Authorities said Thursday they are looking for tips from the public in hopes of finding whoever shot and killed three wild horses east of Prineville – one of which was pregnant and accompanied by her year-old foal, which was found unhurt.
Crook County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Bottoms made the grisly discovery around 2 p.m. Monday while on patrol in the Ochoco National Forest about 18 miles east of Prineville, said Det Sgt. Travis Jurgens.
“It was definitely an intentional shooting of the three horses,” said Jurgens. “We have undetermined number of rounds that were fired at this point.”
Bottoms found the dead horse along a spur road off Forest Road 150 in the Douthit Creek drainage, near the Ochoco Ranger Station, Jurgens said. Further investigation led to the two others, for a total of two stallions and a mare.
The mare appears to have been pregnant and had a foal about 1 years old with her at the time, nudging her, trying to get her back on her feet when the deputy arrived, Jurgens said. The foal was unhurt but left abandoned by the mare’s death.“It was determined that all three horses had been shot and killed with a firearm for no apparent reason,” Jurgens said, adding that Bottoms was able to obtain evidence by having come upon the “fairly recent” shooting scene.
The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition is offering a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot and mutilated the horses.