A horse almost had to be put to sleep after sustaining horiffic injuries following a brutal attack in a field on the outskirts of town.
That’s according to local racehorse enthusiast David Irvine, better known as ‘Rummel’, after it was discovered that a horse in his care had suffered two severe cuts, both of which left gaping wounds, in a gruesome assault which police have described as a “deliberate act of cruelty”.
The incident happened between Monday-Tuesday, July 28-29, in a field near Troweknowes Farm, and has left the local racing fraternity reeeling.
The horse had been put out alongside fellow flapper Big Mac – the two-time winner of the Tradesmen’s Handicap this year and last – and both animals had been fine when they were checked twice on the Monday and again on the Tuesday morning.
But Mr Irvine received a phone call on the Tuesday lunchtime to say that the chestnut horse had sustained a cut.
Describing how events unfolded, he explained: “I nearly died. I just expected a small cut, but it was too bad to be true. There was a massive gash on the back end and the shoulder. They are both a foot long or longer. And the slash on the shoulder was four or five inches deep.”
Mr Irvine says the cuts were too clean and deep to have been caused by a fence, and continued: “If you get cut on a fence, you get ripped. I walked the field and there was nothing that could cut a horse. It would have to be a big knife, a bigger blade than a Stanley knife.”
And while the other flapper, Big Mac, was completely unscathed, the injured horse had to endure having its muscle stitched back together as well as a section of skin, and Mr Irvine says the vet admitted that the defenceless animal had narrowly escaped being put down. He told the Hawick News: “If it was any deeper, the horse would have been put to sleep.”
But he added: “He’ll not be racing again this season. No-one knows how much damage to the muscle’s been done – he may never race again.
“I had my first flapper when I was 17. I’m now 47, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Police are conducting local enquiries to trace those responsible and anyone who can assist with the investigation is asked to come forward.
Inspector Carol Wood said: “This incident is being treated as a deliberate act of cruelty, and anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around the Troweknowes Farm area is asked to contact police immediately.
“Given the fairly remote location of the field, those responsible most likely travelled by vehicle and we would urge anyone with information to get in touch.”
Contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.