Family hoping to find those responsible for prank that led to horse’s death

Jan 29, 2024, 11:12 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2024, 6:59 am

WASHINGTON — A family is hoping to find the people behind what appeared to be a teen prank that led to the death of their show horse.

The family and chamber of commerce believe the kids were just goofing off, but what the kids did forced them to put their horse down and others had to pay for the damage left behind.

Police are now investigating the situation.

The Up and Away Hot Air Balloon and Music Festival filled farm fields with color and magic, making for a spectacular weekend in Washington City.

Ed Tracey, president and CEO of the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce, explained that they lined East George Washington Boulevard near the intersection of South Washington Fields Road with orange cones for traffic and parking control.

On Friday, Jan. 12, a pickup truck was seen speeding down the road.

“Some kids had gone out there and run the cones over — you know, as kids looking for fun things to do — saw some cones, took advantage of it, ran them over in the process,” Tracey said.

Traffic cones sit broken and scattered about after a truck plowed through them. (Ed Tracey)

The teens’ moment of fun barreling through the cones became a moment of horror for a family on the other side of the fence. Their horse, Tracey explained, got spooked by the truck and flying cones. It backed up, fell and broke its leg.

Witnesses of the incident

Tracey, who is a friend of the family with the horse, explained that a mother and 7-year-old daughter watched it all happen. The mother tried to keep control of the horse.

“And to hear the grandmother explain to me that this poor young kid witnessed the whole thing, and was crying and said, ‘Grandma, the horse went down.”

He explained that the horse was too injured to heal.

“This horse had to be put down,” Tracey said. “And that’s really sad.”

He said the 7-year-old girl was just devastated.

 A picture of the show horse that was put down after being spooked by the reckless driver. (Ed Tracey)

The family was too upset to interview, but Tracey said they told him their horse is a show horse that they’ve raised since it was a foal. They’ve poured a lot of time and money into it.

Tracey is hoping someone knows who did this, or that the people responsible step forward.

That truck is described as a 2010 White Ford F-150 or similar-style truck with an extended cab and a bike rack and bikes in the bed. Anyone with information should call Washington City police or the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce.

“What they did caused loss of life, you know, for a family pet,” Tracey said.

He also explained that he had to pay for all the broken traffic cones because he had rented them from a local company.

But that pales in comparison to knowing that the family lost their beloved pet.

“They just want these kids to be held accountable,” he said, of the family. “It’s an ongoing investigation until they find these kids.”

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Family hoping to find those responsible for prank that led to horse’s death