Family that Returned Stolen Horse Gets Replacement

A 7-year-old girl who had to give up her horse when he was identified as stolen has found a new partner in a 16-year-old gelding rescued from slaughter.


Indio has joined his new family.

Mackenzie Gully's new horse, named Indio, arrived at her home in Ava, Mo., yesterday, thanks to the efforts of a rescuer in Montana and donors who raised money to have him shipped from Montana to his new home.

The arrival of Indio draws to a close the Gullys' ordeal, in which a Paint gelding they had purchased for Mackenzie in September turned out to be a stolen barrel racer from Eastern Illinois. The Gullys returned that horse, named Max, to his 14-year-old owner, Kaitlynn Bilskie, at the beginning of October. (Read: "Stolen Horse Recovered; Max Home With 14-Year-Old Owner.")

The Gullys would not take a $4,000 reward Biliskie's family offered, but accepted the offer of Indio, a kid-friendly horse that was rescued from auction in Montana.

"He's a perfect gentleman," said Kim Gully, Mackenzie's mother. "I can't express my thanks enough."

Meanwhile, the investigation into the theft of Max is "open and ongoing," said Deputy Vernon Johnson of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in Missouri. The charge would be possession of stolen property, which carries a penalty of two to seven years in prison.

Keith Caughran, Kaitlynn's stepfather, said there is a description of a suspect but declined to give details. "I'm not going to let this drop, somebody needs to go to prison," he said.

About the Author

Liz Brown

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