After Therapeutic Horses Slashed, Nonprofit Looks For Answers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

After Therapeutic Horses Slashed, Nonprofit Looks For Answers

 
One of the Spirit Open horses that was slashed by an unknown attacker. Spirit Open uses horses as therapy for people with disabilities.
 
Elliot Francis
  One of the Spirit Open horses that was slashed by an unknown attacker. Spirit Open uses horses as therapy for people with disabilities.  

Veterinarians in Virginia are treating 3 horses who were slashed by an unknown attacker last week. The animals are recovering well, but the manager of the stable where the horses are kept is speaking out.

The Sprit Open Equestrian program is a nonprofit that provides therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults who suffer from a wide range of disabilities. It was in this bucolic setting, just off Centerville Road in Herndon, where someone for some unknown reason entered and attacked three of the horses here -- slashing them with a knife or box cutter. 

Program founder Davorka Suvak learned of the attacks early one morning last week. 

"Our volunteer care giver gives me a call and I couldn't believe what he was saying," she says. "So he had to send me a photo to prove what was going on here. Then everything was a nightmare after that." 

Three horses -- Sprit, a white pony mare; Lucinda, a golden 13-year-old Haflinger pony; and Tessa, a chestnut brown large thoroughbred -- were found slashed. Some of the wounds were as long as six inches. 

The ponies are sweet and trusting, but Suvak says, based on the location of the wounds, she thinks Tessa, the big thoroughbred, fought back.

"When she felt that fear, she acted like an alpha mare in the wild," Suvak says. "She must have turned her back and started kicking at whoever it was."

Suvak, who emigrated to the U.S. from Croatia 7 years ago, says she has no idea who would do this, and investigators have found no suspects. 

For now, the veterinarian who treated the trio says the horses are doing well thanks to an unidentified good Samaritan who paid for the initial medical care. Suvak hopes others will step forward to help the horses -- the way they have helped so many disabled people over the past few years.

NPR

For The Autumnal Equinox, A Poem As Chilling As The Fall Weather

Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns' "How to Like It" — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.