Police are appealing for information after a 10-year-old stallion in Staffordshire is found shot in his stable

Police are no nearer finding the callous killer of a 10-year-old palomino stud stallion who was shot in his box during Bonfire Night in a private stableyard in Stapenhill, Burton-on-Trent, Staffs, and are appealing to anyone with any information to come forward.

The attacker is thought to have used a “captive bolt” pistol – typically used by slaughtermen – to shoot the stallion, called Strongbow, in the forehead.

“He still had hay in his mouth,” says retired farmer George Long, who found him in the morning.”He just dropped to the stable floor with his head underneath him – there was not a piece of straw out of place in his bed. It was obviously carried out by someone who knew about horses.”

Staffordshire police have confirmed that death would have been instantaneous.

” I have no idea why anyone would want to be so cruel as to do this,” Mr Long added.

Strongbow belonged to Mr Long’s son, David (47) who had had owned the 15.1hh stallion, thought to be worth more than £5,000, since he was two years old.

Two mares who were in adjacent stables were unharmed in the attack and have since been moved to a place of safety.

If you can help contact Staffordshire Police (tel: 01785 235202)

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