A 3-year-old Arabian show horse called Bay Touch, owned by an Ojai family, was shot and killed in its corral Friday, officials said.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting, said Lt. Gary Merkley.
But the horse’s owners believe the killing of their 13-year-old daughter’s horse was intentional.
Bay Touch, who was boarded at The Lion Mountain Ranch on Creek Road, was shot in the chest sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Carolie Jensen, one of the horse’s owners, checked on the horse’s water line at 7:30 and her husband Larry returned to feed the animal at 5, Larry Jensen said.
The horse had won local awards, and Larry Jensen said he and his daughter Crystal planned to enter the horse in the next level of competition.
The corral is bordered by a community park and a golf course; Jensen,said it seems unlikely that hunters would have mistaken the animal for a deer.
He said he will ask local horse clubs to help him offer a reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shooting.
Two other horses and a small cow in the corral area and another horse in the pasture were unharmed, Larry Jensen said.
“It had to be one of two things, some kids out pranking around with a rifle or it’s somebody who’s just sick, who wanted to kill a horse, who wanted to kill an animal for no reason,” Jensen said.
“It’s just so senseless. It’s just a waste.”