On the morning of Thursday 4th September officers were called to Pesspool Lane, Haswell to reports of a horse having been slashed overnight.
Initial thoughts that the horse could have injured itself on barbed wire were quickly ruled out when the extent of the injuries were seen.
The owners of the horse – Andrew BLENCH, aged 41 and Alison COOK, 42 were spoken to and have no idea who or why the horse was attacked. Both were clearly distressed and angry over the incident. With the ever-increasing vet fees and the ongoing risk of infection the road to recovery will be a long and expensive one.
The injuries to the horse were on the right hand side of the animalâ€™s neck and consisted of a 10-12â€ horizontal cut, approxâ€™ 4â€ deep and bleeding heavily. A local vet (from Dunelm Veterinary Group) attended and stated that had the horse not been found when it was, it could easily have died from blood loss.
The horse needed 90+ stitches to close the wound has now been moved from the field.
The horse, a five-year-old â€œTrotterâ€ named TOMMY was in the field grazing. He has recently become an up and coming champion in the sulky racing circuit having been placed in the top three of 12 races and the outright winner of the other 9.
TOMMY was about to be moved to a stables for further training in order to improve on its fitness and performance. Due to the severe injuries its racing career will now be on hold.
Police are appealing for witnesses and information to lead to the arrest and conviction of those involved.
The investigating officer, PC Kevin Woodcock who is based in Seaham said he had never come across anything so barbaric in his twenty-plus years police service.
â€œThe wound was horrendous and could not have been the result of an accident. We suspect something like a butcherâ€™s knife may have been used. If anyone has any suspicions as to how who was responsible, I would urge them to contact the police or the independent charity Crimestoppers.â€