Mare put down after savage knife attack: owner’s call for law change

  • The owner of a horse who had to be put down after she was brutally attacked in her field hopes to change the law on animal related offences so the mare’s death will not have been in vain.

    Tracy Grantham’s 17-year-old 15.1hh mare Sindy was attacked in her field at a privately rented yard in Suffolk on 29 October last year. Sindy, who had been bought in 2015 for Tracy’s daughter Amelia, 17, had been out during the day with another mare, Chance.

    **Click here to sign the petition**

    Tracy told H&H she and Amelia arrived around 6pm to get the horses in for the evening when they found Chance standing with her head down by the stable block, and no sign of Sindy.

    “It was silent when we arrived and we’re usually greeted by neighing and a thundering of hooves. For Sindy not to be with Chance I knew something was wrong,” she said.

    “We shone a torch and could see Sindy standing in a corner and I saw her rug on the floor. I thought she must have got caught in her rug and hurt herself.”

    Tracy said as they got closer to Sindy they could see “copious amounts of blood” coming from the mare’s shoulder.

    **Warning: very graphic image of injury**

    “She was reluctant to move but we got her to the stable and called the vet,” she said. “Once the vet arrived she sedated Sindy and started to get her cleaned up then asked if she had been wearing a rug and if it was torn.

    “I laid the rug out and found the fillet string and surcingles had been undone but the buckles at the front had been cut off with something sharp. The vet said I should call the police; she thought Sindy had been attacked with a knife.”

    Tracy said Sindy’s injuries included an 11-inch long slash, a six-inch deep wound, and a piece of muscle had been “carved away”. The mare had to be put down owing to her injuries.

    “On reflection we wonder if the horses had been drugged to allow someone to do that to her. There was no evidence of a struggle. I almost hope she was drugged and wasn’t aware of the pain that had been caused to her,” said Tracy.

    “The police investigated but the case was closed in February because they had nothing to go on. I believe it was a planned and orchestrated attack but the worst part is not knowing why. We don’t have any enemies, we’re an ordinary family. For Amelia to witness something like that was horrific.”

    Tracy has launched a petition calling for ‘Sindy’s law’, to make attacks on animals a specific criminal offence.

    “I asked the police what would happen to those involved if they were caught and the police said they would be charged with criminal damage – they could receive the same sentence for damaging a car, there is no specific offence for harming someone’s animal,” said Tracy.

    “I have been in contact with my local MP’s office and the hope is to get the petition to 100,000 signatures and take it to parliament. It’s a big ask, but I hope with the power of social media and the horse community we can get there. We had a phenomenal response at the time of Sindy’s attack so I hope coming up for a year on, people will support the petition.”

    Article continued below…

    Tracy said if Sindy’s law is successful, the mare’s death will not have been in vain.

    “As a family we have good days and bad, but you can’t help but think about it. We speak about Sindy a lot and try to remember the funny things about her but then you can’t help but feel sad. It’s the not knowing who did it that drives you crazy and thinking who could do something like that,” she said.

    “We might never know who did it but we’re trying to be proactive and want Sindy to be remembered. If Sindy’s law can prevent other people’s horses being attacked then it’s something positive to come from it.”

    A spokesman for Suffolk Police told H&H despite a “thorough investigation and all leads pursued” the case has been closed.

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

    You may like...