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Utah horse owners offer $3,000 reward for mare missing since December

Posted at 8:29 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 23:59:51-05

MILLARD COUNTY, Utah — A horse that was sent to Utah from Colorado in June on a breeder's lease has seemingly vanished from its herd without a trace.

“We last saw River when we fed hay on Monday, Dec. 27,” said Steven Holman with Jane’s Peek Farm in Leamington. “She was gone when we returned to feed again a few days later.”

River is a 7-year-old bay quarter horse mare from the "Skipper W" breeding stock. She was last seen in a pasture off State Route 132 roughly six miles outside of Leamington.

“My gut from the beginning tells me somebody took her,” said Shari Bowen, who raised River since she was orphaned at birth.

Bowen bottle-fed River after the horse's mother died giving birth.

"We’ve just poured everything into this horse," she said. "I don’t know, she’s like a child.”

River had spent her entire life without other horses around. Shari sent her to Jane’s Peek to be around a herd and hopefully have a baby to help rebalance her hormones.

“It’s hard to get through the day wondering what’s happening to her, where’s she at,” said Bowen. “It literally is like somebody took my child and I just need her back.”

Both the Millard County Sheriff’s Office and Juab County Sheriff’s Office were made aware of the missing horse, but neither have had any leads on its whereabouts.

“We have spent a lot of time driving the surrounding hills, roads, railway, and river. We've repeatedly walked the pasture on foot and on horseback, and our neighbors have used drones to do the same. We have driven through nearby towns to see if we can see her in corrals, called auctions and sent people to watch them, contacted sale pens and other breeders of mules and horses,” Holman said. “I have been searching for sale ads online and messaging anyone who posts an ISO ad hoping that they will tell me if someone tries to sell her to them. We have driven through the West Desert and public lands hoping someone dropped her off with a wild herd, because we have heard that that happens sometimes, but we didn't see anything out there either.”

A $3,000 reward is being offered for River’s safe return.

“We are offering $3,000 for solid information that produces her safe return. No questions asked,” a flyer reads.