Where Went Thou, Ferdinand?

Head-to-head into the stretch!

Exploring the impending death of 1986 Kentucky Derby Champion, Ferdinand, who most likely was disposed of in 2002 in a Japanese slaughterhouse, his USA owners learned after they began an attempt to retrieve him from stud service in Japan.


Fade In:

Shot of the evening sky with black clouds hovering over several large barns, an adjoining brick building, and numerous surrounding corrals with free-standing horses gathered in tight groups. As the camera begins a slow pan across the sky and down toward a group of horses in one of the corrals:

Narrator’s Voice: In 2002, American Thoroughbred and 1986 Kentucky Derby Champion Ferdinand was lost, presumably in a slaughterhouse, after standing at stud in Japan. His U.S. owners launched inquiries as to his whereabouts through a journalist because they wished to return their sweet Ferdinand to America to live out his days on their farm.

The camera pans down to focus on Ferdinand standing nervously at the narrow-fenced, metal stall that leads to a small door into the brick building. Ferdinand, whinnying, nervously step-jumps under his bridle handler who is holding him snugly just shy of the metal stall outside the building entrance.

FERDINAND’S BRIDLE HANDLER: “Whoa, boy. Don’t get nervous on me.”

Ferdinand’s fellow equines also begin stepping nervously around the corral behind him.

FERDINAND: (addressing his fellows): “I am nervous.” (whinny)

From inside the brick building in front of Ferdinand comes a high, answering whinny:) “Ferd?”

FERDINAND: (repeats the nervous whinny) “Al? Al! Are you in line?”

AL: “Yes! The first building. It’s terrible in here! (high whinny) Everyhorse shuffling around, and I can smell blood beyond the doors!”

FERDINAND: “Al — Al! What is this? There are wretched odors everywhere! I can smell blood, now, too!”

AL: “It’s slaughter, Ferd! I saw Lucky, and he…he screamed, Ferd, when he went into the next room! Don’t come in, Ferd!”

FFERDINAND: (nervous whinny) “What do you mean, Al? Slaughter? Is that the smell? What are they doing to everyhorse?”

AL: “Don’t come in, Ferd!”

FERDINAND: “I’m being held. I can’t break free!”

The camera pans again around the corrals, where dozens of horses are beginning to distance themselves from the buildings by seeking the far end of the corrals, snorting and whinnying to one another.

A CAPTIVE BEHIND the WALL: “Al? Ferd? What’s going on? I’m in the holding corral on the other side of the first building. What’s going on! What is this?”

AL: “Princess?”

PRINCESS: “Yes! Al, please, what’s happening?”

AL: (screeching whinny) “Oh, Princess — !”

FERDINAND: “Al! Hold on — !”

AL: “Ferd! Don’t come in — !”

FERDINAND: (rearing to no avail) “I can’t get free!”

AL: “Princess! Jump the corral fence!”

PRINCESS: (frightened whinny) “It’s too high, Al! I can’t make it!”

FERDINAND: “That’s suicide! It’s topped with barbed wire!”

AL: “Try, Princess! Try! Oh, dear Pegasus…Try to save yourselves! Even the barbed wire is better than this — they’re coming at me! With knives! (screeching whinny) Princess! Ferd! Get away! It’s slaughter, I tell you! They’re killing us in here! Go! Now!”

FERDINAND: “Al! I can’t get free!”

Ferdinand half rears again, calling out with whinnies of fright and confusion. Others also whinny with fear and circle nervously inside the corrals.

AL: “Run, Princess! The fence! Go, Ferd! Go! It’s your only chance! Oh — No! No!”

Screeching whinnies fill the air, exploding from inside the brick building.

FERDINAND: “Al? Al! Talk to me, buddy!”

There are no further responses from Al.

FERDINAND: (whinnying fiercely) “Princess, are you tied?”

PRINCESS: “Ferdinand? What happened?”

FERDINAND: “Are you tied!”

PRINCESS: “No, but — ”

FERDINAND: (wrenching free from his handler) “Then go, Princess! Jump! I’m coming!”

PRINCESS: “It’s too high, Ferdinand! The wire…!”

FERDINAND: (running toward the corral) “Yes, you must, Princess! The smell of blood from inside is…It’s Al! Follow me, Princess, and jump!”

PRINCESS: “Oh, Ferdinand…Al!”

FERDINAND: “It’s too late, Princess! He’s gone! Princess, jump! Everyone, jump the fences! You cannot enter this building! Al is being slaughtered! Go! Run! Run! Jump for your lives!”

The camera pans the corral fences, where horse after horse trys to leap to freedom, but is hung in the barbed wire. Eventually, fellows are jumping on the backs of fellows trapped by the wire.

Fade to black.

/The End/


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