Police in Wiltshire are appealing for information after a mare was shot in the head in her field.
The 10-year-old survived the shot, but her owners — Tom Hanlon and Mark Hope from High Hope’s Stud — are searching for the culprit.
The broodmare — Lordships Dimension, known as Darcy — was out grazing at High Hope’s Stud near Marlborough last week (Tuesday 7 October) when she was found with a wound beneath her eye.
When she was treated by vets it was found to be a shot wound, caused by a rifle.
“She was checked on at around 2pm,” Mark Hope from the stud told H&H.
“But at around 6pm one of the grooms spotted her and she had blood on her face.
“She had been shot just under the eye. The shot shattered the bone in her nasal cavity, but she was very lucky — had it gone in her eye she would have died.”
He said he was unsure whether the shot was deliberate or an accident.
“Either way we’re very concerned,” he added.
The 10-year-old is by former dressage world champion Dimaggio.
PC Jeff Rice from the Rural Crime Team at Wiltshire Police added: “The bullet actually entered her skull and it was very fortunate that she wasn’t killed.
“At this stage we don’t believe this was a targeted attack but possibly a poaching related incident with the horse having been caught by a stray shot.
“The owners are understandably concerned for the safety of both the animals and staff who work in and around the area and we’d like to hear from anyone who knows anything about the incident.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Rice on 101 or e-mail email@example.com.