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A Northamptonshire woman says her horse is recovering well two weeks after being shot in his stable on a livery yard.

Elaine O’Callaghan found 12-year-old Irish sport horse Sooty cowering at the back of his stable on 26 January.

And she was horrified to find a hole through his stable rug and a wound in the muscle at the top of his off-fore.

“I knew something was wrong as soon as I got onto the yard as he always whinnies to me as I come over.

“There was dried blood on the inside of his rug and I thought he must have been shot with a pellet.”

But an X-ray showed a much larger round in his leg.

“My vet sent the X-ray to a specialist at Newmarket [equine hospital] and I took him down there that night,” said Mrs O’Callaghan, who competes locally in dressage with Sooty.

The vets decided that the bullet, lodged near his elbow, cannot be removed.

“I really hope the person who did this is caught and brought to justice,” she told H&H. “It’s such a cruel thing to have done.”

She said he doesn’t appear to be lame but the long-term effect is not yet known.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police confirmed that they are investigating the incident.