Today is Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Her horse, dreams shot

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 BEN DUDLEY / The Wilson Post

By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post

Shea Blankenship, a 17-year-old senior at Wilson Central, loved to train and race her horse,

Magic, in barrel races. She took him from an untrained pony to one of the up-and-coming horses that was admired by all who watched him run.

In short, he was her best friend, but early last Wednesday morning, Magic was maliciously shot and killed by an unknown assailant.

“This was not just an animal,” said Jeff Blankenship, Shea’s father. “This was my daughter’s best friend. She worked hard with him for seven years and loved to just be with him.

“I’m a Christian and I know that we all will have to give an account for everything we’ve done someday,” Blankenship said. “But I want the community to see the face of whoever did this. I want them to know his name and know what he did to a little girl’s horse.”

A passer-by called Blankenship Wednesday morning while his daughters were getting ready for school and told him one of his horses was laying down and looked hurt. He said he did not think much of it because horses lay down and look weird when they do it.

He went to check it out and when he saw Magic, he knew something was wrong. He saw blood on Magic’s left shoulder and after he scratched it off, he saw what looked like a bullet hole.

“I tried at first to give someone the benefit of the doubt,” Blankenship said. “You know, maybe it was just a stray bullet from some target shooters or hunters. We got a front-end loader out and picked Magic straight up by his legs and that’s when we saw it.”

What he saw was eight other bullet holes in the horse’s stomach, chest and rear. He then knew that this was no accident.

“You can’t accidentally shoot a horse nine times,” Blankenship said. “I’m just speculating, but I think this was two or three guys coming home drunk from a bar and, I don’t know, thought it would be fun to see what happened when he shot a horse.”

He said that someone who would do this to a defenseless animal has something wrong with them mentally and would probably have no problem shooting another person.

“When I got back up to the house, I told Shea to sit down and that I had some bad news,” he said. “I told her Magic was dead and she just collapsed. She was beside herself.”

Blankenship said he has gotten a lot of support from his friends and neighbors, one of whom has offered a $1,000 reward for information on the person or persons responsible for the shooting. Others have offered to buy Shea a new horse when she is ready.

“This was done by bad people,” he said, “but it’s good to know that there are still some good folks out there.

“We have lived out here (on Southeast Tater Peeler Road) for 15 years,” he said, “and we’ve always felt safe. We leave doors unlocked and keys in vehicles. But now, we just feel so vulnerable. Some of that innocence has been taken from my family.”

If you have any information about this shooting at 4640 S.E. Tater Peeler Road in Lebanon late Tuesday night, Sept. 22 or early Wednesday morning, Sept. 23, call 615-631-8157 or 615-495-6864.

Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at ben@wilsonpost.com.

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