Phedras de Blondel competing before he was imported to the U.S. The Grand Prix horse was slaughtered in Florida.
Update October 26, 2015
Authorities say a top show jumping horse was killed for its meat in southwest Florida. It happened at Debbie Stephens’s Palmetto stable Centennial Farm sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
“It was the most horrific thing,” Stephens says in an interview with Rate My Horse PRO. “They knew what they were doing.”
According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department, Stephens’s horse was removed from his stall attached to her house. They discovered he was missing when breakfast was fed.
The Grand Prix horse named Phedras de Blondel was found on a remote part of Stephens’s Imperial Farms Equestrian Center Complex. The 12-year-old chestnut gelding’s body was found dismembered. The horse’s meat and legs were taken from the grizzly scene.
The Selle Français arrived at Stephens’ stable on Friday after being imported from Germany. Video cameras on the farm reportedly captured nothing that is helpful to investigators.
Stephens says she is going to dedicate her life to make sure more horses aren’t slaughtered. “I am going to organize an alliance to stop this and we are going to raise money for a big reward to find those responsible. This is just for horse meat.”
A reward fund has been established. Donations can be made online at the Centennial Equestrian Reward Fund, named for Stephens’s horse training business. All funds raised will go to the Crimes Stoppers Program through the MCSO.
Stephens and her husband, Steve Stephens, run their equestrian businesses out of Imperial Farms Equestrian Center Complex.
Investigators are collecting evidence from the horrific scene, but don’t have any leads. If you have any information about this crime, please call MCSO at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.