An 89-year-old deer hunter has been charged with shooting and injuring apony being ridden on a farm in Western Minnesota, USA.

According to reports on the Guardian Unlimited and Star Tribune websites, 12-year-old Lindsey Duffield was riding her grey pony Princess on her grandfather’s farm, while leading another.

Clinton Hurlbut told the court that he through he had seen a deer and fired the shotgun slug which narrowly missed Lindsey’s leg and struck Princess in the shoulder.

He was charged with misdemeanor reckless use of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The incident happened at a farm on the outskirts of Browns Valley, a town of 800, close to the South Dakota state line.

Since the report of the accident appearedin the Star Tribune newspaper earlier this month, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has received contributions of more than $2,000 towards buying Lindsey a new pony.

Princess is reported to still be recovering from the gunshot wounds, but at this stage it is unclear whether she will be ridden again.

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