Woman searches for missing horses


SALEM, Ohio – It’s been two weeks and Juanita McDonnell is no closer to finding her two horses than she was the morning she woke up to find them missing from their Mahoning County paddock.
After handing out fliers, posting information on the Internet and scouting livestock auctions, McDonnell still has no clues about her missing geldings.
The pair is valued at $18,500, according to police reports. The Springfield Township Police Department is treating the case as grand theft.
Missing. Early Dec. 1, McDonnell arrived at her barn in Springfield Township, Ohio, and found the two horses missing from their paddock. Three other boarding horses remained in the pasture, McDonnell said.
She checked the fences and gates to be sure the horses hadn’t escaped on their own but nothing was broken, she said.
There were hoof prints along the drive, across the yard and down the street, McDonnell said.
She suspects someone led her horses to a nearby small parking lot where a horse trailer may have been parked.
“I hate to think it’s someone we know or someone who knows the horses, but that’s a direction we need to be thinking about,” McDonnell said.
Sales, shows. Although McDonnell has been visiting livestock auctions, she doubts the geldings will be sold there.
Their markings are too distinctive, she said, and they easily could be recognized as missing.
Instead, McDonnell worries the horses may be sold as show animals.
McDonnell raised the 4-year-old Thoroughbred/Draft cross named Mason, also known as Mardi Gras, and the pair competed in local shows for the past two years. He is valued at $15,000 because of his showing ability, McDonnell said.
Frost is a 5-year-old off-track Thoroughbred and she’s been working on turning him into a show horse as well, she said.
Pictures. McDonnell posted pictures and descriptions of the two horses at www.netposse.com. Click on the “Missing” link and scroll to Ohio.
She is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to her horses’ return.
(Reporter Kristy Hebert welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 23 or by e-mail at khebert@farmanddairy.com.)
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