Goodlatte a No-Show at the Annual Polo Cup

 For Immediate Release:
Salem , Virginia
9 October, 2004  

The weather was overcast but beautiful as onlookers watched the incredible fusion of players and their horses competing in the annual Fall fund raising event for the Roanoke Symphony, an event that has become a rite of Fall for so many in the Valley. 

But Bob Goodlatte, a regular at event, was no where to be seen this year.  Had he managed an appearance, he would have been confronted with a hospitality tent sponsored by and the National Horse Protection Coalition, and staffed by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and local volunteers bent on exposing the dark world of horse slaughter and Goodlatte’s hand in blocking the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.  "I think it was a great success, said Tracy Abbott of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF).  We certainly had a lot of visitors and everyone was extremely supportive."  There could have been no more appropriate venue for the TRF whose purpose is to assure that retired race horses find good homes.  Many of the horses on the field had begun their careers as race horses. 

Representative Goodlatte, Chairman of the house Agriculture Committee has been blocking the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR 857) in his committee despite polls showing over 75% of Virginians are in favor of the ban, and despite overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill in the House (where it has an incredible 226 cosponsors) and Senate.  Goodlatte is not only ignoring his constituents, but even his own party.  HR 857 was introduced by one of Goodlatte’s fellow Republicans, Representative Sweeny of New York , and both Senators Allen and Warner have indicated they would vote for the bill if it reached the Senate.  In fact, the Senate version of the bill is S 2352, and it was introduced by Senator Ensign, also a Republican.   

Although Goodlatte has more recently tried to obfuscate his hand in blocking the bill, he freely admitted it in June during a town hall meeting in Lexington .  When asked what it would take to get him to let the bill out of his committee he said "You have to convince me and you have not done so!" 

Had Representative Goodlatte attended the Polo Cup, he could not have escaped the message rising from an ever increasing number of horse lovers.  Over 250 people with buttons declaring "Stop Horse Slaughter" were everywhere to be seen.  Tom Durfee, a volunteer in the hospitality tent, said "All we need to do is to keeping educating the public about the issue.  Americans and Virginians do not want their horses slaughtered to feed foreigners!  He [Rep. Goodlatte] needs to quit worrying about French gourmets and Texas cattlemen and start serving his constituents!"  

“Mr. Goodlatte recently gave a beautiful speech describing the Oak tree as having a unique place in American history” said Anne Russek, a long term supporter of the horse protection act.  “If Goodlatte had only substituted the words American Horse for the words Oak Tree, he might have understood why he is so far from the people of his district on this issue”.  

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Or for local information contact:
John Holland
Team Red Horse
PO Box 386
Shawsville , Virginia 24162