A horse found dead in a field in Sussex with multiple injuries was deliberately killed, say police.

Rascal, an 18-month-old cob, was found dead by a member of staff at a nearby riding centre at 9.45am on Sunday 24 October.

The injuries, which are mostly internal and in specific areas of the horse’s body, are thought by vets to have been inflicted deliberately with a sharp object. This horse also suffered a large laceration to its face and neck.

A post-mortem, carried out on Tuesday 26 October at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire, confirmed the horse died from injuries inflicted deliberately.

The horse was in a field in Kings Ride, Alfriston, Sussex when it was attacked. The incident occurred between Friday 22 October and 24 October and police are urging witnesses to come forward.

An investigation is ongoing.

Detective Constable Annie Nash said: “This horrific incident has caused much distress to the horse’s owner and local community but it does appears to be an isolated attack, the motive for which is unknown at this stage.

“We would like to remind horse owners to continue to take common sense crime prevention precautions including routine regular checks on their animals, especially those kept in the open, but there is no reason at all at present to believe that this is part of any pattern or that it will be repeated.

“There are no recent reports of cruelty to or injuries to horses in the area. There were two other horses in the field and they were completely unhurt.”

The owner of the young cob said: “We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful horse. We would urge anyone with information to please contact Sussex Police.”

Anymore with information should call: 0845 60 70 999, quoting serial 490 of 24 October.