Horses being attacked at South Mountain Park stables

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Fourteen-year-old Nickel is a very friendly ol' horse and that's why he's in such pain today.

A couple nights ago, Nickel, a longtime trail horse at the Ponderosa Stables, walked over to the corral fence thinking he was going to get a treat, instead someone threw acid in the horse's face.

"No animal, or anything, other than the guy who did this, deserves this done to them," said Ponderosa's Frank Solander, who is nursing the wounded horse back to health.

Nickel has acid burns around both eyes as well as on his chest and hind quarters. Two other horses suffered burns from the acid splashing off Nickel. 

Ponderosa's owner, Donnie Everly, said he's never seen anything like this in the 40 years he's operated the stables just outside of the city of Phoenix's South Mountain Park.

Another horse, GTO, was recently shot in the back, most likely by a 9 mm weapon. GTO is also healing and lucky to be alive.

Everly said it started a few weeks ago when someone stole the stable's big, beautiful American flag. A few nights later, some equipment was vandalized and a battery stolen. Now, his herd of calm, friendly trail horses are being victimized.

In order to protect his horses and his business, Everly said the wranglers from Ponderosa have joined Phoenix police and city park rangers in patrolling the stables during the night. 

Also, a $1,000 reward has been put together for information leading to the prosecution and conviction of those responsible for hurting the horses.

"Justice will be served," Everly said. "I can't really say what could happen to them if we catch them, but they will be caught, they will."

If you have any information about the abuse at the Ponderosa Stables, call the Phoenix Police Crime Stop at 602-262-6151.