Cornwall horse mutilation: Owner recalls similar attack

Rosemary Penn
Image caption Rosemary Penn said her pony was killed in a field at her home in Bodmin in December 2006

The mutilation of a horse in Cornwall may not be an isolated case, according to the owner of a Shetland pony killed in 2006.

Rosemary Penn said her pony was killed in a field at her home in Bodmin in December 2006. Police have confirmed they investigated the killing.

But although the injuries inflicted on both animals were similar, police are not linking the two incidents.

Mrs Penn said: "I have terrible memories."

She added: "In fact the description of what happened is identical to what happened to my Shetland gelding.

"He was extremely nervous and very hard to catch. I don't know how they managed to do it but it certainly wasn't one person."

'Open mind'

Mrs Penn admitted hearing about the killing of the two-year-old stallion, named Erik, in Stithians on Monday made her anxious.

"I am still nervous. We've had all the wrong weather, in the sense we have had clear nights. My dogs have been going out at all hours of the night barking and they never do that.

"I am still furious. The Shetland I rescued, I was the only person he trusted. That's why it was even more shocking that they managed to get hold of him."

Image caption Two-year-old stallion Erik suffered extensive injuries in Monday's attack

There has been speculation that the killing at Stithians may have been linked to a Satanic ritual.

Mrs Penn said: "I was led to believe there are cults and they made sacrifices on specific days."

Some internet forums have contained speculation that the most recent killing coincided with St Winebald Day on 7 January, which is said to have been included on Satanic calendars as a date for blood rituals.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said: "We're keeping an open mind with many lines of inquiry as to what happened. There is nothing specific to suggest that this is the case, there are no facts, it's speculation.

"It was a savage attack on or near a date, but there is nothing to suggest that it is things like a Satanic worship attack."

The RSPCA's spokesperson for the region, Jo Barr, said: "It's impossible to know at the moment what the motivation was behind the attack.

"I have been with the RSPCA for eight years. In my time I am only aware of one incident which was potentially linked.

"There were a couple of attacks on Dartmoor on sheep. There were suggestions that the bodies were left in a formation, I believe it was a pentangle, it was suggested it was linked to Satanic practices or witchcraft."

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