Angel Acres has rescued Cviano, a half-brother to a Belmont Stakes winner, Trigger Happy Jill and Isitever.
Several owners of past Kentucky Derby winners have signed a letter urging the United States Congress to ban the slaughter of horses.
Owners of such legendary horses as Triple Crown Winners Seattle Slew and Secretariat as well as modern day winners like Smarty Jones, Giacomo and Barbaro have all signed a letter urging Congress "to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S 311/HR 503) to end the horrific practice of transporting and slaughtering horses for human consumption abroad."
It is estimated that more than 90,000 horses are slaughtered annually to be sent to European and Asian dinner tables.
"I am thrilled these Derby horse owners have gone public with their concerns about these magnificent animals," says Jo Deibel, President of the Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue, Inc.
"Whenever I call an owner to let them know I've just saved one of their horses by buying it in an auction they are shocked to find out. Most owners have no idea their horses could end up in a slaughterhouse. That's why we just need to end this barbaric practice in the U.S."
The Kentucky Derby Owners' letter states in part:
- While we have been fortunate to have bred, raised and raced world-class horses, we know we have a special responsibility to all horses, champion or not.
- No horse should face the cruel and brutal end that slaughter entails.
- Horses taken to slaughter are often purchased by killer-buyers; many others are stolen from their owners.
- Horses have been surrendered for sale by owners unaware that their beloved animal will end up in the slaughterhouse.
- Transport conditions are so bad that even the Department of Agriculture has condemned them.
The signers of the letter include:
Staci and Arthur Hancock (Sunday Silence, 1989; Gato del Sol, 1982); John and Debby Oxley (Monarchos, 2001); Mike Peagram (Real Quiet, 1998) and William T. and Barbara Young, Overbrook Farm (Grindstone, 1996)
- New York
Jack Knowlton, Sackatoga Stable, managing partner (Funny Cide, 2003), and Joseph and Eileen Cornacchia and Bill Condren (Go for Gin, 1994; Strike the Gold, 1991)
Roy and Gretchen Jackson (Barbaro, 2006) and Patricia Chapman (Smarty Jones, 2004)
Jerry and Ann Moss (Giacomo, 2005); Beverly Lewis (Charismatic, 1999; Silver Charm, 1997) and Howard Keck (Ferdinand, 1986)
Mrs. Paul Mellon (Sea Hero, 1993) and Bert and Diana Firestone (Genuine Risk, 1980)
Sally Hill (Seattle Slew, Triple Crown winner, 1977)
Penny Chenery (Secretariat, Triple Crown winner 1973; Riva Ridge, 1972)
Angel Acres, which was founded by Jo Deibel, has a mission to encourage the adoption by responsible owners of these horses whose only shortcoming is that they can no longer race at full speed. Deibel feeds, shelters and provides veterinary care for rescued horses until they are adopted.