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Mare dies from slash to belly — thought to be stab wound

A seven-year-old mare has died after being found with a slash to her belly — thought to be a stab wound — in South Yorkshire.

The RSPCA now is appealing for information after a Tilly, a 14.2hh Connemara, was found seriously injured in her field in Hoyland, Barnsley on Sunday (29 March). The wound was so deep she had to be put to sleep.

Michelle Steeples, who had been looking after Tilly, received a call and arrived at the yard at around 7am.

Police and RSPCA officers were already there, having been called by a member of the public.

“We rushed to the yard and found her collapsed on the floor,” Michelle told H&H. “The cut had caused her intestines to come out — it was horrendous, like something from a horror movie.

The vet had to put down Tilly down. They looked at the wound and said it was a stab puncture wound and nothing that she could have done to herself.

“She was a lovely little mare with lots of potential — we are desperate to know what happened.”

Michelle and her friend Katie Haig had been bringing on Tilly for her owner, Sharon Sephton, since November.

“I am absolutely devastated and I will not stop until we have found the vile creature that has done this,” added Sharon.

“I hope to try and get some justification for Tilly in the way of protection of other horses.”

There is now a £1,000 reward, offered by one of Michelle’s friends to find the culprit.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed to H&H they are investigating the incident.

“The poor horse, a very sweet small grey mare, was suffering greatly and was put to sleep on humane grounds,” said RSPCA inspector John Lawson.

“From local enquiries it seems that whatever happened to her happened between 2.30am and the dog walker finding her at 6.40am.

“We can’t say for sure whether she was deliberately attacked or whether this was a terrible accident, but would like anyone with any specific information to contact me on the RSPCA’s inspector appeal line 0300 123 8018.”

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