Local News

Jan 1, 2010 12:15 AM by Monica Quintero

Motive a mystery in shooting of prized Arabian horses

Investigators are trying to figure out why someone opened fire on two prized Arabian horses. Two mares used for breeding were found shot Thursday morning. It happened at Varian Arabians near Arroyo Grande. One of the horses was so badly hurt, she had to be put to sleep. The other is expected to survive.

Breeding manager Angela Alvarez was shocked this morning to find one of her prized mares had been shot. She said, "All of our horses mean the world to us. They're our life." Sweet Sanadika, 23-years-old had to be put to sleep. Another mare, 25-year-old Mosquerade, was also shot but she is recovering from her wounds.

Alvarez remembered something that caught her attention the night before. She said, "We had some friends over for dinner. We were sitting outside eating and we heard these gunshots. At first, I thought it was firecrackers or something." Rob Bryn, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department spokesperson, said, "We get a lot of shots fired calls in rural areas because, on private property in certain areas within the county, you can discharge firearms."

But investigators say it appears this shooting was no accident. They believe the shots were fired from the roadway and that a getaway driver was involved. They say it's a felony animal cruelty case and those responsible could spend time behind bars.

Alvarez now hopes the public can help track down the shooters. In the meantime, she can only wonder why someone would want to hurt these expensive and distinguished animals. Varian Arabians has been in the breeding and training business for more than 50 years and typically has about 150 horses on its property.

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