Cock-handler Rodrigo de Gallo (right) prepares to release favored fowl Feathered Glory at the 148th annual Kentucky Cockfighting Championship. The bird won the ensuring battle against opponent Coxcomb-over, but was disqualified after the match when judges ruled that he had used part of the hay bale ring to help elevate himself for a drop-down attack. It marked the first time that a victorious bird had ever been denied the title of King Cock in KCC history.
  • Cock-handler Rodrigo de Gallo (right) prepares to release favored fowl Feathered Glory at the 148th annual Kentucky Cockfighting Championship. The bird won the ensuring battle against opponent Coxcomb-over, but was disqualified after the match when judges ruled that he had used part of the hay bale ring to help elevate himself for a drop-down attack. It marked the first time that a victorious bird had ever been denied the title of King Cock in KCC history.
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“Tradition is everything here at the Kentucky Cockfighting Championship,” says Larry West, still shaking his head in disbelief over the unprecedented turn of events that cost him the honor of strutting into the Winner’s Square last Sunday. “From the Paloma cocktails to the outrageous sombreros to the mariachi music. But there’s no tradition of letting a bunch of pointy-head nitpickers deny a champion based on some ticky-tack rule that didn’t even affect the final outcome. Feathered Glory won that cockfight, plain and simple. Everybody else in that arena knew it; that’s why they put the Marigold Crown on my head before the ruling came down. And then this. Well, I’m gonna fight it. This travesty has cost me thousands in brood-hen fees, not to mention unimaginable emotional distress. My bird won in the ring, and now I’m gonna win in the courts, where they know a little something about the spirit of the law prevailing over the letter.”

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