Police in Derbyshire are investigating the possibility that an equine ‘Jack the Ripper’ may be on the loose after they were called to investigate three separate incidents of ‘sexually’ motivated attacks on horses.

The first of these brutal aggressions took place at Curbar on 26 May when a mare had her nose clamped and her vagina interfered with. The second took place the same night at Stoney Middleton, when a mare in an isolated field suffered injuries to her buttocks, rectum and vagina.

The third and most serious attack to date occurred at Eyam on either the 11 or 12 June, when an intruder appears to have inflicted stabs and slashes to a yearling filly’s stomach. It is thought that the horse bolted, rupturing its stomach and giving the appearance that it had been disembowelled.

Acolt kept in the same field was also found drugged and suffering from injuries between its back legs.

The trail of blood leading to the filly’s body started in the middle of the field. A thorough search of the field yielded no clues as to what might have caused either of the two animals’ injuries.

A police spokesperson says: “We can confirm that we are investigating these reports.”

A spokesperson for the RSPCA says: “The RSPCA is aware of these violent and disturbing attacks on horses in Derbyshire and understand they are being investigated by the police.

“We would advise horse owners in the area to be extremely vigilant at this time and report any unusual or suspicious activity immediately to the police.

“Owners should also try and vary their routine as much as possible and check on their horses at different times of the day.”