Police are investigating after a pony was shot with a crossbow on Dartmoor.

Walkers near Yelverton, Devon, found the Dartmoor hill pony with a crossbow embedded in its front leg yesterday (Thursday 22 January) at around 2pm.

“The walkers came in to our local shop and asked who they should contact to report such an incident,” H&H reader Kate Shobrook said.

“I own horses myself and I didn’t quite believe it, and just assumed that perhaps the pony had run in to a bush and got a branch stuck in it.

“We went up to investigate and sure enough there was a poor pony stood on three legs. A crossbow arrow had gone straight through the back of its front leg. It was very distressing to see the pony like that.”

horse arrow

Kate contacted local charity, South West Equine Protection and the local farmer and livestock owner.

“We managed to get hold of the pony and restrain it while the crossbow was cut and extracted from the pony,” Kate told H&H.

“It is horrendous to think that someone could fire a weapon like this at a living animal. Yelverton is an extremely horse dense area, there are now a lot of very worried owners.”

The owner then took the pony back to the farm for further treatment. It is hoped the pony will make a full recovery.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed to H&H that they are currently investigating.

“The farmer contacted us after finding the pony shot through the leg with an steel shafted bolt believed to be from a crossbow,” said a police spokesman.

“The bolt/arrow was still embedded in the pony’s front leg. He managed to remove it and the pony will be fine and will recover.”

Anyone with information should call the police on 101, quoting crime reference CR/005215/15.

horse arrow

In 2013 H&H reported on two horses that were shot by crossbows.

A pony was found with a 20-inch arrow in the face in Barnsley South Yorkshire in June 2013, while in October a Welsh section A was shot in the chest in Sussex.