CHICAGO — The man known as the “Dreadhead Cowboy,” who rode a horse on the Dan Ryan Expressway to protest gun violence against children was ordered held Wednesday in lieu of $25,000 bond.
Adam Hollingsworth, 33, was charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty and misdemeanor counts of trespassing and reckless conduct charges. Assistant Public Defender Emily Bock disputed the animal cruelty charges against Hollingsworth, saying he loves horses and there is no indication he would do anything to harm his horse.
Hollingsworth admits he could have got easier on his horse, but he was trying to make a statement.
“If I’m willing to go to jail for something like that, that was worth going to jail for,” Hollingsworth said. “I didn’t mean no harm on my horse at all. I’m a horse loving person, an animal loving person. My focus is kids’ lives matter and if a person can’t agree with that I don’t know what to call you.”
WATCH ABOVE: “Dreadhead Cowboy” Adam Hollingsworth speaks after he was charged with animal cruelty for riding a horse on the Dan Ryan in protest Monday
Cook County Circuit Judge David Navarro called the alleged treatment of the horse “terrible.”
“The horse doesn’t know it’s a part of a protest, the horse only knows how it’s been treated,” he said. “It would appear from (prosecutors) its treatment was criminal.”
The horse, named Nunu, was bleeding from the left hoof and had an injury on the right hoof, apparently from being ridden on pavement without shoes, according to a Chicago police report, which also noted the horse had “significant saddle sores” and was exhausted by the ride.
Prosecutors claim the horse may need to be euthanized, but Hollingsworth said he knows nothing about the horse’s condition.
“I’ve actually been looking for my horse,” he said. “They haven’t told me anything about my horse. So what am I doing? Looking for a lawyer so we can get the ball rolling. So we can prove that there isn’t anything wrong with my horse.”
Hollingsworth’s miles-long ride Monday resulted in extensive delays on the Dan Ryan Expressway. He was taken into custody by Illinois State Police after he rode up an exit ramp.