A memorial service is taking place this weekend for a former racehorse who was shot in the head while turned out in the field.
Woolfall Treasure was found dead by staff at Kemnal Manor Stables, near Chislehurst, southeast London, on Friday (8 July).
The 11-year-old grey gelding (pictured in the lead, above), who won eight races before his retirement in 2013, had been kept at the yard on livery by Myra McKenna for just over a year.
He had only been turned out for the second day on Friday, having recovered from an injury.
“They saw him on the floor when they went to get him in, and thought at first he’d been kicked in the head,” yard manager Justine Bowdery said. “Then they saw he’d been shot.”
Staff called police, who say they are investigating the shooting, while Ms Bowdery is offering a £3,000 reward to help catch the killer.
“Someone must know something,” she said.
“Our fields are totally off the roads, they could only have got there from the path. Whoever did it went to do it on purpose.”
Ms Bowdery said liveries and staff are concerned.
“The sort of gun used is scaring everyone,” she said. “We’re all worried. And if they could do that to a horse, could they do it to a human?
“We’re going to have a memorial for him on Saturday, with flowers and poems.
“It’s awful. He was gorgeous, a lovely horse, it’s shocking.”
Myra McKenna posted on Facebook: “No words can explain the pain and loss I feel.
“He was so beautiful and a true gent. Can’t understand why anyone would do this to such a beautiful horse. Sleep well my angel xxx“
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A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers were called at about 3.30pm on Friday.
He added: “Officers attended and found a horse deceased. A vet was called and enquiries are underway to establish the cause of the animal’s death.
“Detectives from Bromley CID are investigating.”