunken little rodeo in Wauconda, Illinois, Dr. Hugi counter-protested. As animal activists handed out videotapes of animal abuse documented at the Wauconda rodeo, Dr. Hugi told people that they should not take the tapes, and that the animal protectors could not be trusted. Dr. Hugi clearly had the full support of the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual event.
What Dr. Hugi didn't tell people was that he was a convicted felon. Hugi had a history of involvement with very bad people, including Richard Bailey, a con man who defrauded wealthy women. Bailey was eventually convicted of the murder of candy heiress Helen Vorhees Brach. One of Bailey's associates was Silas Jayne, a convicted rapist, and another was Kenneth Hansen, who was accused of multiple sexual assaults, and the kidnap, rape and murder of several young boys.
Hugi used his status as a veterinarian to help con man Bailey by claiming horses to be worth far more than was actually the case. Hugi was accused of killing horses for insurance money. When faced with prosecution for his crimes, Hugi turned on his accomplices to save his own skin. It isn't surprising that Ross Hugi is pro-rodeo supporter, and he stands as a fine example of the type of character that supports rodeo.
A now defunct website claimed that: "Ross Hugi, D.V.M., witnessed a trainer kill the horse Jatomic Streaker by flipping him out of a horse trailer and beating the horse to death with a hammer. He then falsified the cause of death records."
Read here as Dr. Hugi's appeal is thrown out of court and his conviction for Wire Fraud is upheld. Here is a brief excerpt from the court:
"What Hugi had to do, if he thought that something had gone seriously wrong, was tell the district court in 1995 and face the consequences, which could have included the filing of additional charges. He wants to have the benefits of the plea bargain without taking any risks. That sort of game is not one the criminal justice system tolerates.