Alleged horse neglect investigated on Woodford farm

Officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Woodford County Animal Control are investigating an alleged case of neglected horses on property leased to once-prominent international trainer Wayne Murty on Old Frankfort Pike.

The 42-acre site in Woodford County is part of the former Hopewell Farm, which is in receivership and is scheduled to be auctioned July 16. In preparation for the auction, receiver Tim Cone obtained court authority last week to force tenants to leave.

On Monday, Cone said, he found the animal investigators at the farm. Cone said he is trying to sort out exactly what happened and could not say how many horses might be involved.

"I think maybe they had to put one down," Cone said. "It's not pleasant."

Murty did not immediately return a call for comment.

Woodford County Animal Control officials declined to elaborate because the case is open. State veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout could not be reached immediately for comment.

Woodford County Attorney Alan George said he will meet with animal control officers Wednesday to review the investigation. A decision about whether any charges will be filed might be made later this week.

Hopewell Farm, which was owned by Thoroughbred breeder Rick Trontz, once stood prominent stallions including Skip Away, Royal Anthem, K.O. Punch and others. The entire 587-acre farm, which is near WinStar and Three Chimneys farms, has been listed for $14.7 million. Skip Away died in 2010.