PALMETTO -- In a grisly scene Sunday morning, the owner of a show horse discovered the animal had been taken overnight from its stall and slaughtered on her Palmetto-area property, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office report.
Officers arriving at the Imperial Farms Equestrian Center on Gillet Road found that large portions of meat had been cut from the animal, described as an expensive show horse by owner Deborah H. Stephens, the report said. The horse had been stolen in the night from a stall attached to the owner's home, the report said, and applicable crimes in the case include occupied burglary, grand theft and animal cruelty.
Sources at the scene confirmed today the horse, named Phedras de Blondel, was a prized jumper that had recently been purchased by Stephens and arrived from Europe.
The investigation continues, and anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the sheriff's office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.