Palmetto horse slaughter case: 2 men not involved, detectives say

PALMETTO, FL (WFLA) – Manatee County detectives said they have identified the two men in the horse slaughter case and determined that the subjects had no involvement or new information in this case. Detectives continue to investigate.

The prized show horse was taken from its stall at a Palmetto horse farm, killed and butchered, possibly for its meat. A reward fund was set up and grown to more than $50,000 for information that would lead to the capture of the suspects.

Last Thursday detectives released surveillance images of two men who may have information about the show horse’s killing. Sunday afternoon detectives confirmed that they have identified the men and concluded that they had no involvement or information in this case.

The investigation continues.

The horse “Phedras de Blondel” was an 11-year-old show horse that had just been brought to this country from Germany days ago. It is reportedly worths more than $200,000. Its owners Debbie and Steven Stephens were planning on training it at the Manatee facility.

Debbie Stephens said, “He was just an unbelievable athlete. He is like what can I do for you, always the horse of your dreams.”

They owners said they just want the criminals caught so it doesn’t happen again. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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