A Shetland has died and another seriously injured in a “barbaric and disgusting attack”.
Lancashire-based owner Khrystinea Farnworth discovered something was wrong on Sunday morning (20 August) when she arrived to feed her ponies.
Three of her nine Shetlands were outside their field on a neighbouring piece of land.
At fist Khrystinea thought they had escaped, but then she saw the gate had been forced open.
“One of the ponies, Lucas (pictured, top left), was missing,” she told H&H. “I went further into the field and saw he was on the floor.
“I knew something was seriously wrong by the way he was lying down.
“I ran over and saw a wound in the side of his neck and another cut on his bum. He was dead.”
Khrystinea checked the other ponies and found seven-year-old Lucas’ mother Matilda (pictured below) had been seriously wounded.
“She had a big slash in the side of her neck,” she said.
“I brought all the Shetlands back to the yard and went to see Lucas again — it looked like he had been stabbed.”
A vet was called to the yard to treat Matilda.
The 24-year-old rescue mare has been left with two abscesses on her neck from fluid build-up.
Hero and Heidi's journey with Ben Hobday just
Having your favourite steed immortalised in a painting
A group of members wants the charity to
“The cut was quite deep but the vet didn’t want to stitch because the fluid needs to come out,” said Khrystinea, who rescued Matilda when she was in foal with Lucas.
“We rehomed her after she was found tethered to a tree with barbed wire. These cuts have reopened the scar tissue.
“She is very sore and sorry for herself — it makes it worse because we’d taken her out of that [bad] situation when we rescued her.
“That’s probably why they managed to catch Lucas because he’s so friendly.
“I don’t understand the mentality of someone that has gone and done that. It was a barbaric and disgusting attack.
“I cried at first, then I didn’t know what to do and now I’m so angry – I don’t know how someone could harm a little pony like that.”
Khrystinea has informed police and wants other owners to be aware of what happened.
“I’m just hoping the more people that know, the more it gets out there — they need to be caught,” she added.
Lancashire Police is appealing for information.
“This appears to be a deliberate attack which has caused great distress, not only to the owner, but the animals themselves,” said a police spokesman.
“Both ponies sustained wounds consistent with being slashed or stabbed.
“We are requesting equine owners to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us.”
Anyone with any information should email PC Magee at email@example.com and quote log reference LC-20170820-0693.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.