A SICKENING attack on eight horses and the stables they live in has left two best friends, and their families, distraught.
Two-year-old Gypsy had a substance believed to be engine oil poured all over her at her home in Emsworth, turning her part-white coat black and leaving her extremely distressed.
Perpetrators let the animals out of their stables on to the field at the yard, and owners Tristan Cluett and Tony Clements found the oil on the floor of all of the stables, as well as a large oil can.
Tristan said the attack happened after the pair left the stables on Cooks Lane at 8pm on Sunday, and before they returned, at 3pm on Monday.
The 29-year-old from Havant added: ‘The whole thing has made me feel sick.
‘We’re angry and frustrated about how someone can do this to poor, innocent animals.
‘When we went back to the stables yesterday we noticed they were all open. The horses were running around on the field and when we looked inside, there was engine oil all over the floor in each of the stables.
‘I couldn’t believe it when I saw my horse Gypsy, she was covered in oil and her coat had turned black.
‘She was very distressed and at first we couldn’t go near her, she was acting as if she’d been beaten.
‘Usually Tony’s little girls stroke her and brush her hair, but she was just raring up.
‘She had obviously been pulled out of her stable.
‘We were there until 1am Monday morning washing her off. We had to wash her eight times and I’d say she’s only 90 per cent clean now.
‘We had to grab her and tie her up to do it, it was horrible.’
Tristan and Tony, 31, are business partners who sell used cars. The horse-lovers rent the stables and field, and have had the animals for months.
No others had been doused with oil, but it is not known if any were physically hurt.
Tristan added: ‘Whoever did this climbed over the locked gate.
‘There’s no CCTV there but we’re having it installed straight away.’
The incident is being investigated by West Sussex police.
Tony’s daughters aged seven and 11 visit the horses regularly, one has a riding pony at the stables.
He said: ‘My girls were devastated after seeing the stables.
‘It’s just sick to think someone would do something that low to an animal.
‘There are many animal lovers in the community and you can see from the response on Facebook how disgusted everyone is about what’s happened.’