Tony Stewart stops horse slaughter

November 21, 2008
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Say what you want about Tony Stewart, he's OK in my book. His foundation does lots of good work for causes benefiting children and animals. So if he sometimes gets a little caustic after races, I'll give him a mulligan. 

While the two-time NASCAR champion prepares himself for transition to the next phase of his career-ownership of his own Sprint Cup team in 2009—the foundation that bears his name is funding the transition of a whole other group of racers from the track into second careers of their own.

The Tony Stewart Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to Indianapolis-based Friends of Ferdinand Inc., a not-for-profit volunteer organization that works with owners and trainers at Indiana’s two horse tracks to identify and obtain thoroughbreds nearing the end of their racing careers. FFI evaluates and retrains the horses, and finds new homes with devoted owners. Its motto is “Retired from Racing, Not from Life.” 

This isn't the first time Stewart has come to the aid of animals. Earlier this year he paid for 30 bullet- and knife-proof vests for the Indiana State Police K-9 unit. He also gives generously to several Humane Society shelters in Indiana and Purdue's veterinary school among others. His foundation also sponsored the Mutt Strut held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart does have a warm and fuzzy side.

Six to seven thoroughbreds, the first horses christened “Tony’s Ex-Racers,” were brought into the FFI program Nov. 17 during the annual end-of-season paddock sale at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson. 

“A grant this size is significant and enables us not only to continue but to expand the work we do with our Indiana thoroughbreds. Especially now, with the economy in such turmoil, support of this magnitude is simply incredible,” FFI President Sara Busbice. 

The organization is named in memory of Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby Champion, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and 1987 Horse of the Year who earned more than $4 million during his career. In 1989 he was retired from racing and exported to Japan to stand at stud. A few years later, Ferdinand was slaughtered for human consumption.

Busbice praised Hoosier Park for joining the ranks of several other U.S. horse tracks in adopting a zero tolerance policy toward slaughter. According to a statement issued by Jeffrey Smith, Hoosier Park’s general manager of racing, trainers or owners stabling at Hoosier Park who directly or indirectly participate in the transport of a horse from the track to a slaughter facility, or to an auction to sell horses for slaughter, will be prohibited from having stalls at the track.
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  • Good for Tony, and the horses. What's not to like about an animal lover. Well, maybe a few of his fellow NASCAR drivers might have something to say about that, but what the heck.
  • Good cause. Just because a guy is competitive and maybe a little fiesty doesn't mean he's not a good guy.
  • Mari Hulman George donates mountains of money to animal causes as well from what I understand. Tony Stewart is pretty out there, but it's cool that he does things like this.
    Now if him and Mari could pool their resources and have Anton euthanized, there could really be progress. :lol:

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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