The owners of a horse who died “for nothing but greed”, after burglars threw a bag of carrots into her stable, want to make other equestrians aware of the issue.
Francesca Maples’ four-year-old mare Kamara had to be put down on 10 February, having been ill since the intruders came on to the livery yard in West Yorkshire on the night of 18 to 19 January.
Francesca’s father Darren told H&H the thieves made off only with a few low-value items of tack and some horse feed.
“My daughter is distraught at this outcome, as a consequence of theft of a few hundred pounds of feed,” he said.
“She has been left with a vet bill in excess of £3,000 and an empty stable where her beloved horse once lived. My frustration is that through a lack of decency an animal had to die and a young girl pay dearly. She has lost the one thing she cared most for, for nothing but greed.”
Mr Maples said that since the livery yard, at which Francesca works, had been burgled some four months ago, there were few valuable items kept there.
“They got away with so little,” he said. “We can only surmise that they were going through the stables looking for items of value, disturbed the horse and she made a noise, and they threw the bag of carrots in to keep her quiet.”
When Francesca arrived the next morning, she knew her mare was not right.
“It must have been a huge sugar rush,” Mr Maples said. “Her system couldn’t cope.”
Francesca called the vet immediately and Kamara was that evening taken to an equine hospital. Over the next few weeks her treatment included flushing through, a course of steroids and blood transfusions. And although the mare did perk up after the first transfusion, she could not keep any food or water in and her condition soon went downhill. Despite the vets’ best efforts, Francesca had to have her put down on 10 February.
“Francesca threw money at trying to get the horse better but the poor soul had to make that decision,” Mr Maples said. “She said ‘I can’t put her through any more’, and the vet came out and put the poor thing to sleep.
“Francesca’s been incredibly brave but she’s now having to come to terms with it; I think the hardest part is having to walk past her empty stable every day.”
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Mr Maples said he now wants to raise awareness.
“I didn’t realise something as innocuous as a bag of carrots could have this effect,” he said. “People don’t understand the damage they’re doing but if we can help prevent something like this happening to someone else, I’m all for it.
“The outpouring of support has been superb. Francesca’s staring down the barrel of a £3,000 vet bill but I’ve set up a JustGiving page and a lot of people have donated.
“Francesca lives and breathes horses and always has their best interests at heart. This little cob had so much potential; she’s distraught.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.