Friday, April 19, 2024

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Suspect Lets Hunt Club Horses Loose

By James Lomuscio

Westport police are looking for a man who let six horses out of their stalls at the Fairfield County Hunt Club early today.WestportNow.com Image
Horses at the Fairfield County Hunt Club get a washing for this week’s show. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

The horses were set free just hours before the club was to host its $5,000 prize jumper class competition and $7,500 Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Classic.

According to Capt. Sam Arciola, staff at the Hunt Club located at 174 Long Lots Road called the police at 2:55 a.m. to report that someone had let the horses out of their temporary stalls set up along Bulkley Avenue North. The stalls had been placed there for this week’s June Benefit Horse Show.

“A witness reported seeing a male, approximately 5-foot-5 inches tall wearing a tee shirt run off into the woods from the area,” said Arciola.

As police arrived, he said, Hunt Club staff was able to round up the horses and secure them without incident. Responding units searched the area, he added, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Phone calls to the Hunt Club were unanswered. According to the club’s website, this week’s show is to benefit The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., a group whose mission is to raise public awareness of the value of horses in society.

Now in its 86th year, the show, which began Tuesday and runs through Saturday, is rated “AA,” according to its website, and considered one of the most prestigious horse shows in the country.

The show culminates with a $25,000 Grand Prix prize on Saturday. The five-day show features more than 250 classes in which national and local equestrians of all ages compete, the site states.

It also features social activities and shopping at the show’s Paddock Boutique.

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