Woodford County Animal Officers and state officials are investigating alleged animal neglect and malnourishment in 24 horses on a leased portion of Hopewell Farm near Versailles, Ky., according to a Lexington television station. Two of the horses reportedly had to be euthanized because they were in such bad condition. The horses were, according to WLEX-TV reporter Leigh Searcy who reported from the farm, “shut in stalls filled with feces” and in “deplorable condition.”
The 43-acre tract and 24-horse barn – property formerly known as Faywood Farm – was leased by Hopewell Farm and PNC Bank to veteran horsemen Wayne and Duane Murty, according to Rick Trontz, who formerly owned Hopewell Farm until it went into receivership. Trontz said he executed a deal to lease the property to the Murty brothers “sometime in April or May” and that the bank took control of the entire Hopewell Farm operation a short time later.
Hopewell, which formerly was home to 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away, has been listed for sale with Justice Real Estate for $14,675,000 for its entire 584 acres. However, an absolute auction being handled by Swinebroad-Denton has been scheduled on July 16 at 10:30 a.m.
The portion of the farm on which the Murty horses were found is being sold as one of three separate tracts.
“I don't have anything to do with the grounds right now,” said Trontz. “I've only been on the property to pack up the office. This is not something that would happen under our watch.”
WLEX-TV's Searcy attempted to speak with one of the Murty brothers, who arrived to move horses out of the barn to another location, but was told to “get off the property.”
Attorney Tim Cone, who is acting as a receiver on behalf of PNC Bank, could not be reached for comment.
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