Troopers get lead in horse shooting

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Central Peninsula Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of felony suspects in a horse shooting in Kenai.

Alaska State Troopers Tuesday reported having a lead in their investigation of the shooting.

"A citizen just provided information, and it may or may not pan out," said trooper Sgt. Sonny Sabala. "As of right now we have no suspects."

The shooter reportedly fled the scene in a late-model pickup truck.

Anyone with information is asked to call 283-TIPS, toll free (800) 478-HALT or Sabala at 262-4453 with information about the incident.

Someone shot and killed the American paint horse as it stood in its corral along Ord Road off Kalifornsky Beach Road sometime between 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, troopers reported Monday.

The horse was shot once in the shoulder, with the bullet passing through its lungs and heart, killing it almost immediately, the report stated.

"I don't have a clue why anyone would do this," Suzanne Bender, owner of the 2-year-old filly, said Tuesday.

Bender has one other horse and had just purchased the filly and brought it to its new home Friday.

"I'm not quite sure what to do with my other horse now," she said.

She had sold two other horses in order to buy the filly, which she described as being "really rare from a breeder's standpoint." The horse had unusual colors, even for a paint and had a notably gentle temperament. It was valued at $4,000.

"We were planning to race her and show her and breed her."

In fact, on the day of the shooting, Bender also had sold her horse trailer so she could put a down payment on the filly's brother, a 1-year-old gelding.

"It's just such a rare horse. We're not rich people, but usually people who bring their horses to breed with its sire keep the newborns," she said. "For them to be available was so exciting."

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