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Arthur B. Hancock III and his wife, Staci, have a slow, easy cadence<br><br>
to their speech, as if they're shootin' the breeze, leaning against a<br><br>
fencepost chewing on a blade of Kentucky bluegrass. Their Southern<br><br>
drawls belie the fire in their bellies.<br><br><br><br>
The well-known Kentucky couple are relentless advocates for ending the<br><br>
commercial slaughter of horses in the United States. To that end, they<br><br>
have traveled to Washington, D.C., several times this month to lobby<br><br>
congressman and senators and to testify at hearings urging passage of<br><br>
HR503, banning the commercial sale and slaughter of horses for meat.<br><br><br><br>
The Hancocks, whose Stone Farm in Paris, Ky., has produced several<br><br>
Kentucky Derby winners, will be honored for their tireless efforts at<br><br>
the annual Equine Advocates benefit dinner and auction Aug. 3 at<br><br>
Jeffrey Tucker's Stone Bridge Farm in Schuylerville.<br><br><br><br>
While their cause is a noble one, the Hancocks bristle at Congress's<br><br>
characterization of them as radical animal rights advocates.<br><br><br><br>
'The feeling on the Hill is that this legislation is from extreme<br><br>
animal activists,' Staci said. 'We are not animal rights activists, we<br><br>
are horse owners trying to take responsibility for our horses.'<br><br><br><br>
During the course of their advocacy, the Hancocks have learned of at<br><br>
least three slaughterhouses in the United States, owned by France and<br><br>
Belgium, that buy animals for slaughter and export the meat to Japan<br><br>
and Europe, where it is considered a delicacy.<br><br><br><br>
Most disturbing to horsemen around the world was the alleged slaughter<br><br>
in Japan of Ferdinand, winner of 1986 Kentucky Derby and 1987<br><br>
Breeders' Cup Classic. Blood-Horse magazine, on July 23, 2003,<br><br>
reported the stallion was sold for meat when his productivity as a<br><br>
stud in Japan was not worth his upkeep. While the fate of Ferdinand<br><br>
remains uncertain, he is unaccounted for and is presumed slaughtered.<br><br><br><br>
full story:<br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a>
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