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Premium Member
Retired breeder
3,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seemed like any other day, get up, dressed and out to do chores. But, it was so quiet, so very quiet. No birds, no insects, no horses anxious for breakfast, nothing.
I went up, fed the cats, got breakfast ready for Zim, and headed into the barn. I made my way to his stall, and he wasn't there nickering to me. I knew then something was horrifically wrong. I looked in, and there he was, laying against the far wall, dead.
What led up to all this had been a nightmare.
About 10 days prior, I heard an airplane but didn't think anything of it. But it didn't go away. So I went and looked, that (can't think of a word that will fit and be ok with the rules) was chasing my heavy in foals mares!! It was April1st, and they were due the end of the month!!
I purposefully left my rifle home, grabbed my binoculars instead, got on my jitney and roared up there. To say I was ANGRY was an understatement!! It had snowed that morning, and my mares were running rivers of sweat! That buzzard had been chasing them quite a while!!
I saw every side of that plane, top, bottom both sides, and NO NUMBERS ANYWHERE! I could have thrown a rock and hit him, he was that low.
Then, because I got up there, the coward left.
I came back and started making phone calls. I found out that because he'd been hired to aerial gun coyotes by a government agency, there was nothing I could do. Not a doggone thing!

Now the aftermath of that.
The first mare I had problems with, the foal was sooooo jumbled up inside her. The vet had never seen anything like it. One front leg was crossed over the other, and his head was down between them. There was no way she could have had him. We ended up parting him what looked to be the finest stud colt I ever raised. Saved the mare, but he was dead. The vet said it was due to being chased so hard by that plane.
Next was a maiden mare. In all the chasing by that blasted plant she had twisted a gut. It had exploded. She was not quite far enough along to save the foal, and I lost both.
The next morning after putting Lacy down, is when I found Zim. He wouldn't even watch the night before as we buried Lacy. He stood over with his head in the corner of his stall. I believe he knew what happened, and he just gave up.

It has taken me a long time to be able to write about those 2 weeks. That plane cost me 3 horses. Yes, Zim was 29, sterile, retired, but he was invaluable to me. The mare, Lacy, that I lost, was the youngest daughter I had by him.

That was 2 weeks I hope to NEVER have to live thru again. Ever.

Zim was buried in my front pasture by the fence. The only marker he has was a large stone.
Working animal Pack animal Livestock Landscape Event

Doczim Two D Two, an own son of AQHA World Champion Cutting Horse, AQHA Champion and PCCHA Futurity Champion Doc's Zimfandel. Plus, "Zim" stands on his own record!

Zim has to his credit:

Reserve Champion WCHA Open 1993

Reserve Champion Non Pro WCHA 1993

Champion Junior Youth WCHA 1993

Reserve Champion Junior Youth WCHA 1992

Dayville Winter Series Open Champion & Saddle Winner 1992

Finalist 10,000 Non Pro Reno NCHA/PCCHA 1989

Cascade Cow Cutters Horse of the Year 1989

Montana Summer Championships High Scoring Horse of the Show, Over 800 Runs, 152 1/2 NCHA 1989

Top 5 Ladies in 2 Shows NWCHA 1988

Reserve Champion 2000 Non Pro NWCHA 1987

Orville Eveleth Memorial Cutting Championships 500 NR Champion

Top 5 3000 Novice Horse NWCHA

Top 5 5000 Novice Horse NWCHA

20 AQHA Cutting Points

7 AQHA Reining Points



Super Moderator
18,789 Posts
So very sad our innocent horses pay the price for someone on a ego trip...

There must be someone, some agency to report that idiot to...
You don't need numbers, you need location, time and date and any agency worth their name knows who was working, where and what they made flight plans of encountering in flight...
You might not of had your rifle but hopefully your phone was handy and took some pictures of that plane...

So sorry for the loss...
Don't care what age they are, they are our family and it hurts and in this case so many lives lost that should not of happened..

Premium Member
Retired breeder
3,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This happened in 08. I did everything from calling the Sherriff, to the FAA. That's how I found out it was a government agency that had hired the guy. He was out of Montana. He was, quite literally, free from any consequences from what he did. There was no numbers, no flight plan filed, nothing.
I had friends in law enforcement that looked into it to see if there was anything I could do, there wasn't. This guy fell in between the legal cracks, and was totally free to do anything he pleased as long as he was hired by a government agency. I explained what had happened due to this guy, and they didn't even say "Sorry". It was more like, "what are you bothering us for?"
Believe me, I got an education on what some can get away with.

Premium Member
8,560 Posts
In Nevada, where we are, you have to sign a paper for the government to fly over your property to shoot coyotes. You should鈥檝e shot him.

Premium Member
Retired breeder
3,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's just it, he was NOT on the property where he was supposed to be.
He saw my mares, and thought he'd have some fun. Any idiot should have been able to have seen they were heavy in foal.
My place is 3 miles across the top end. he was running them over a mile back and forth and back and forth. Some of it was over some pretty rough country. Like I said, it was cold, and they had rivers of sweat running off them.
He obviously knew he had immunity for anything he did.

Premium Member
8,560 Posts
That makes me so mad, and also sad. I鈥檓 very sorry you lived through that.
  • Angry
Reactions: knightrider

1,135 Posts
That's horrifying, I'm sorry you had to deal with that!
But you lost 5 horses, not just three. =(
Have the laws been updated since then?
I wonder if it's legal to shoot at a plane. As I see it, person is trying to severely injure or kill your animals, so protecting them with a gun should be okay, but we all know the law likes to flip flop and not protect those it should.
I'm assuming you weren't even able to figure out the pilot's name to sue him or beat him senseless?

8,490 Posts
Yeah I like the idea of shooting at him, too. I mean, I know it's over and done with. I'm so sorry this happened. But I'm mad about it, too. Alternately, find out who he is and dox him to neighbors. Or go to his house, sit in front of it in your car, and play the stereo super loud all night. And the night after that, and the night after that. Ugh. What a _.
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