Horse-abuse activist loses 2 mounts in 2 months

10/4/2012 1:00 PM
By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Texas man who set out on a world-wide ride to publicize horse abuse has lost two mounts to injuries in the first two months of his ride.

One of Carl Wayne Cooper's horses had to be shot after it got its foot caught in a cattle guard near Alamogordo, N.M., on Sept. 23. His first steed had to be changed out after it developed a severe saddle sore.

The horse's vet, Ryan Cate, said the saddle didn't fit correctly. Cooper claimed the horse had a gait that made it run unevenly.

But the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/UHsI34 ) reports the executive director of a horse rescue ranch doubts that. Chris Graham, executive director of the Walkin' N Circles Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation Ranch in Stanley, N.M., said saddle sores only arise if a horse goes too far and too long without a break.

Cooper left Weatherford, Texas, two months ago. The preacher and air conditioner repairman said his faith and concern for widespread animal abuse made him sell his possessions and set off.

"I'm doing the Lord's work out here," Cooper told the Journal. "I've been helping people out along the way, doing what I'm supposed to do."

He's now stuck in Albuquerque hoping he can get another horse to continue his ride.

The trouble began for Cooper's horses just weeks into the ride, when "Ju-Ju Bean," developed the saddle sore. Then late last month near the entrance to Aguirre Springs State Park, his second horse, "May Day," got its foot stuck in a cattle guard.

The White Sands Missile Range Fire Department responded, but the horse broke its leg as crews were removing their tools, spokesman John Hamilton said. Later, a rancher came by and shot the horse, Cooper and Hamilton said.

"My horse, poor little soul, slid into a cattle guard and I had to put it down," Cooper said. "It absolutely ripped my guts out to have to do it."

Cooper claimed the horse was turning away from the cattle guard when its front leg slipped between the bars. But Fire Department representatives said the horse broke one of its front legs as Cooper tried to "walk or lead" the horse across the cattle guard.

Cooper planned to spend Thursday searching for a new horse to continue his ride. If he's successful, Cooper hopes to head to San Diego from New Mexico. Once there, it's on to Russia, Europe, Iceland and back to the U.S.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com


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