Fifth horse found dead near Huntington farm

(WANE Photo)

HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Huntington County animal control officer says an anonymous tip has led them to a yet another dead Clydesdale, making it the fifth dead horse discovered in about two weeks. Officers said they all belonged to Grandview Clydesdales.

During the March 11 snowstorm, Lori Vanover with Huntington County Animal Control said an anonymous tip led investigators to three dead and 10 malnourished Clydesdales at the rural Huntington County farm (near Majenica).  Vanover said crews had to euthanize a fourth horse as well.

Friday morning, Vanover confirmed crews spotted a fifth dead Clydesdale floating in a rural Huntington County creek.  The owner of Grandview Clydesdales reportedly told Vanover that horse died in the summer of 2013.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health has yet to finish its investigation into the March 11 incident and Vanover said officials will be launching an investigation into the fifth dead horse.  Investigators have yet to determine if the horses died from neglect or an accident.

Shannon Cobbs and his family own Grandview Clydesdales and their horses are well known across the country.  On March 14, Cobbs said the horses died because of the rough winter, not neglect.

But Cobbs declined to comment about the fifth dead horse over the phone Friday.  Vanover said he is currently in New York.

Animal control and crews hired by Cobbs removed the dead horse from a creek near private property Friday afternoon.  As NewsChannel 15 was waiting on a public road to interview Vanover, someone from Cobbs’ crew aggressively approached and threatened reporter Adam Widener.

Crew member: “You’re beating up on a really good family and then–”

Widener: “We’re not trying to beat up on anybody.”

Crew member: “Oh yeah, look at your newscast.  Why don’t you get in your van and just leave?”

Crew member continues: “You snap a picture of him [the horse], and I’ll beat your (expletive) head clear into the concrete.”

Widener: “Well I don’t–I’m not trying to get a picture of the horse–”

Crew member: “I don’t care what you’re trying to do, you don’t have no reason to be here!”

The owners of Grandview Clydesdales are in the process of moving their farm out to Florida.  A hired hand is said to have been looking after the horses between trips.  When asked why the Clydesdales were left in the cold, Cobbs said they were in a pasture field that had been used for 50 years without any such incident.

Cobbs was in Florida on March 11 when Animal Control contacted him about the dead Clydesdales.  He immediately traveled back to Huntington County.  Officials say the family has been very cooperative with the investigations.  The Huntington County Sheriff’s Department said Cobbs reported five horses missing at the beginning of 2013.

Indiana law requires animal owners to properly dispose of carcasses 24 hours after the owner knows the animal is dead.

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