What if you woke up one morning with the thought of it being a normal day only to find out you have walked into a horror story. No, I am not talking about the horror story of being chased by Freddy Krueger but a real life horror story. That’s just what happened in to Steve and Debbie Stephens and their staff on Oct. 25th.
A few days earlier the Stephens had purchased and imported a beautiful German bred twelve year old Selle Fraincais gelding named Phedras De Blondel who was to be a Grand Prix prospect for Debbie. You can watch a video of his last performance in France this September before being imported to the USA. Debbie is a Grand Prix competitor who is also known for setting the world record for outdoor jumping at the height of 7’8 in 1983. Her husband who is a world renowned course designer was just as excited to have the new prospect in the barn and Debbie was.
The staff of Centennial Farm in Palmetto, Florida woke up Sunday morning and started to feed like they did every other morning. The horses were in their stalls ready and eager to eat all except Phedras De Blondel. One of the staff grabbed Debbie and they started looking for him expecting to have been Houdini and escaped out to the pastures or somewhere around the barn. But, what they found can only be written in an equestrian horror story. They found their new prospect laying out along a fence line, as they approached the noticed immediately that he had been inhumanly and horrifically butchered. He had been filleted with such perfection that only a sick professional could achieve. An investigation of the owners and staff later showed that his stall door had been messed with and that the horse had been led out to that pasture only to have his legs removed from the shoulders down and the meat from his head, neck and his rib cage also taken. They reported it to the authorities and are hoping that someone out there might have information on this crime so these sick people can get caught and brought to justice. It doesn’t have to do with the money that they paid for the horse it has to do with the gruesome death this sweet animal had suffered. Other farms are on high alert afraid that it might happen again and are doing what they can to prevent this from happening again.
Horse meat is quite the commodity on the black market, it’s a delicacy in other countries but it is illegal in Florida to butcher a horse for meat. They have recently closed three slaughter houses in the area and this could be in relation to the closures. Phedras De Blondel was not the biggest horse on the farm but he was 1500lbs and well-muscled, this would be prime dollar on the black market. The Stephens do not believe the horse was targeted personally but do think that it was intentional that they came to the farm for horse meat.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Department encourages anyone with information to call the office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS. A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise reward money through the Sheriff’s Department for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Phedras De Blondel’s horrific death. To donate visit: http://www.gofundme.com/centennialfarm
Our hearts go out to all those that were affected by the loss of Phedras De Blondel. He has touched many hearts of those that were around him. RIP Phedras De Blondel.
Written By Jona Lane. Please Share this on Facebook and help find the people who did this!