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A horse has been shot in the head, in what police are describing as a “brutal and unprecedented” attack.

The four-year-old mare was shot while in her field at North Barn Farm in Cowley, near Cheltenham. She was later put down due to her injuries.

It happened overnight between 8pm on 31 March and 7.30am on 1 April.

Gloucester Police are now appealing for information.

“This was a cowardly and targeted attack on an animal who suffered incredibly as a result of its injuries,” said PC Jon Warren.

“It happened in the southern area of the farm, directly next to the single track road that leads from the main A435 road towards the village of Cockleford.

“We’re appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the offender or offenders or have any information about the incident.

“Please call 101 quoting incident 60 of 1 April.”

‘Serious injuries’

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, police in Wales appealed for information after a partially-blind pony was attacked with a knife in February.

The two-year-old cob, called Moe, suffered serious injuries in the attack, which happened in her field in Ynysybwl, South Wales.

However, reports on social media say she is making a good recovery.

Police are asking anyone with any information about the incident to call 101 quoting reference number 1600067019, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.