(image: Ben Smith)
(image: Ben Smith)

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting of a polo horse in Thermal.

Missy, a 6-year-old mare, was shot five to six times in a pasture on Jackson Street. Missy’s body lay in the field all night and was partially eaten by coyotes before being discovered.

“We have no idea what happened,” Ben Smith told the Desert Sun. “It looks like a random act, like someone decided to try out their gun on a horse.”

Smith did not have insurance on the horse who had won Best Playing Pony in the Seattle Polo Club Championship at the Seattle Polo & Equestrian Club this past August.

“The horse is valued at about $40,000 and so that’s a big financial loss for us and the harder loss is not the money, but losing the horse, then to bring another horse up to that level takes about 2 years of training,” Missy’s owner Ben Smith told KESQ.

A spokesmsan for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said Missy’s murder is being investigated as an animal cruelty matter.

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