4 horses shot to death in Syracuse corral

Saturday , July 19, 2014 - 3:00 PM

SYRACUSE -- Anger does not even begin to describe how Richard Sanders feels concerning the brutal killing of his four thoroughbred horses.

Sanders, of Sunset, came home from Arizona on Tuesday to learn the horses he has loved and cared for over the past 10 years were shot sometime between last Saturday night and Tuesday night in their corral at 4000 W. 3000 South, Syracuse. Sanders’ son found the bodies of the horses when he went there to check on them. 

Davis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case because it occurred in the unincorporated area of Syracuse, said Sgt. Susan Poulsen. Officers were called to the pasture, which is only accessible through private property, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Syracuse police and Davis County Sheriff’s Animal Control officers also responded. 

"I hope when they catch these people, I’m the first one to get at them,“ Sanders said.

Sanders said the person or persons responsible for the deaths of the four horses walked up the dead-end road to the gate and once the horses were in the corral, locked the corral and shot the horses.

"Three of them were laying side by side,” Sanders said. “The oldest mare, she had jumped into the feed barrel, trying to get away and they shot her in the back.” 

Then whoever did the shooting, walked right up to the mare and shot her in the back of the head, Sanders said. 

"The mares were good riding horses,“ Sanders said. 



This is the first time Sanders has had any problems in the 30 years he has owned the property. He has raised water buffalo, pigs and turkeys, besides horses. 

The four horses killed, the only horses Sanders owned, were a brown 10-year-old mare named Barbie; a bay 8-year-old mare named “No-Name”; a sorrel 2-year-old filly and a chestnut 1-year-old stud. 

Each of the horses had white stockings and a blaze on their heads.

"They had the same markings as the stud,“ Sanders said. ”He had a beautiful head. He was a good-looking horse.“ 

Sanders said the horses would have seen someone walk down the lane to the gate and assume the person was there to feed them. They would have naturally run to the manger in hopes of a bale of hay. 

The filly was tame and would stick her head through the gate to get petted, Sanders said. He had planned to break her into a saddle later this summer. 

Now he just wants to catch the person or persons responsible for the deaths of his horses. 

Anyone with information that would lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible is asked to call the Davis County Sheriff’s Office at 801-451-4150, Poulsen said. 

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or lpark@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE. Like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SELorettaPark.

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