A powerful jumping horse was found slaughtered and butchered on a Palmetto, Florida, farm on October 25, and the farm's owners believe that whoever committed the crime wanted the horse’s meat.
The 1,300-pound horse, named Phedras de Blondel, was owned by champion equestrian Debbie Stephens and her husband.
“What they did to this horse had nothing to do with his value,” Stephens told ABC News. “It's one of the cruelest things that could happen to any horse. This just turned my life around.”
Horsemeat is illegal in Florida, but there is still an underground market for it. A bill passed in Florida to ban the sale of horsemeat for human consumption in 2010. There are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. approved to process horsemeat for human consumption.
Though eating horsemeat is rare and generally frowned uponin the U.S., it is common in many European countries and in some parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
There are no suspects thus far. Stephens, her husband, and others have raised more than $18,000 as a reward for information leading to an arrest.