Hamilton Co. family seeks answers in horse's shooting

"Doc" collapsed of an apparent gunshot wound Monday.
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A Hamilton County family says it was more than a freak accident that killed their beloved horse, "Doc" and they're hoping to find out who's responsible.

Kelsie Lancaster, 21, said, "You expect them to break a leg, but never anything like this."

Kelsie and her parents think Doc was struck by a stray bullet. It happened Monday afternoon as Kelsie's mother mowed the pasture.

"My mom looked up and saw Doc's head flip back and then he fell on the ground," Kelsie said.

Initially they thought Doc was rolling over, but then they saw he was bleeding from a small head wound.

"We didn't know if it was a rock or bullet, we just knew it wasn't good," Kelsie said.

She said Doc went into shock, his condition worsening. While the veterinarian did all he could to save the horse, Doc soon had to be put down.

Kelsie said she was devastated. Doc was a retired racehorse she adopted six years ago and trained to barrel race. The two took part in many rodeo competitions.

"It's a bond unlike any other," Kelsie said. "It's like the bond people have with dogs. They're like part of the family."

While the Lancasters never heard any gunshots, based on the Doc's wound, they're almost certain he was hit by a stray bullet fired a mile or more away.

Kelsie's father Kent said, "I'm really upset that someone was so ignorant to let that happen. It isn't the firearm that did the damage, it's whoever put their finger on the trigger when it wasn't pointed where it should haven been pointed."

But Kent and his daughter also know it could have been worse.

"It's tragic it hit my horse, but I'm very glad it wasn't my mother," Kelsie said.

"It had to go within 20-50 feet of her to get to him. She was in the line of fire," Kent added.

"There's all kinds of people around here shooting, I have no problem with it, just have a proper facility to shoot at, know your target and what's beyond it," Kent said.

Asked what she hoped for, Kelsie said, "Whoever it is, I just want them to know that what they did, it's irresponsible and it has caused my family so much pain, me especially. That was one of my best friends and it's really hard without him and the person responsible needs to know that."