Kentucky Equine Humane Center Draws Interest

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 (

(Originally published at

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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