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Stallion dies after frenzied attack

A coloured driving stallion has been put to sleep after being repeatedly stabbed in Halifax, Yorkshire.

Jack, a 14.2hh four-year-old piebald, was tethered on waste ground near South Lane Gardens, in Elland, when he was attacked in the early hours of Saturday morning (12 July).

Jack’s owners, Claire Sugget and Billy Austin, from Beverly, had travelled him down to visit friends and attend a Yorkshire Driving Club rally in Norland.

The couple were staying with Debbie and Steven Wheelwright, whose house backs onto the waste ground. The Wheelwrights had previously used the area where Jack was attacked to tether their own horses without ever encountering any problems.

At around 6.30am on Saturday morning, dog walkers discovered the stallion bleeding profusely. They alerted the police and contacted Debbie and Steven.

The sight that greeted them was horrific — Jack had been stabbed at least six times and was covered in blood. Each stab wound was around three inches deep and an inch across.

“To see what a human being is capable of doing to an animal is just sickening,” says Debbie. “The SOCCO officer left the scene in tears and had to recompose herself before coming back.”

Despite receiving prompt veterinary treatment, Jack took a turnfor the worse and was humanely destroyed early on Sunday morning.

“The vets did a remarkable job, and, although Jack did initially seem brighter, he obviously had severe internal injuries and went rapidly downhill.

“Claire and Billy are absolutely devastated by what has happened, but they have asked me to appeal for any witnesses to come forward. Jack was a much loved member of the family and if anyone knows anything about this heinous crime, I would urge them to get in touch with the police.”

Inspector Steve Whitworth of Calderdale police says: “This is a dreadful and horrific thing to do to an animal but I don’t think it is related to any of the other recent attacks on horses in the area.

“Police officers who attended this incident were very upset by what they witnessed and if anyone has any information about this crime then they should contact the police helpdesk on 01422 337077.”

A 56-year-old man was arrested following the incident and has been released on bail.

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