“A $250,000 Straight Egyptian Arabian horse [Juno, as above] is fighting to recover after she was struck by a stray bullet fired from a high-powered rifle,” nj.com reports. “Juno, the top breeding mare at Thornewood Farm, had lost ‘a tremendous amount of blood’ by the time co-owner Lisa Cifrese reached her. The white horse had flicked the wound with her tail and ‘like a paintbrush, it was painting her body red.’ The 6-year-old mare was in a pasture near a run-in shed when she was hit. Thornewood attorney John R. Lanza said on July 16 that multiple bullets have since been found that pierced the metal shed wall. Police and private investigations have led authorities to believe that the shooting was accidental.” Correction, the shooting was . . .
a negligent discharge. In other words, the target shooters would not – should not – have injured the horse if they’d followed the oft-neglected fourth safety rule: be sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
This story highlights an important aspect of that rule: you need to be sure of what could be beyond your target. Cognizant that conditions can change. To wit:
Thornewood Farm is owned by Cifrese and Richard Geha. On the day of the shooting Cifrese was working with a couple of horses in another area of the farm. She said she heard shots, but wasn’t concerned.
She did think it was unusual when she saw her pastured horses running, including Juno. “Our horses have heard gun shots before,” she said, and normally don’t get frightened.
She has since come to the conclusion that the bullets hitting the metal shed siding sent the horses running straight into danger.
“They know the run-in shed as protection. It’s dry when it’s raining, it’s warm when it’s cold. That’s where their food is. But this day it was not protection,” Cifrese said. “The shed was in the direct line of fire. The horses ran to it.”
In other words, the shooters couldn’t see what was inside the shed, or what could go into the shed. While I understand the emotional attachment people have towards horses – I used to be an owner myself – it’s important to note that a child could have entered the shed unseen. In short, be situationally aware at all times when shooting.
Anyway, the police are matching the bullet to the rifles confiscated from the shooters. So we’ll hold off on sending out the IGOTD hardware. Suffice it to say, they all deserve the award for their irresponsible behavior, which we’ll keep condemning until we’re hoarse.