Show stallion worth millions stolen from Custer farm
UPDATED AT 2:21 P.M.
CUSTER — A dark brown and black show jumping stallion worth several million dollars was apparently stolen from its barn on Birch Bay-Lynden Road.
The 12-year-old horse, named Capone I, was reported missing by Exitpoint Stallions farm staff who found the front gate of the farm unlatched Friday afternoon, said Douglas Spink, Capone's manager and trainer since the horse was 3 years old.
The sliding door of the barn was drawn back, and Capone's stall had been unlatched. His halter and lead rope were missing, Spink said.
Three other stallions and three protection dogs were left in the barn, located at 3561 Birch Bay-Lynden Road. No indication of tire tracks were left in the farm's driveway.
Spink believes whoever took Capone must have loaded him into a horse trailer on Birch Bay-Lynden Road. The theft is believed to have happened between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Neither Spink nor Exitpoint Stallions, the investor syndicate that has owned Capone since 1999, has received a ransom note. Ransom seems to be the only viable reason someone would take Capone, Spink said. Because of Capone's level of fame, it would be almost impossible to use him in shows or in black-market breeding, he said.
Capone had been at the barn in Custer since October to rest and recover from the horse show circuit, Spinks said. Before he went missing, Capone had been in training for summer competition.
Capone has top placements in many of North America's competitive show jumping classes and has amassed career winnings of more than $250,000, according to Spink.
"We spent the last nine years of our life together," Spink said. "He was my buddy long before he became valuable, and he will be my buddy long after. He means more to me than anything."
Capone has three white "socks," a long, thin white blaze on his forehead and a black mane and tail.
He also has a noticeable brand on his back left flank that includes the Holsteiner Verband "H" logo and his registration number.
Yikes, if what I'm reading on Google is corect, this is scary. Maybe it's a drug-related kidnapping. Maybe the drug dealers Spinks ratted on are angry. I hope poor Capone doesn't end up like the horse in the Godfather.
Unless this ends up about insurance money, and not people "freeing" the stallion. Either way, I hope this turns out well for any animals involved.
PS - do you think they were trully "protection dogs" or three muts that hang around the barn? Not that barn muts aren't invaluable, but if it was someone they know that took the horse they probably wouldn't fuss to much.