Florida Authorities Investigate Assaults on Miniature Horses

A Florida Miniature Horse breeder hopes video surveillance evidence will help law enforcement authorities capture the man she alleges has been sexually assaulting her animals.

Abby Conder, operator of Condor Minis in Sommerfield, Fla., said that in May she discovered that a mare had been removed from her stall and tied to a fence. Upon further examination, Condor said she found the horse bruised and bleeding. The injuries were consistent with sexual assault, she said.

"We did not call the police," Conder said. "We thought it was a freak occurrence."

Conder did file two reports with the Marion County Sheriff's Office in August about similar incidents. A veterinarian determined that one mare had sustained injuries severe enough to prevent her from being bred, she said.

On the recommendation of law enforcement personnel, Condon installed a night-vision hunting camera in the barn, hoping to identify whoever was responsible for the attacks. In the early morning hours of Dec. 29, that camera recorded a man in the barn with the horses, Conder said.

Marion County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Jenifer Lowe said that Sheriff's deputies have reviewed that footage as part of an ongoing investigation into the incidents.

"We are reviewing all the information (Conder) has obtained and we are actively investigating the case," Lowe said.

Anyone with information about who may be responsible for the incidents should call the Marion County Sheriff's Dept. at 352/732-9111 or CrimeStoppers at 352/368-7867.

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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