Reward Offered in North Carolina Horse Shooting Incident

Operators of Misty Meadows Farm, an equine-assisted therapy program for special needs children in Weddington, N.C., hope the offer of a $2,500 cash reward will lead investigators to whoever is responsible for wounding a horse residing in one of their pastures earlier this month.

Tracy Byrnes, director of development for the Mitey Riders equine-assisted therapy program at the farm, said that on May 1, farm operators discovered the horse suffering from what they believed was an abscess in its left eye. When treatment for the abscess failed, the attending veterinarian suspected the animal had sustained a puncture wound. On May 17 the veterinarian surgically removed the affected eye and discovered a small air rifle bullet while dissecting the eyeball, Byrnes said.

Union County Sheriff's Department Lt. Lynn Yow said the incident is currently under investigation.

"We don't often have cases of these kinds of shootings in this area," Yow said. "We think this could be juvenile related."

Byrnes said the horse belonging to the granddaughter of Mitey Riders founder Harry Swimmer is recovering well.

"It's going to take some time for him to become accustomed to having just one eye, but he's going to be just fine," Byrnes said.

Swimmer is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for shooting the horse.

Anyone with information about the case should call 704/283-5600, Yow said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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