2 Horses Wounded in Knifing at Huntington Beach Stable

From United Press International

An Arabian show stallion and an Appaloosa were found stabbed at a Huntington Beach stable where a yearlong series of attacks have left one horse dead and a dozen injured, police said Saturday.

The latest attacks were discovered Thursday, but, unlike prior assaults, did not occur during a full moon, Lt. John Foster said.

The registered Appaloosa, worth around $1,000, suffered a minor stab wound in the left flank. The Arabian stallion, a survivor of five stab wounds in a March attack, was knifed once in the neck and twice in the hip.

"He's tougher than I am," said Helen Stitts, owner of the stallion. "The next stabbing might finish me off, although he might survive it."

Mike Perez, owner of the unnamed stable, another stable owner and some of the horse owners began camping out at the stable during full moons after the series of assaults began in October, 1987.

Huntington Beach Police Lt. Ed McErlain said that no substantive leads have developed and that an investigator has been assigned to the case.

"This is very unusual," McErlain said, but he discounted theories linking the attacks to a cult associated with the full moon.

Sylvia Stickney, caretaker of the Appaloosa, said, "I think a couple of young, stupid kids did this."

She also said she is waiting for an opening at another stable.

"I don't see how we can catch the person," she said. "I can't stay there and guard 24 hours a day."

In the first incident, the tail of a 20-year-old Shetland pony was severed. In January, five horses were stabbed with an ice pick. In March, seven horses were stabbed. In July, a registered quarter horse valued at up to $3,000 was killed. All the attacks were at the same stable on Golden West Street, except one at the stable next door.

Perez said he hopes to ward off future attacks but did not discuss his strategy.

"I'm trying everything, but these are crazy people out there," he said. "I'm not going to tell you what I plan to do, because they'll know."

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