Sussex

Horse found dead in Alfriston 'deliberately killed'

Rascal, the horse found dead in a field in Alfriston with multiple injuries
Image caption Rascal was found dead in a field with injuries thought to have been inflicted by a sharp object

A horse found dead in a field in East Sussex last weekend was killed deliberately, police have said.

The animal, called Rascal, was found in a field at the top of Kings Ride, Alfriston, at about 0945 BST on Sunday.

Police said a post-mortem examination on the 18-month-old Blue Roan Blagdon Cob showed it died from deliberately inflicted multiple injuries.

The injuries, which were mostly internal, are thought to have been inflicted by a sharp object.

'Mindless act'

The animal, which was last seen alive on Friday afternoon, also suffered a large laceration to its face and neck.

The incident is being investigated by Sussex Police and the RSPCA, who believe the horse was killed overnight between Saturday and Sunday.

Describing it as a "mindless act of animal cruelty," Det Con Annie Nash said the incident had caused much distress to the horse's owner and local community.

She said it appeared to have been an isolated attack, with the motive unknown.

Two other horses that were in the field at the time were uninjured.

The owner, who lives locally but wishes to remain anonymous, said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful horse.

"We would urge anyone with information to please contact Sussex Police."

Det Con Nash urged horse owners to take precautions and make regular checks on their animals.

She said there was no reason to believe it was part of any pattern or that it would be repeated.

"There are no recent reports of cruelty to or injuries to horses in the area," she said.

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in or around Alfriston any time from Friday afternoon up until Sunday morning, and who saw any suspicious activity, especially near Kings Ride.

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