Police in Australia are hunting for a person who attacked a horse belonging to the Riding for the Disabled Association.

The 15-year-old quarter horse, called Jessie, suffered a fractured skull, in the incident which happened overnight 9 -10 October at the property in Darwin.

Northern Territory Police believe Jessie was struck on the head with a blunt instrument.

The horse was found distressed and bleeding at 9am on Saturday morning by the centre owners.

“The attack is of particular concern as it’s an act of cruelty by a coward or cowards against a horse that offers affection and reward to people with disabilities,” a police spokesman told local press.

Jessie is expected to take three months to recover from the attack.