A 9-year-old bay show mare owned by a Mount Airy woman has recovered from an 8-inch cut the horse received in a bizarre attack in her stall Sept. 4.
The mare's owner, Diana Gayle Beuchert, of Watersville Road in Mount Airy, said the animal has "completely recovered" from the attack, which occurred while Mrs. Beuchert was out of town for Labor Day weekend.
She reported to state police Sept. 8 that while she was away someone had entered the mare's stall in a barn on her farm and slashed the animal from the rectum to the vagina.
The mare is one victim in a series that includes at least four sexual mutilations of horses in Carroll, Howard and Frederick counties. The attacks culminated Wednesday in the death of a 15-year-old mare in Urbana, Frederick County.
Mrs. Beuchert said her mare, which she shows in dressage competitions, is valued between $7,500 and $10,000.
Dr. Richard Burroughs, a veterinarian who treated the mare, said the cut was a clean one that appeared as if it could have been done with a scalpel or a very sharp knife.
One of the mare's arteries was severed in the attack, he said.
A state police report filed in Westminster said the mare apparently kicked the heavy wooden stall door off its hinges during the attack.
A gelding in the next stall also broke through his stall door and was found by Dennis Burdette, who was feeding Mrs. Beuchert's horses that weekend.
Both horses were found later in a field, state police said.
According to the report, Mr. Burdette said he fed the animals in the barn about 5:30 a.m. Sept. 4 and returned for their 5:30 p.m. feeding to find the injured mare and the gelding in the field.
The latest attack occurred on a farm in the 2700 block of Urbana Pike in Urbana. The mare's owner, Richard Hansberger, said his mother fed and brushed the family's three horses about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Mr. Hansberger found the mare dead Wednesday.
He said it appeared that two people had been involved in the attack.
State police said the mare was stabbed in the abdominal and vaginal areas.
"This [the Urbana attack] is the first incident where the horse has died. But all the incidents certainly have similarities," said Lt. Gregory M. Shipley, a state police spokesman.
"There's no indication as to why or even how it's being done."
A necropsy -- an animal autopsy -- at the State Department of Agriculture Veterinary Lab in Frederick showed that the horse was in good health at the time of the attack, and probably was cut with a knife, Mr. Hansberger told The Sun.