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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Veterinarian Fired After Reporting Neglected Horses

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Veterinarian Fired After Finding Neglected Horses


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The veterinarian who had been evaluating hundreds of former racehorses and found that many of them needed urgent care because they were malnourished and neglected, some fatally, was fired Saturday by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

Dr. Stacey Huntington, a veterinarian based in Springfield, Mo., had examined more than 700 of the foundation’s 1,000 horses at more than a dozen farms in Oklahoma, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia, and had found that the foundation’s education of the caretakers and its oversight of their farms were poor.

“There were serious questions about her objectivity,” said George Grayson, who has been president of the foundation since January. “We want the vet inspections to continue, and we are putting together a list of the many qualified ones available.”


The estate of the breeder and owner Paul Mellon, which in 2001 established a $5 million endowment for the foundation and later contributed an additional $2 million, had been paying for Huntington’s evaluation. It has also spent tens of thousands of dollars over the past several months on everything from food to urgent care for the horses.

“Horses don’t lie,” said Beverly Carter, an executor of the Mellon estate. “I don’t know how they can point fingers at Stacey for the condition of the horses.”

The foundation told its farms to prohibit Huntington or any other unauthorized veterinarian from inspecting its horses unless the veterinarian is a farm’s regular veterinarian. 

Huntington said that she was accompanied by a local veterinarian at each farm, and that the T.R.F. was notified of the specific concerns about each farm.

“Every veterinarian was invited to disagree with each horse’s evaluation and only one ever voiced a disagreement: he graded the horse one grade lower, slightly thinner, than I did,” Huntington said in an e-mail. “The evaluations have always been intended to help T.R.F. improve their program. I am hopeful that they will use the information to improve the care of the horses and not to indict the messenger.”

The foundation, located in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is one of the largest private organizations in the world dedicated to caring for former racehorses. But despite receiving millions in donations, it has been operating at a deficit for two years, according to its financial documents. It pays its satellite farms a per diem per horse, usually $3, but has fallen behind for months and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

At the 4-H Farm in Oklahoma, inspectors last month could find only 47 of the 63 retired horses that had been assigned to it. Many of those were malnourished. Huntington concluded that the rest had died, probably of neglect. When the horses were released, the 47 survivors were in such poor condition that she filed a report with the Okmulgee County sheriff’s office. Her report included photographs of the malnourished horses, three of them considered starving.

Last week, at a Kentucky farm that is supposed to receive money from the foundation, 34 horses were found in “poor” or “emaciated” condition, inspectors found. One horse had to be euthanized because of malnutrition.

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Largest Full Moon in 20 Years Eastern Horizon Sunday, Super Moon Watching at its Best and Brightest

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Moon watching


BY HARRY JACKSON JR.
STLtoday.com 
Tuesday, March 15
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The moon will put on a show as it rises over the eastern horizon on Saturday; romantics, amateur astronomers and photographers will be out to see the largest full moon in 20 years.
David Ritchey, associate director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center, said the big moon is due to the coinciding of two regular events — a full moon and its nearness to Earth.
Saturday, the close pass and the full moon happen on the same day for the first time in two decades.
A full moon appears once a month. The moon on average is 240,000 miles from Earth, but once a month, it's only 220,000 miles away.
That 20,000 miles isn't much in context of a cosmos measured in light years, Ritchey said, but it's still a chance to see the moon at its best and brightest. The National Weather Service is predicting a partly cloudy sky and no rain or snow — but this is still St. Louis.
"When the moon rises in the east, it looks big, then by midnight overhead, it doesn't seem anywhere as big as first rising," Ritchey said. "That's an optical illusion.
"Over the horizon, you're seeing the moon in reference with houses, trees telephone poles, buildings. But it's the same size whenever you see it."

See a calendar of the March moon's phases at alturl.com/ivdjq


TRAIL NOTES
• Maxine Stone, author of "Missouri's Wild Mushrooms — A Guide To Hunting, Identifying, and Cooking the State's Most Common Mushrooms," will speak and sign her book from 1 to 3 p.m. March 26 at the Powder Valley Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood. That's at the northeast intersection of Interstates 44 and 270.
She'll talk about what to know to be ready for the spring mushroom season.
Stone is former president and currently a board member of the Missouri Mycological Society.
The book will be on sale for $14.
Reservations are required. Call 314-301-1500.

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PETE and REPEAT: WAR NO. 3 US FIRES MISSILES INTO LIBYA

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WAR NO. 3: US FIRES MISSILES INTO LIBYA
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MARCH 19, 2011
OBAMA: 'Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world'...

MARCH 19, 2003
BUSH: 'American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger'...





Africa_Libya_map_2.jpg
'Is it that you're (U.S. officials) so concerned over the blood that is being shed in Libya, when you looked the other way when the Israeli Defense Force was bombing the innocent people of Gaza, unarmed men, women and children?'

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(FinalCall.com | 03-11-2011) - Minister Farrakhan blasted Pres. Obama and Secy. Clinton for their arrogance in meddling in another sovereign nation's affairs and publicly recommending regime change. He then instructed Americans to look beneath the surface to see who stands to benefit from the unrest and warned Pres. Obama to be careful of the words coming from advisors lobbying him to move in with military forces to depose Libya leader, Col. Gadhafi. Read more @ http://goo.gl/3jzgo
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