A horse has died after being stabbed in the neck and having her mane and some skin cut off in an attack in a paddock in Melbourne's north.
The 15-year-old former show horse, Cachet, was found dead in a paddock in Oherns Road at Epping on Saturday afternoon.
The thoroughbred mare had suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck and back and experts have told police the horse would have bled to death and suffered considerable pain.
Owner Michelle Azzopardi lives in nearby Mill Park and had agisted the dappled bay mare at the paddock for about a year.
She says her horse would have run away if someone approached.
"This is what's killing me. All I can think of is how have they got her, and did she suffer? Did she stand there while they stabbed her?"
Police believe Cachet was killed some time on Friday night or Saturday morning.
Ms Azzopardi last saw the horse Friday afternoon.
"I washed her, I brushed and fed her. I left. When I left she was in perfect health, just running around and showing off which is what she loved to do," she said.
She has no idea why anyone would want to kill her horse and collapsed when she made the discovery.
"I've got her photo in my kitchen with a candle lit and I just pray to God someone has to know something. And I just want to find out who's done it and why," she said.
She says there are thirty horses on the property and the paddocks are protected by electric fences.
They are calling for anyone with information about the attack to contact them.