I hate for my first post to be this, but hopefully someone may know something.
This horse is still missing as of Mon 4:30 p.m. I know we have some members who live close to Russ Forest. The horse answers to Jeff.
Liz came off her horse in Russ Forest (Marcellus area) at approx 1pm Saturday afternnoon, Oct 18
We searched the forest and all adjacent areas on foot and horseback, and yesterday by air.
There is no sign of him, he is a 6 yr old Appaloosa gelding mostly white with some brown, "varnish" type markings on his legs and a brown side snip on his face. He is approx 15 hands.
He has a 15" Guffy square skirt saddle/breast collar, black splint boots and blue bell boots, with a headstall and sidepull on.
The area county sheriffs departments have been contacted and we are putting out flyers and resuming the search today.
If you have any information about this horse please call 269 720 5331 or Dave & Brenda McCartney 269 782 6189 or the Cass County Sheriff's Dept at 269 445 8644
Hope he turns up.
I've ridden at both Russ and Bluestone Ridge and will alert friends I rode with in the area.
You'd think with the decent weather there might be some trailriders who would catch sight of him.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
A group of riders will be gathering at Russ Forest and riding out at 9a.m. in hopes of finding Jeff. Channel 3 news will be there to interview young Liz as well......thanks to usernaem for contacting them with the story!!!
The owner, Deb (Liz's mother) asked me to post a message on here for her:
"Anyone who can help us, including the K-9 search dogs, are very much appreciated"
I know this is late getting out to everyone.........but I just read the email after getting home from work tonight.........
I have also contacted Channel 16 which is our local news channel for Cass County and asked them to cover the story as well.........but I do not know if they will be there.
Please everyone pray that Jeff will be found, safe and sound and home soon!
Sad to report that Jeff has not been found........a hunter that was near the Russ Forest property did say that 2 nights ago he saw Jeff crashing through the woods around midnight???
Young Liz went door to door asking if anyone had seen a loose horse.........and putting up posters everywhere that she could find to post one!
There were a total of 7 or 8 rigs there when we arrived and several cars with people offering their help........another rig hauling 5 head showed up not long before we pulled out. Only 4 or 5 of the rigs that were there showed up to help in the search...the others were just there to ride the trails but offered to keep an eye out for Jeff.
I wish I could have given everyone an earlier notice about the search this morning, but I didn't get home from work until midnight and didn't read my emails until even later...........as you can see I think I posted around 2 a.m........as soon as I knew!
After sending out emails and posting on site and username's site I think I got to bed around 3 a.m..........didn't get up early enough to make the 9a.m. ride.....but cooked up a huge pot of chili and loaded up our horses and made it there at noon in time to warm up some chilled riders that had been out for 3 hours searching.....before we all headed out again to continue the search.
Plans to continue the search again in the morning are about the same as today.....rigs arriving from 9a.m. on........we'll probably be cooking up a huge pot of Hillbilly Potato Sausage Stew to warm up the volunteers tomorrow...
Hope we have better luck than we had today.......
Thank you for the prayers and well wishes for Jeff..........it was really sad to ride back into the parking lot today and have to tell Deb & Liz that we didn't see any signs of their horse. We rode out so hopeful of finding him today.......but it was uplifting to hear that he was still running free 2 nights ago..........and not hung up like we feared........there's plenty of water in the park.....trees for shelter and wind breaks........ and the deer were plentiful today so food supply must be good too!
It's hard to believe that no one has reported seeing him running loose......and one neighbor of the park had the nerve to ask "How much is that horse worth?" Made all of us a little uneasy....
My friend Terry from k-9 rescue just called me and said she is contacting the owner to get some items of the rider and some of the horse to get scents from and her search team are going down there.
The good thing is that terry told me is they had found a 120 day old missing woman and her horse. So hopefully they can find Jeff.
Fingers crossed that he gets found soon...
I hope this poor horse is found soon, I feel horrible for the owners If it wasn't such a far drive and I hadn't winterized the trailer I'd be out there everyday searching with everyone.
Well, Terry called me this morning and said the will not be doing the K-9 rescue today because of the high winds can be deadly in the woods for anyone with branches snapping off , dead trees could fall on someone so as upset as she is about not heading there for todays search she said I have to think of safety. So they are heading down tonight and searching tomorrow and she is also calling a K-9 search team she is friends with down in that area to also join in the search.
Thanks for the update username! Your friend Terry is exactly right about the possibility of falling branches...........that is exactly what happened to Liz and her horse Jeff.
Liz was riding with a friend, she was not riding alone (as I have seen posted on another site).......a tree branch snapped and fell on them spooking her horse, he jumped, causing Liz to become unseated and hanging off to the side, then he bolted through the trees and Liz was hit by one of the trees he was running past . Jeff got a good head start on Liz and her friend.........and he was running wildly through terrain that it would be impossible to chase after him safely in that same manner.........which is how he got away and disappeared so quickly. There is no telling how far he ran before calming down.......and he is very fit and athletic!
I googled "missing horse in Cass County Michigan" last night and found that on another forum somone has been copying my posts and putting them there, which is fine....helps to get the word out......but some of the comments made were that she should not have been riding alone......so wanted to make sure that others know she was not riding alone.....and she was not bucked off......it was my understanding that she tried to get her feet onto the ground to stop Jeff.....but the tree took her out of the task!
As far as the weather/winds today and the woods.........this is a very well maintained forest........all dead trees are taken down by forest workers......but a limb could very well fall on someone! Most of the riders today will be riding the roads surrounding the forest, which many are dirt roads through fields...........some will be riding the trails through the young trees which are small and those trails also take you through pine tree areas that you are out in the open.
Just wanted to make some things clear, before we head out!
Also, it is beautiful outside right now.......windy.....but not bad, sunny and feels much warmer than yesterday!!!
Another update, not so positive . I wish I were nearby and could help out, I was planning next weekend if he wasn't found by then, but I just got pinned between a saddle and tree As always, update in blue.
Sad to report that another day of searching and still no sign of Jeff.........
There was a large group of rigs that showed up early this morning....some rode for a couple of hours........some stayed for the better part of the day......all throughout the day trailers were still coming in to help in the search. At one point there were 14 rigs in the parking lots....a much better turn-out than we had hoped for with the high winds!
Even young Liz, who had vowed not to ride again until she found her buddy Jeff......was out on the trails today riding a friend's horse........searching and hoping to find Jeff.
Deb, Liz's mom walked the trails and handed out posters to anyone visiting the park....as she has done each day. In her car she carries with her Jeff's personal items.....
It was hard for everyone to give up the search today......as the weekend was ending and the long work week was ahead of everyone. There were a few who said that they have been there every day looking and will continue to come each day until he is found.
My husband and I chose to leave our horses at home today and instead cover more ground by driving every back road we could find.....searching wooded areas and fields, looking in every pasture and fence row surrounding Russ Forest for many miles in every direction.......
Dave and Brenda rode the trails again this morning, as they have often done since the day Jeff got away, Saturday Oct 18th.......then they returned without their horses and chose to walk the creek line in hopes of searching areas that were too difficult to search from horseback........but nothing, not a trace.......
Liz plays soccer on her school team.........today they had a game scheduled, but the team voted and agreed that the game should be canceled and instead they all went to Russ Forest to help in the search.
A 4-H club also showed up to help search for Jeff.......in hopes of returning him and happiness to his young owner......
As the last few were pulling out to head for their homes.....the sky was getting dark with clouds and droplets of rain started to hit the windshields.....the winds were turning colder and it was difficult for each of us to drive away without him....again.
My heart is breaking for Liz........and I am so worried about Jeff.......
More jingles Jeff is found safe and sound. Have they tried putting hay along the
trails Jeff is most familiar with or the trailhead in case he returns to familiar places?
Then checking the stashes to see if any is being eaten, hoofprints, anything. A stretch,
I know, but perhaps....
They've done air searches, but much of the forest is thick and needs to be searched by ground.
They are unable to leave out any hay or grain due to new laws preventing baiting in the lower peninsula. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is spread from deer coming in close contact, which makes all baiting illegal until further notice. Which is very unfortunate, because I am sure the horse would have been spotted long before if they could leave him food
They are thinking of possibly asking any hunters in the area if they have infared cameras up and have spotted Jeff.
Well, please continue to keep us updated. The Hony and I will be jingling like mad for Jeff's safe return! Keep up hope, when I wrangled in Alberta a neighboring ranch lost 4 horses in the wilderness (many hundreds of miles of mountainous terrain), 2 of which were in hobbles - all 4 were found safe and sound almost 6 weeks later by a group on a pack trip!
I posted a picture of Jeff in my email and sent it to eveyone in my email.I got this letter back it might be worth checking into.I know Clare Mi is a ways away but you nver know.It is a cattle auction .Here is his reply.
Hi, Gary was at the Clare auction Monday and a similar horse was sold. He did not see the face markings and is not sure if your horse. It may be worth checking out. They should have a copy of buyers and sellers. We will keep our ears and eyes open. Let us know if you find the horse as I`m sure Liz is feeling bad and anxious. Gary and Marjorie lastname