What is even sadder is that even if they catch the group who did this it own't keep it form happening again. People in that type of, what should I call it, fanatic lifestyle/belief won't change their practices. Animals to those types are not feeling creatures..they are a blood sacrifice.
In many states, while not a law but a common practice, animal shelters will not adopt out black cats from a week before Halloween to a full month after (not until more towards Christmas) for exactly the same reason. Black cats were being used in ritual sacrifices at that time of year.
I can't even comment on this particular incident as I don't have the words to convey; I didn't even bother reading the article...wouldn't have been able to handle it. Can only pray it was quick and the pony wasn't cognizant to the mutilation. I can imagine a lot of people in the area aren't sleeping too well and keeping more than an extra close eye on their animals..all types.