What fatally injured 1,200-pound horse in Sanilac County?

Sheriff's Department believes large animal attacked horse; DNR investigates


SANILAC COUNTY, Mich. – The 5-year-old gelding Bo belonged to Karl and Lisa Hanzinger.

At about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Bo was in the pasture with a mare. Two other horses were in corrals near the barn.

"They were whinnying and nickering and sounding excited. So I looked out and I could see that they were running in and out and looking to the north," said Karl.

The couple ran to the pasture and saw Bo standing on three legs. Bo suffered a deep jagged wound roughly five inches long on his leg.

"I got the vet on the phone and that's when they had advised me to put a tourniquet on because he had severed his artery and was losing a lot of blood," said Lisa.

The Hanzingers believe a hoofprint indicates their horse had been struggling.

"When we did get him into the stall after the injury he did lay down," said Lisa.

He was in shock. They put blankets on him. They were able to stabilize the horse and lead him into a trailer for a trip to an equine clinic and Saginaw, which took an hour and 1/2.

"After the veterinarian determined the extent of the damage and that it wasn't really reparable ... Bo had to be euthanized," said Lisa.

So what was it? The Hanzingers are convinced their horse did not injure himself on a fence or farm tool. A coyote trap has been set, though it's not clear whether this was a coyote.

"I don't know what it was. I don't have any fences down. I don't have any posts pulled up," said Karl.

The Sanilac County Sheriff's Department believes the horse was killed by a large animal and is asking residents to keep an eye on their children and pets.

"I don't mean to get people upset but something took down this 1,200-pound, 5-year-old, healthy gelding, and did this kind of damage to it. I don't know what caused it," said Lisa.

Department of Natural Resources investigators are not saying what, if any, theories they have.