One Year Later: EKY Horse Shooting Victims Update

Hope, Knox, Diamond and Lucius: Survivors of Horse Massacre Now Thriving!


It’s been nearly a year since the Kentucky Humane Society responded to an urgent call to help survivors of a horse shooting in Eastern Kentucky, and we wanted to thank you for your support in 2020 and to let you know how these horses are thriving because of you. Their transformation was made possible by your donations!

Last December, 20 members of a herd of free-roaming horses were hunted down and killed in Floyd County in an act of unimaginable cruelty and violence. The culprit was never caught. Miraculously, three horses survived.

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Our Willow Hope Farm welcomed Hope, a pregnant mare, and her weanling colt, Knox. They were underweight, fearful and stressed. Several days later, our farm brought in Diamond, Hope’s daughter, who was caught on the mountaintop after she searched helplessly for any remaining members of her herd.

With time and patience, the horses began their recovery and rehabilitation at Willow Hope Farm. Knox began to show his spunky attitude and was adopted by Vicki in April. Vicki tells us that he is a sweet and curious colt.


The underweight and pregnant Hope enjoyed the abundance of hay, grass and feed at our farm. In May, she delivered a healthy colt, Lucius. He was adopted in December. Today, Lucius lives with an older pony gelding on a quaint farm in Shelby County. Lucius, meaning “light,” brings us hope for the hundreds of horses still on the mountain.

Since Lucius’s weaning, Hope began her riding evaluation at the farm. It seems that Hope was likely owned before becoming a free-roaming horse. Hope can be tacked up, ground worked, and has been ridden by our team. We consider Hope “green broke,” meaning she will require an adopter who can help her brush up on her skills as she is rusty under saddle.


Diamond, who showed the most signs of trauma from the horrors on the mountain, continues to make progress at our farm. Though loud noises and fast movements scare her, she is forgiving and kind. Diamond is looking for an adopter who has advanced training working with feral horses. She enjoys spending time with other horses in the pasture and eating peppermints.

There are still many more free-roaming horses in Eastern Kentucky who need help. The Kentucky Humane Society is committed to working with partner rescues to monitor the population and rescue horses that need the most care.
Your support means so much for these horses. Please consider making gift this holiday season to help Kentucky’s abused and neglected horses. Your gift will help us save lives! And through December 31, your gift will be matched, meaning you can help twice as many horses.

Gifts made before December 31 qualify for a matching gift from the Frazier-Joy Family Foundation. That means your gift can help TWICE as many horses!

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