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Rider shocked by suspected poisoning of stallion at Horse of the Year qualifier

Calimeer was suspected to have been poisoned at an Arab Horse Society show in Basildon
Calimeer was suspected to have been poisoned at an Arab Horse Society show in Basildon

A HORSE lover has spoken of her shock and devastation after discovering her stallion was deliberately poisoned prior to entering a show ring.

Karen Mustey, who together with partner Graham runs Burley Wagon Rides, had recently travelled to Basildon with her 14-year-old stallion Calimeer.

She was joined by friend Sam Clyma and her horse to take part in the Arab Horse Society’s horse of the year qualifying show.

Having ridden Calimeer at midday, Karen told the A&T that she and Sam then went for lunch, leaving their horses safely stabled together.

Just a short while later at 2pm, while in the show ring being ridden by Karen, Calimeer was suddenly taken ill.

She said: “We thought it was colic and the emergency vet came, but within about 10 minutes we realised that wasn’t the case. He took bloods and said it looked to him as if he had been given a substance.”

Karen recalled that upon returning to the stables she noticed Sam’s horse was agitated and his door was unbolted.

After being deemed fit to travel at around 6pm, Kerry, Sam and their horses began the long journey home. Thankfully within 48 hours Calimeer, who Karen has owned since he was five months old, had recovered.

Last week, Karen received the lab results confirming he had indeed been given a poison.

“I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken that my lovely, sweet, gentle boy had been given a harmful substance that could have actually killed him,” she said.

“It’s just shocking that a person would do this to an innocent animal. He could have died; he could have fallen in the ring, or on me. The consequences could have been horrendous.”

Although Karen competes for fun, Calimeer has previously reached the highest level in showing. He is also used for breeding.

“We were very lucky,” she added. “Obviously he is very valuable in terms of money, but also to our family. He's a wonderful stallion.”

Karen is now in two minds whether to compete in the future. “Part of me thinks that they are not going to stop me,” she said. “But, then again, my horse is too precious to risk anything happening to him again.”

She told the A&T that since posting what happened on Facebook, she has been sent messages from people claiming they too have experienced similar incidents while competing.

A spokesperson for the Arab Horse Society told the A&T: “We are appalled that this should happen. We completely condemn it.”

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