A horse has died and another was seriously injured in a “cruel and brutal” stabbing.

The pair were “viciously attacked” while grazing in a field in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, between 7pm on 8 July and 10am on 9 July.

Northumbria Police has launched an investigation and is appealing for witnesses.

“This was a cruel and brutal attack on two defenceless animals and we are determined to catch those responsible,” said neighbourhood inspector Kevin Oates.

“Both animals were stabbed a number of times and required two vets to work together on stitching together the wounds. They were surprised the horses were still alive.

“We suspect that whoever could be responsible for such an offence would have been in a group and would have been covered in blood following the incident.”

Despite the vets’ efforts, one of the horses died from the injuries he sustained in the upsetting attack. The other continues to be monitored by vets.

Police are carrying out enquiries to try and find those responsible.

“Anyone who saw the attack, knows those responsible or has any information that could help police should contact us,” added inspector Oates.

Call police on 101, quoting reference 481 09/07/16, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police appeal

In a separate incident, police are investigating after an ex-racehorse was shot at a yard in south east London on 8 July.

Woolfall Treasure, an 11-year-old grey gelding, was found dead by staff at Kemnal Manor Stables near Chislehurst.

A memorial service for the horse is set to take place today (Saturday, 17 July).

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told H&H earlier this week that officers attended and detectives from Bromley CID are investigating.

Call 101 with information.