By KEISUKE TANAKA/ Staff Writer
September 16, 2019 at 17:05 JST
The mane of Taiki Shuttle, a retired hall-of-fame racehorse, was cut off. (From Twitter)
The manes of two former racehorses, including a champion sprinter enshrined in the Japan Racing Association’s Hall of Fame, were found chopped off at a stable in Hidaka, Hokkaido.
Police started investigating the cases as acts of vandalism after a caretaker discovered the horses’ unusual appearances at the Kimura farm, operated by Versailles Farm, on the morning of Sept. 15.
One of the horses is Taiki Shuttle, who won many top-class Grade One races at home and abroad, including the Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo.
The cut chunk of his mane was 8 centimeters in length and 15 cm in width. Taiki Shuttle was not injured in the incident, according to a farm official.
The other horse whose mane was cut was Rose Kingdom.
In both cases, a sharp-edged tool is believed to have been used to slice off the manes.
The two horses were pasturing in the daytime on Sept. 14, and racehorse fans were allowed to closely observe them.
Taiki Shuttle was born in the United States and made his racing debut in 1997. A short-range specialist, he also won the longer Prix Jacques Le Marois held in France, one of the most prestigious Grade One races, in 1998.
The future hall-of-famer became the second racehorse trained entirely in Japan to win the overseas Grade One title.
Many retired racehorses live out the rest of their lives at the Kimura farm.
Versailles Farm posted images of the cut manes of Taiki Shuttle and Rose Kingdom on Twitter. It also announced that it would suspend public viewing of the horses for security reasons for the time being.
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