Three American Saddlebreds have been put down after a mysterious attack in which a caustic substance was injected into their nearside pasterns. Two other horses were also involved in the attack.
One of the horses, all based in the US, was Wild Eyed and Wicked, a former five-gaited World Champion estimated to be worth $1m.
Four of the five horses were entered in the first leg of a prestigious “triple crown” of shows for the breed, which takes place this week.
The horses were injected several weeks ago at producers Dave and Lena Lopez’s Double D Ranch in central Kentucky.
Vets attempted sophisticated treatments including the use of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to increase bloodflow and promote healing. However, the substance injected into their pasterns had eaten away at their flesh leaving gaping holes around 4in wide.
Hopes were high for the horses’ recovery until complications developed in their offside forelegs, which had borne extra weight during treatment.
The horses’ owners and equestrian sport governing bodies in the USA have put up a reward of $100,000 for information in connection with the case.
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