Who–Or What–Is Attacking Local Horses?


Mattie McConnell

It is unclear if these animals were attacked intentionally or by accident (Photo credits to Mattie McConnell).

A recent string of local horse attacks has left owners on edge, wondering where the next attack will be and if their animals will be next. 

Reports say that there have been at least five incidents involving these types of attacks in the South Carolina Upstate. Multiple horses with cuts, lacerations, and even gunshot wounds have been discovered. Three cases in Spartanburg County and two in Greenville County have been reported thus far. 

In Campobello, a city in Spartanburg County, two horses were stabbed, leaving investigators to wonder if the attacks within the neighboring counties are related. One of the horses, named Trigg by his owners, was stabbed so horrendously in the leg that his bone was showing, and so deep in his stomach that his intestines were reportedly visible. Trigg had to be euthanized due to the severity of his wounds.

“This bothers me. I don’t understand why anyone would want to do this. This is senseless,” said Mike McCarter, who buried Trigg, in an interview with WBTW News. Trigg’s owners said that he loved people. 

The second victim suffered a cut to the leg but fortunately did not have to be put down. 

In Greenville County, a horse was discovered standing in the street with severe bleeding from multiple lacerations. Another horse in the county was shot multiple times and killed, the first of the reported incidents involving a firearm. Investigators are still unsure if these attacks are related but say it is likely. 

Horses are typically not afraid of humans and are likely to approach them. On the other hand, other large animals such as cows and sheep are known to be more wary of humans, and this unfortunately means that horses are more likely to be attacked.

Horse owners in the upstate have been left to worry if their horses will be next. 

“I hope they find whoever is doing that…they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Tom McConnell, local owner of four horses. 

McConnell added that he plans to check on his animals daily to ensure they have not been injured. 

“I was horrified [that] someone would do that, and worried for my horses,” said Olivia Forrester, teacher at BMC and local horse owner. 

Forrester also said that she keeps her horses in a pasture far off the road and that she has trail cameras set up to monitor her property. 

Additionally, it’s important for the public to know that many of these incidents may not have been intentional attacks is entirely possible that the horses were injured by another animal, or that they cut themselves on something sharp in their pastures or stalls. 

The public has been asked to contact authorities with any information that may relate to the case. You can contact Crime Stoppers with information about the case.