Smart Amanda Wiz was three years old, with reddish brown fur, pointy ears, and a distinctive white mark above her nose. The Quarter Horse filly was beloved by her owners and had recently competed in her first show. Early Thursday morning she was found dead in the Hialeah field near her stable, with gaping wounds to her muscular body. Smart Amanda Wiz was murdered. (Warning: There's a graphic photo at the end of this post.)
"They butchered her alive," Grace Delanoy, with the group South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SFSPCA) told New Times. "It's beyond horrible."
By all appearances, Smart Amanda Wiz was killed for her meat: She was found with much of her body carved away, the slaughter likely done with a machete or butcher knife.
Horse meat, generally taboo in Anglo countries, is commonly eaten in many regions, including parts of China, Quebec, and Italy; eating the meat is also considered to grant the consumer mystical power or sexual potency in other cultures, including among some Cubans, a possible reason for what has been a rash of horse slaughterings around South Florida in recent years.
"It's part of a bigger picture," Delanoy said. "There is a demand for it in South Florida among some cultures."
More than 50 horses have been killed for their meat in South Florida since 2009, Pat Raia wrote on the equestrian blog TheHorse.com. The culprits are rarely found.
Smart Amanda Wiz was killed in a pasture on NW 138th Street, on a private property where SFSPCA actually used to be based. After breaking onto the property, Delanoy said, the intruder or intruders let Smart Amanda Wiz out of her stable and into the field. After someone stabbed her in the heart, the horse struggled before dying, leaving a trail of blood.
"It's really, really ugly," Delanoy said. "And people are seriously fed up."
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Below is a larger picture of the horse as it was found. Be warned: It is graphic: