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Does the Horse Capital of the World Have a Mandate?



LEXINGTON, KY - “How can you promote what you degrade?” is the question of three-time Kentucky Derby-winning breeder, Arthur Hancock.  “We claim that Kentucky is the ‘Horse Capital of the World,’ and yet we continue to turn a blind eye to the plight of horses in peril.”


Hancock and his wife Staci own Stone Farm in Paris, Kentucky, which bred Kentucky Derby winners Gato Del Sol, Sunday Silence and Fusaichi Pegasus.  Both are on the frontline of the equine welfare/anti slaughter movements and highly involved in the new Kentucky Equine Humane Center (KEHC) which is getting ready to open its doors to a waiting list of horses who are in immediate need of shelter. 


Horses of all breeds in Kentucky who are currently in life-threatening situations will receive the gift of a second chance at KEHC.  Assistance from the public will be crucial to getting the center ready to open for these horses. 


KEHC is a first-of-its-kind facility, established with the specific goal of providing owners with a humane option when they need to give up their horses.  The Center is located on a tranquil, 50-acre horse farm just outside of Lexington, Kentucky, which will be a safe refuge for at-risk horses of all breeds and disciplines.  No horse in a precarious situation will ever be turned away. 


“This is an opportunity for all of us to play a role in ensuring the welfare and humane treatment of horses here in the Horse Capital of the World,” said KEHC President, Staci Hancock.*  “We want to make certain that a humane option is always available for horses who are currently in grave danger of being sent to the slaughterhouse.” 


John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, site of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010, observed, “A tremendous responsibility comes along with the privileges of being the Horse Capital of the World, so our industry and state need to make certain we are setting the highest possible example when it comes to equine welfare.  Unfortunately, there is a vast, urgent need for shelters that will take all breeds of horses.  The Kentucky Horse Park is contacted on a regular basis by people who are desperate to find a safe place for horses who are in a vulnerable situation.  We are very happy that the Kentucky Equine Humane Center will ease suffering by meeting some of those needs.”


Lori Neagle, KEHC Executive Director stated, “We’re asking the public to support these horses by donating specific items that we need to heal and help each one.”  She continued, “One extremely easy option is to donate items from our wish list.”


Urgently needed items include four run-in sheds, a tractor and manure-spreader.  Other needed items include: feed, halters, lead ropes, grooming supplies, nutritional supplements, bush hog mower, weed eaters, desk and office chairs, filing cabinet, digital camera, wheelbarrows, brooms, pitch forks, rakes, heavy duty hoses, stall mats, run-in sheds, bedding, blower and water troughs.


Farm equipment and horse supplies can be picked up at the donor’s farm by a KEHC volunteer.


All financial and in-kind donations are tax-deductible.  Monetary donations will be received through the KEHC Fund at Bluegrass Community Foundation, 250 West Main Street, Suite 1220, Lexington, KY 40507.


For more information on the Kentucky Equine Humane Center or to make arrangements for equipment and supply pick-ups, please call Lori Neagle, Executive Director, at (859) 881-5849.



*KEHC Board Members: President - Staci Hancock;  Vice President - Joan Ciampi;  Treasurer - Ralph S. “Bud” Watson II, CPA;  Secretary - Meg Jewett;  Susan Bryson, Esq;  Tom E. Daugherty, DVM;  Arnold Kirkpatrick;  James Smith, DVM;  Advisory Board: Josephine Abercrombie, Alice Chandler, Diane M. Curry, Tracy and Carol Farmer, Greg and Becky Goodman, John Hettinger, Chris and Judy McCarron, Lori Kirk-Wagner, Congressman and Mrs. Ed Whitfield, Mary Lou Whitney and John Hendrickson, Nick and Kim Zito.


KEHC MissionThe Kentucky Equine Humane Center’s mission is to provide humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse to seek adoptive homes for all of Kentucky’s unwanted horses, regardless of breed.  The center also is committed to educate the public and raise awareness for responsible equine ownership so that fewer horses end up in crises.  Its goal is to work with and serve as a model for organizations with the same mission in other states: to save America’ horses from needless destruction. 


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