Southern Arkansas University Student Charged in Horse Thefts

A Southern Arkansas University (SAU) student and member of the school's competitive rodeo team has been arrested in connection with the theft of five horses last month.

On Nov. 2, five Quarter Horses belonging to student members of the school's collegiate rodeo team were taken from the Mulerider Stables at the university's Magnolia, Ark., campus. A horse trailer and a variety of equestrian equipment also taken from the stables were recovered shortly after the incident. Four of the missing horses were recovered in McCurtain County, Okla., on Nov. 15. The remains of the fifth horse, named Credit Card, were discovered in McCurtain County on Nov. 25.

On Dec. 5 during a traffic stop Arkansas State Police arrested Jaci Rae Jackson, 18, of McCurtain County, Okla., in connection with the thefts, said SAU spokesman Jeremy Langley.

Jackson, a student at the school and a rodeo team member, is charged with three counts of Class B felony theft of property over $25,000 and three counts of Class C felony theft of property between $5,000 and $25,000, Langley said. Additionally, Jackson is facing three felony charges in Oklahoma including bringing stolen property into the state, knowingly concealing stolen property, and cruelty to animals.

"I do not know if the animal cruelty charge is related to Credit Card's death," Langley said.

Jackson is being held at the Columbia County Detention Facility pending a Dec. 6 bond hearing, Langley said.

Jackson was unavailable for comment.

No other warrants have yet been issued in Arkansas, however SAU Police Chief Eric Plummer said the investigation is ongoing.

"Other suspects are known to be involved," Plummer said. "We will work this case until everyone involved is brought to justice."

As the investigation continues, anyone with information about the thefts should call the SAU Police Department at 870/235-4100, Arkansas State Police Investigator Hays McWhirter at 870/703-2065, or the McCurtain County Sheriff's Department at 580/286-3331.

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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