The owner of a horse who was shot dead in his own field said the act was “the only evil he had ever known”.
Stacey McKay’s seven-year-old gelding Ghost was found dead on 26 January, with gunshot wounds to his head and abdomen.
“He was my boy; my beautiful boy,” she told H&H. “He was stunning inside and out.
“I just hope, for the small comfort it brings, that it was quick and he didn’t know anything about it.”
Ghost and the other seven horses kept by Stacey and another owner at the private yard in the Lingfield, Surrey, area were healthy and happy when they were checked on the morning of the incident.
“I got a phone call at about 3pm to tell me Ghost had passed away,” Stacey said.
“My sister came to get me as I couldn’t drive and she went to him first; she tried to tell me not to go over but I did, and saw he’d been shot, in the forehead.”
Stacey called her vet, who said Ghost may have been shot with a bolt gun and advised her to call the police.
“I just hope he was shot in the head first, so he didn’t feel the other shot,” Stacey said.
“He was such a sweet boy; he probably walked over to whoever did it, and put his head towards the gun.
“I’d had him since he was seven months old; he was my boy.”
Ghost, who had not yet been backed, was Stacey’s first horse and had been bred to showjump.
“But we’d have done whatever he wanted to do,” Stacey said. “I wanted to do a bit of everything and enjoy him.”
Stacey has since moved her two mares from the yard and is appealing for anyone with information to contact police.
“I feel whoever did this is really sick; and if they can do something like this to an animal, you don’t know what else they could do,” she said.
“Because I’ve got my girls to look after, I haven’t really processed what happened yet.
“If it wasn’t for all the help and support I’ve had, I’d probably still be standing there in the field.
“Ghost was very people orientated – he knew no evil and hadn’t seen what the world could do. This was the only evil he’d ever known.
“I just want the people responsible to know how much hurt something like this brings; it just takes a few people to stand up to them.”
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “The incident happened in a field in New Chapel Road some time between 7.30am and 2.30pm.
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“Officers have been carrying out house to house inquiries in the local area and the investigation remains ongoing. Anyone who has any information about this very distressing incident should contact Surrey Police so those responsible can be brought to justice.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111, or report it online, using reference number 45170008996 in the “additional information” section.
A page has been set up to fund a reward to be offered for information leading to the capture of the criminals.