Attacked Show Horses Euthanized

Wild Eyed and Wicked, with trainer Dena Lopez aboard, runs a victory lap, after winning his second consecutive Five-Gaited Grand Championship at the World's Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, Ky., in this Aug. 25, 2003, file photo. Wild Eyed and Wicked, who was injured in June 2003 in a deliberate attack, was euthanized Thursday, July 17, 2003, according to a veterinarian. AP (file)

Two American saddlebreds injured last month in a deliberate attack were euthanized Thursday morning, said a veterinarian who has been working with the horses.

Wild Eyed and Wicked — a two-time champion of the American saddlebred industry's Triple Crown — and Meet Prince Charming were euthanized after tests showed deterioration in their right front legs.

The horses, which were stabled at Double D Ranch in Versailles, suffered injuries after an unknown substance was injected into their left front legs. The horses showed severe swelling in their legs up to their shoulders when they were checked in their stalls on June 30.

Wild Eyed and Wicked, an 11-year-old gelding owned by Joe and Sally Jackson of Overland Park, Kan., was one of the nation's top American saddlebreds — well-trained, muscular horses known for their distinctive walking styles, or gaits.

Meet Prince Charming was a 2-year-old gelding owned and trained by Dena Lopez, who owns Double D Ranch with her husband, Dave.

One other horse, Kiss Me — a 4-year-old mare owned by Jane Burkemper of California — also was in pain Thursday morning, veterinarian Carol McLeod said. Two other horses injured in the attack, Cats Don't Dance and Sassational, are in better condition, McLeod said.

"Everybody is very, very upset here," said Bridget Parker, a business associate of the Lopezes. "It's not a good deal."

Kentucky State Police have been investigating the attack since it was reported, but no arrests have been made.

Lexington-based USA Equestrian, the national governing body of equestrian competition, is offering a reward for information on the attack. At least $100,000 has been pledged to the reward fund, which also has received significant contributions from two other Lexington-based horse organizations, the American Saddlebred Horse Association and the United Professional Horsemen's Association.

McLeod said the conditions of the two euthanized horses deteriorated overnight.

"The information gathered last night showed that there was significant compromise to the blood flow in the right foot of Wicked," she said. "The decision was that the humane thing to do was to euthanize him."

Meet Prince Charming also was in significant pain, McLeod said.

"That's one of the frustrating things about medicine," she said. "You think things are going well but in a short period of time you can have a tremendous change, and that's what occurred here."
  • Francie Grace

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