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Floyd County home to one of America’s largest cockfighting rings

If you tuned in to this morning’s radio show, you heard Matt talk about the cockfighting ring bust in Floyd County. If you didn’t catch that, you might be shocked to read what’s been going on in Floyd County.

A cockfighting club called the Big Blue Sportsmen’s Club is one of the biggest of its kind in the country and was busted recently by federal authorities. One of the women charged in the bust told an undercover officer that the club has over 6,000 memberships on file.

The club’s setup includes arena-style seating, a full service restaurant and official membership cards, and it’s home to the Kentucky state championship and the “World Cup” of cockfighting. It is estimated to have brought in over one million dollars annually.

One Prestonburg attorney told the Herald-Leader, “It’s no secret that it’s been there for 25 years.”

For those of you unfamiliar with cockfighting, it is two birds fighting it out, often to the death, with steel spurs attached to their claws. It draws a crowd for the illegal gambling that takes place on each fight, hence the one million dollar business in Floyd County.

So who knew one of the largest rings was right here in Kentucky?

[Herald-Leader: Three from Floyd County charged with operating one of nation’s largest cockfighting rings]

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

62 Comments for Floyd County home to one of America’s largest cockfighting rings

  1. deWildcat
    2:02 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    WOW!! 25 years and NOW they want to stop it. Sounds like someone stopped getting his/her share.

    • bilbo
      3:59 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Why are people so worked up over animals who cares?? Millions of people like humans are starving to death and we care about animals lol we need to get our priorities in check

    • stubbs
      5:08 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Torturing animals is a smaller step below torturing humans than you seem to realize.

    • Psychopathic Babble
      5:42 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Quite a difference between a common, cultural practice and say, stabbing and setting puppies on fire. I seriously doubt there were any Jeffrey Dahmers growing in the crowd.

  2. estepmusicky
    3:18 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    See !!!!! Its not all Basketball in KY !!!!

  3. Ughh
    3:19 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Kentucky can’t seem to shake that backwards, redneck image on a national scale. People like this are the reason everyone looks at KY like they are idiots.

    • Proud Hillbilly
      3:25 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Who wants to “shake” the redneck image. I’m proud of my heritage and don’t give a rat’s a** what other people think about me. I personally can’t stand “fake” city people.

    • Redneck Republican Bush 00-08 Proud Voter!
      3:29 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Even I can’t get behind this yahoo.

    • Moving Out
      3:30 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Everyone of us who left the rural areas, myself included, in search of a better, richer life. Something that the rural areas of Kentucky could not provide us. It wasn’t until I left KY that I realized how backwards most of the state is; from education to public infrastructure.

    • Country Boy
      3:40 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      KY is a beautiful state with a lot of rich traditions. It has its share of idiots, as do all states, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I’ve tried the big city and didn’t think much of it. Seems the farther you get from Eastern KY the more pretentious people become. Just my take on it. Impressing city “folk” is at the very bottom of my priority list, just below wide awake colonoscopy.

    • Moving Out
      3:43 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      To each their own I guess. I much more prefer the metropolitan environment and all it has to offer. I wasn’t built nor did I enjoy rural life in EKY. Also it isn’t the healthiest place in the world to live either. I like in a pretty large city which constantly ranks among the healthiest in the country/ top air quality.

    • NotFirst
      3:46 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      I disagree. I have lived in KY for my entire life except for college, and still managed to get an outstanding education and consider myself to be well cultured and socially sophisticated. These things have more to do with effort YOU put forth than where you come from. Ever read a book? You can get them, even in the backwaters! Rednecks / hillbillies are not the end all be all of knowledge and sophistication, but who cares? They tend to be genuine and honest, something you won’t find much of in the big cities. Furthermore, I’ll bet if the power grid ever goes down, you’ll wish you were on better terms with some “backwards hillbilly redneck” that knows how to bring down a buck or skin a rabbit.

    • Moving Out
      3:48 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      I guess I just don’t value genuine and honest really. If martians invade I bet I will wish I was on better terms with a guy with access to a space ship.

    • Hersheyisabear
      4:52 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Hey moving out. When your tire goes flat while moving. Be sure to thank that country bumpkin that fixes it for you. But I am sure you are so independant.

    • NotFirst
      4:56 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Ha. Wouldn’t we all. Good luck with that.

  4. Rei
    3:20 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    at least they got busted by the feds so they can’t escape that jail time.

  5. Laker Cat 18
    3:25 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    These are all over Kentucky. It’s not new, it’s not the first, and it won’t be the last.

  6. UKfan
    3:31 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    UKC (United Kennel Club) Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan Description: Coonhound registration
    AKC (American Kennel Club) Location: Raleigh, NC Description: Coonhound registration

    You do understand the sport of coonhunting, right?

    • Rei
      3:33 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Chicken fighting rings are all over Virginia and Tennessee too. Wouldn’t doubt if you found them in NC and WV too.

    • schwing
      3:40 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      that makes it better, rei. kentucky should continue to strive for comparisons to TN & WV.

    • schwing
      3:42 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      i also understand that a labrador retriever can spend its entire life retrieving nothing. a breed of dog does not have to be sent out to do what its breed used to. all you people living like its 1864 kill me.

    • Moving Out
      3:45 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      It is just the mentality of the rural areas in KY, Schwing. Lexington and Louisville are a bit better and once you go to a larger city that mentality disappears.

    • Rei
      3:48 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Not condoning stupidity, UL fan. Just saying it isn’t exclusively related to the idiots who live in eastern KY. Once you go east of I-75 there’s no turning back.

    • Moving Out
      3:49 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Not a UL fan. UK Graduate, UK Fan, just not a state of KY fan.

    • UKfan
      4:40 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      I know several people who own retrievers that don’t hunt. I can’t say the same for coondogs. Hunters don’t spend several hundred dollars on them for them to sit on the porch.

      Why do you come on this site schwing? To put people down who you deem beneath you? What a pathetic little person you are.

    • backwordsben
      1:56 pm May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Many breeds of dogs when not hunted properly will act out and even begin trying to escape and hunt on their own in whatever neighborhood or area they live in. Bringing home rabbits, squirrel, and even a few stray cats. They are hardwired with an uncontrollable urge to hunt from birth, not unlike roosters being born with a natural urge to fight other roosters.

  7. Say Tan
    3:36 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    No other way to say it but the perception fits the reality

  8. Jim 1
    3:51 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    A good friend once told me that these rooster were born to fight and I answered maybe so, but they were not born with steel spurs.

    Former state senator Burger, owned, raised, and fought roosters. It’s always been big in Kentucky.

  9. Big cat
    3:56 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    I guess big city’s never have stuff like this. Vick came from a big city. Roy jones jr is from a big city and still lives in one. Jones to this day still fight chickens. And have sent chickens to big blue. And what about the horses they got to put down in the sport of horse racing. I’m not a chicken fighter or a supporter but don’t throw rocks when you live in a glass house.

  10. odrivero
    3:56 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    I wonder if Little Jerry gets top billing there.

    • A Division of Kramerica Industries
      5:08 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      I heard the check they used to payoff local law enforcement bounced.

    • KG
      7:47 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      LOL Little Jerry was barred from further fights after he took a fall.

  11. That's What She Said...
    3:58 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not saying I’ve not been there.

  12. Jughead
    4:09 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Oh—I thought this was another Ron Jeremy story. Nevermind.

    • ISWYDT
      6:15 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Didn’t want you to feel like no one noticed.

  13. cracka
    4:10 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    and why are they allowed to tightly wrap a bull’s nuts for a rodeo? and grow chickens in cages that cause their legs to break for food? humans can be pretty ruthless when it comes to making money.

    if they’d paid more attention to scarface they would’ve learned that you’re screwed as soon as you let your operation get too big.

    • No Bucking Way
      4:57 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      Can’t speak for broken chicken legs but the flank strap is not tied around the bull’s testicles. You’ve been reading too many PETA articles.

  14. BlueMike
    4:14 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Drew, you idiot! Do you not remember the first rule of fight club?

  15. RealCatsFan
    4:14 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Full service restaurant, huh? Well, I would have to guess that fried chicken is at the top of the menu. Kentucky Fried Losing Rooster.

  16. Michael Vick
    4:19 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Hey, this just the redneck version of dog fighting…

  17. RealUKan
    4:24 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    And you people think this is something unique to Eastern KY? Well I hate to break the news to you but it happens all over the state, including areas very close to Lexington and Louisville. It also is very popular in most other states. People in Kentucky probably failed to give some politician their share and the whole process is shut down in a small area.

  18. non-inbred hillbilly
    4:25 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    i would love to see these lowlifes be forced to fight to the death themselves. they might gain a little perspective.

    • Laker Cat 18
      4:38 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

      It’s called Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC for short).

  19. UKfan
    4:52 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Do you need a list of dispicable things that happen when humanity is involved? I stopped watching the news because of all the violence. I got tired of watching them report another shooting or stabbing incident.

  20. EKy
    5:30 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Anyone that has ever driven to Prestonsburg from Lexington knows…u drive right by a house that has at least 20 small cages in their yard clearly visible from the road filled with roosters just in rows in the yard…Politicians in that area all know

  21. ParKer
    5:54 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Cool, now everyone knows how the Colonel does it. Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag!

  22. FurdTurgason
    5:55 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Much as the inbreds get pleasure out of watching animals rip each other to pieces, I would get pleasure out of watching them get doused with jet fuel and set on fire. I can’t believe we still have Neanderthals who get entertainment out of this sort of thing. You don’t just give Kentucky a bad name. You give everyone a bad name.

  23. Jackson
    6:27 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    The people who think this crap happens only in rural areas are almost as moronic as the idiots who organize and participate in this barbaric behavior. I have lived in EKY, Pikeville, for 14 years since graduating from college and sometimes I see things and\or people that just make me shake my head in amazement and disgust. Having said that, the vast majority of people around here are fantastic and I’ve grown to be very fond of the area. Living the first 18 years of my life in Louisville and 6 years in Lexington for college(yes I was on the 6 year plan lol)I never thought I would love small town life, but I guess its amazing what a open mind and falling for a EKY gal will do to ones point of view.

    6:34 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    JACKSON-beautifully said my man. The open mind statement really hit the nail on the head. Lots of close minded people in this discussion.

  25. Paintsville'sdairqueen
    7:33 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Johnson County take notice.

  26. rooster
    7:55 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    my grandpa said roosters always fight in the barnyard even when no one is around…they grow fightin’ spurs naturally and sometimes one gets killed…I suspect very few get killed in ten years compared to 1 day at a chicken processing plant…a lot of people don’t want there to be Hunting seasons either…

  27. ekywildcat
    8:01 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    I live in Johnson county. Went to a chicken fight years ago on Bee Branch out in the Boones Camp area. Was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen that was considered a sport. To this day the only way I like chickens is fried.

  28. Bird
    8:05 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Been to a few myself, it’s not as bad as you think.

  29. Scout
    8:47 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    It’s illegal. And while statesmen such as Thomas Jefferson participated, the “sport” has long separated from its former cache. Do these same gamblers fight pit bulls? Bear and bull baiting? Christians and lions? But then there’s always boxing, and it’s legal. Just bet on people beating the s#*t out of another…

    • Cut Me Mick
      1:19 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      But, but no one’s ever been killed boxing before. Oh, wait.

  30. Roman
    9:10 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    Lol… you’re surprised by this? You must be new here. It’s a common practice in my town-that-will-not-be-named.

  31. mike
    10:20 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t do it and never wanted to go to one, but I just wonder how many of the people that thinks its just the worse thing ever thinks abortion is ok.

    • Bird
      11:53 pm May 7, 2014 Permalink


    • Haha
      12:02 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

      Depends on when you abort!

  32. dan
    3:02 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    I say to each his own. Reading through the comments here I’m pretty sure which is worse, the sanctimonious holier than thou’s that look down through their noses at the “neanderthal’s” that participate in this sport. So tell us how you prefer your chicken. Baked, fried, boiled, grilled perhaps? Then go visit one of these chicken processing plants and after you tour their plant take a minute or two and Google Roe vs Wade. You’re mad and upset over an chicken? That has a brain the size of a pea and would fight to the death in any barnyard in the world at the first chance it sees another rooster. Yet you’re numb to the genocide of your own kind? Something seriously wrong with that picture.

  33. Shooter
    8:51 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    Chicken fighting is no more cruel than Horse Racing. Just ask Eight Bells an Ferdinand.

  34. Barbaro
    8:54 am May 8, 2014 Permalink

    “We horses love to run until our hearts are about to explode with a midget on our back whipping us”.