Slow recovery for horse shot by ‘hunters’
BY SARA KEDDY
Kings County Register
Tough Jeans isn’t doing so well.
The 17-month-old horse is recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck after suspected hunters shot and killed a companion horse in a pasture in South Maitland Nov. 6. Tough Jeans’ injury wasn’t discovered until the next day. “We can’t think it was an accident,” says Tough Jeans’ owner, Crystal Joyce of Evangeline Stables in Canning. “Thinking the horses were deer? Tough Jeans would be one big ‘moose baby’ – and it was dark.”
The first horse, Bailey, was shot in a pasture but not found until the next morning, when her owners were checking the stock. They found her wounded, lying on her injured side. Police were called in and followed a set of four wheeler tracks beyond the fence line, leading to a roadway near Highway 215 in Maitland. A shell casing was also found.
Tough Jeans was in the field with other horses and, after Bailey was buried, wouldn’t come to be fed. Joyce travelled to her sister’s property to trailer the young horse home for vet care. “I have close to 40 horses, and my sister keeps the young ones, about seven of them. We didn’t know whether to truck her or not.”
The vet’s initial check indicated Tough Jeans had been shot in the neck, with the shot going in and then coming out. Joyce says the prognosis is not “crippling,” but there’s a question how much movement the horse will have. “She’s alive, and that’s what we’re working on now. “I was talking to a friend, and she said we’ll probably never know who did this. The RCMP have ‘solid’ leads, but they can’t close the file. It could be years before this comes out at some hunting camp story session.”
Police conducted neighbourhood inquiries in South Maitland and are asking for any information the public may have to continue their investigation.