The Fund for Horses, a Texas-based group dedicated to the protection of the country's equine population, with the support and cooperation of Lone Star Park officials and executives of the Breeders' Cup, Inc., have agreed that the group will set up an informational table at the racecourse on Breeders' Cup Day, Saturday, Oct. 30, as well as on the previous two days.
The group had originally planned to stage a rally outside the grounds on race day to raise public awareness to the issue of the slaughter of American horses for consumption overseas. The Fund for Horses president Vivian Farrell said that some 60,000 horses, the majority of which are Quarter Horses, are slaughtered each year in the United States.
"Our intent is certainly not to disrupt the racing," said Farrell, "as a matter of fact we understand how involved much of the Thoroughbred racing industry has been, and how very vocal they are on this issue with the many retirement, rehabilitation and rescue programs they support."
The Fund for Horses, based in Houston, hopes to use the Lone Star event to bring to light the fact that two of the three slaughterhouses currently in operation--Dallas Crown, Inc, in Kaufman, and Beltex Corp., in Fort Worth--are just 13 and 23 miles, respectively, from the Grand Prairie track. Both are owned by foreign interests.
"Our group is filled with people from all walks of life, and our goal is simply to bring to the attention of all Americans the appalling fact that horses are inhumanely slaughtered in this country every day, most of them just a few miles from Lone Star Park," Farrell said.
Farrell said that negotiations with track officials led her group to conclude that a presence inside the track would guarantee public safety and do more in the end to help their cause.
"We think the informational setting will lend our issue more credibility, and this gives us access to more of the media as well," Farrell said.