Riding school horse dies after being shot | The London Free Press

Andy and Sharon Russell with Zydeco at Century Farms in Mt. Brydges. On Sunday afternoon they found a horse named Tage had suffered a bullet wound and had to be euthanized. (DEREK RUTTAN, The London Free Press


A Strathroy-area couple were stunned to find Sunday that one of their horses had been shot to death, apparently by a hunting rifle.

Source: Riding school horse dies after being shot | The London Free Press

The owners of a London-area riding school frequented by children were shocked to find one of their 27 horses mortally wounded in a shooting

they say has also baffled police.

Tage, a bay gelding, was found alive by Andy and Sharon Russell with a bullet wound under one of his legs Sunday.

The horse had been grazing in a pasture at the Strathroy-area property about 2 p.m. when he was shot.

“I was teaching lessons in the arena. The horses I wasn’t using were all outside eating,” Sharon Russell said of when she saw the dark brown horse crumple to the ground.

Sharon Russell operates the riding school on their 50-acre property between Strathroy and Mount Brydges.

“The horse was in distress. I could see that he had an injury, like a gash,” she said.

“Tage”, a horse owned by Andy and Sharon Russell of Mount Brydges, Ont., suffered a bullet wound and had to be a euthanized on Sunday. (Handout/The London Free Press)

“It can’t get up, it won’t get up, we can’t determine why.” Andy Russell said of the moment he left the house to join his wife.

“We do see blood on his leg. Maybe he’s been kicked, we don’t know.”

“I did not hear a gunshot,” added Andy Russell. “(The blood) was all down his leg. He didn’t walk anywhere, He was hit and he went down.”

A veterinarian and an officer from Strathroy-Caradoc police identified the wound in the horse’s lower chest-shoulder area as a bullet wound.

The vet was the first to arrive. Since they were getting nowhere examining Tage, they flipped the animal over.

“I didn’t believe it,” Andy Russell said of his reaction when the vet told him the wound was caused by a bullet.

The police officer who attended the property after said the wound likely came from a hunting rifle larger than a .22, Andy Russell said.

Tage was euthanized and buried, but the Russells still don’t know who shot the animal or why.

“We don’t know” what happened, said Andy Russell, adding hunters sometimes use the adjacent property.

“I am going with the assumption that it was a hunter,”

A neighbour said he saw four men with orange hunting vests in a pickup truck Sunday.

“Police verified that it was a hunting rifle,” Sharon Russell said.

Strathroy-Caradoc police couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Although the riding school is insured, individual horses are not, Sharon Russell said. They’re on the same level as pets, she said. She acquired Tage when he was two years old and that was 25 years ago.

“The (Arabian horses) do tend to live until they’re 32 or so. I just think this poor horse didn’t deserve this crappy ending,” she said.

The couple say they and their two children have lived on the property for nearly 23 years, but nothing like this has happened before.

“We have no enemies,” Andy Russell said. “I know it’s stupidity. I don’t believe it’s intentional,”

About 15 young riders are on the property at any given time.

“We’re just so lucky that it was a horse and not a child,” Andy Russell said.

January 3, 2018 |

Chloe Duffy Qualified to Compete with Ontario Young Riders

The North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships (NAJYRC), is the premier equestrian competition in North America for young riders, age 14-21. Young equestrians from Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands compete in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing, as well as Reining, Endurance and Para-Dressage. The competition is run under rules of the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport.

The NAJYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show Jumping was added in 1982. The first complete NAJYRC was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982.

Chasing a dream involves dedication, determination and sacrifice. Our Young Riders dreams are to one day compete for the Canadian 3 day event team at a future Olympics. To achieve this, they must spend endless hours in the saddle, in the barn, traveling to competitions, perfecting the skills to get them to the top. As they make their way through the levels, they become part of the Ontario Horse Trials Association Young Rider’s Program, with their goals to compete at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships. The NAJYRC, held every summer, is an important step on the path that will take them to their dreams of international competition.

Chloe Duffy , 16 year old local Sombra Equestrian Athlete and her 10 year old Off Track Thoroughbred Oro Veradero have qualified to compete on the Ontario Young Riders Eventing Team.   Such qualifications came to pass after competing this winter in Florida on the Eventing Circuit with an upgrade at The Florida 3 Day International CCI* Event this past Easter weekend.  Chloe Duffy and Oro Veradero’s Eventing Coach is  Jessica Phoenix;  Four – Time Pan American Games Medallist from Cannington Ontario.

Chloe feels this is such an honour to be able to represent her province and community this summer at the North American Junior & Young Riders Championships at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana July 19th-23rd, 2017.

As per noted by the Board of Directors of the  Ontario Young Rider Committee each athlete is required to raise their own funds to attend such an incredible opportunity.   Chloe’s fundraising goal is $10,000.00 in Canadian funds which will go directly to the total cost of travel flights and entry fees for both Chloe & Oro Veradero.   The plan is to fly both Horse and Rider from Kentucky to Montana.

Chloe and her family are working closely with their  Community of Sombra  to organize a fundraising event in June.

Follow Duffy Equestrian on Facebook and Instagram

April 29, 2017 |

Announcements for April 2017


Join me LIVE every Thursday morning at 10 AM for a reminder of what’s happening this week in the horse show world. Here is what you missed this week. Please send me your announcements by text to 519-852-2808. This can be events or any other news you would like to share with local equestrians.

I missed 2 events which are happening: April 8th, 2017 is a dressage schooling show at Kilbyrne Farm which I hope to be at to capture some video for you and then on April 22nd, 2017 is a Dressage Test Ride judging clinic which you can get full details about at Check out the video and radio below.


March 31, 2017 |

News for the week of Feb 22, 2017


Horse show and clinic announcements for the week of February 22, 2017. Join me LIVE on Facebook every Thursday at 10 AM EST The Link is: and

If you are busy like me and want to listen to the replay while you ride or do your chores, you can subscribe to one of the media players in the sidebar. iTunes for iPhone and Stitcher Radio for Android phones.

This weeks episode is sponsored by Professional Edge Equine. Providers of equine massage therapy and health products such as Sea Buck, Nibblenet and more. Visit them at for ordering details. Click more to watch the video.  (more…)

February 24, 2017 |



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Buy Tickets Now

Oct. 20, 2016, Calgary, Alberta:  It was opening night at the Agrium Western Event Centre in Calgary for Royal West featuring the prestigious $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Calgary presented by pandaHAUS Equestrian on Oct. 29.

At the top of the bill on opening night was the $35,000 1.45m Camelot Stables Cup (presented by Golden West Radio). A full field of 39 on Werner Deeg’s challenging course provided a stirring challenge for the prize money. (more…)

October 21, 2016 |
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