A fatal knife attack on a horse in Rhymney, Gwent, has sparked an RSPCA investigation after the mutilated body of the six-year-old black and white mare was found by her owners on Tuesday 15 April.

On arrival at her stable, the owners found the door ajar and the mare lying dead in an adjoining field.

A veterinary examination confirmed the cause of death was five deliberate stab wounds to the abdomen and chest, along with a slash to the mare’s belly. Two of the wounds were carried out with such force that they passed straight through the horse’s chest.

RSPCA inspector Rachel Jones said: “This is a despicably malicious attack on a much loved horse. We will follow up any information that the public can provide us with, and do our utmost to bring the culprits to justice.

“We know the horse was fit and well on the evening of Monday 14 April, when her owners put her in her stable, with food and water, for the night. The attack must have happened overnight.

“If anyone saw any suspicious behaviour in the fields behind Mountbatten Housing Estate in Rhymney on Monday night, or may know who is responsible for this callous act, I would urge them to contact the RSPCA or police.”

Detective Sergeant Gwyn Pidgeon from Bargoed Police said: “This incident has sickened both the police and the RSPCA and it will be fully investigated.”

Anyone with any information on the attack should contact Bargoed police (tel: 01443 875168) or RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line (tel: 08705 555 999), all calls are treated in strict confidence.