South Carolina horse owners find mare tied up, sexually assaulted

South Carolina horse owners find mare tied up, sexually assaulted

Source: Facebook (Abigail Ronco)

AIKEN, S.C. — Authorities said a dressage horse at a South Carolina ranch was found tied up and sexually assaulted.

An Aiken County sheriff's report says the horse was found tied up Friday and appeared to have trouble walking. The report says the horse was examined by a veterinarian who found signs of sexual assault and related injuries.

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Horse trainer Marijn Stuurman said the ranch has been on high alert since.

"Right now she's quiet. She's a little bit depressed," Stuurman told our sister station, WJBF.

He said as soon as he saw a picture of his 5-year-old horse, Jachin, tied up with ropes, he knew she was hurt by someone.

"One was tied around her neck," he said. "The legs were hobbled and there was a bucket that was missing that was later found over at the gate. It's big enough, tall enough to stand on to do your business if you're going to do your business."

The owners took to social media warning other horse owners that their mare had been a victim of sexual assault.

WARNING TO AIKEN, SC HORSE OWNERS! Yesterday between 11:30pm- 5am (9/21/19) Someone HARRASSED one of our mares in her...

Posted by Abigail Ronco on Sunday, September 22, 2019

"Pay attention. Pay attention to where you put your stuff. Pay attention to where you put your buckets. Pay attention to strange behaviors of your horses," Stuurman said.

A similar attack happened in Delaware last year. A 45-year-old man was arrested and charged with offenses including animal cruelty.