A man has been arrested after six miniature horses had their throats slashed.
The show ponies at the yard of Jacksons Miniatures Horses, near Adelaide in South Australia, were found dead on the morning of 21 December by staff who had to be treated for shock.
“I went straight to the first box, with a horse I love dearly, and his throat was slashed,” groom Terry Hocking told Sky News. “I went down, and just kept finding one after another.”
The victims were two colts and four fillies – all aged around two years old. Three ponies were unharmed.
Owners Julie and Mel Jackson were distraught over the deaths, saying that the ponies were “like family”. They are offering 100,000 Australian dollars for any information.
Police arrested a 50-year-old man on Friday (27 December) and charged him with aggravated serious criminal trespass, property damage and ill treatment of animals. They believe this was a targeted attack.
While the Jacksons said the arrest brings them “some relief” they are “very disappointed” that he has since been released on bail.
“We still do not know who this monster is and what possible reason he could have to massacre six beautiful horses in their stables,” Mel said on their Facebook page.
“My family, our stable hands and our remaining horses are also at risk from this person, yet the courts let him out on bail and we have to wait for a court appearance in March for the first opportunity to remove him from the community.”