The Kentucky Equine Humane Center held its inaugural open house June 23 at the organization’s leased property in Nicholasville, Ky. Formed to facilitate adoption of unwanted horses in Kentucky and to provide humane treatment and shelter during the interim, the 85-acre center opened April 16 and runs under a directive and advisory board that includes key figures in the racing industry.
“Our attendance was great,” president Staci Hancock said. “We had a cross-section of local horsemen and non-horsemen who were interested in getting more information. We were very pleased with the turnout.”
Hancock and her husband, Arthur, own Stone Farm in Paris, Ky. The farm bred and raised Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners Gato Del Sol, Sunday Silence, and Fusaichi Pegasus . The Hancocks are on the frontline of the equine welfare and anti-slaughter movements.
The center’s executive director, Lori Neagle, said she appreciated industry and area support of the new program.
“People have been amazingly receptive,” said Neagle, formerly of the Thoroughbred adoption program ReRun. “When we started this group, it was for no reason other than to do right by the horse--there are no hidden agendas; this comes from the heart. I think people appreciate that we’re willing to help all breeds. We don’t turn anyone away.”
Among the 25 horses available for adoption were a horse that had been tied to a telephone pole when it was discovered by local animal control officers, a 3-year-old Arabian filly in foal, a one-eyed Paint horse rescued by the fan-based organization Friends of Barbaro, and 9-year-old Deputy Strike, a son of Smart Strike who won more than $340,000 during his racing career. Other available horses are listed on the organization’s Web site (www.kyehc.org).