An article on DailyInterlake.com by Kianna Gardner and Brenda Ahearn tells a disturbing story about a rodeo queen and her horse being shot which led to it being euthanized.
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is seeking any information related to a tragic domestic animal shooting that occurred west of Marion off U.S. 2, in which a woman’s horse was shot through its shoulder and later had to be euthanized.
It was around 3:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, Oct. 26, when Kristina Gregersen, owner of the horse and a former Northwest Montana Pro Rodeo Queen, pulled into her residence. Shortly after her return, Gregersen said she was walking toward her pasture to prepare her horses for Saturday night’s winter storm when she realized something was gravely wrong.
“I began counting, one, two, three, four, [but] there are five horses,” Gregersen recalled.
She located her fifth horse, a 19-year-old buckskin American Quarter Horse nicknamed “Diva,” lying on the ground near the meadow’s small, solitary tree.
As Gregersen approached, she said she could smell blood and upon further inspection realized Diva, her prized competition horse and “best friend,” had suffered a major gunshot wound.
Gregersen, still tearful as she recounted the ordeal on Tuesday, described the scene as a “gruesome, horrific mess.”
“She seemed to look up at me as if to say ‘oh good, you’re here now, you can fix this,’ but I knew I wasn’t calling anyone to fix her. I was calling for someone to keep her from hurting anymore,” Gregersen said.
She said the bullet had entered Diva’s left shoulder and exited the right, causing internal bleeding and severe and irreparable damage to the animal’s right leg, which Gregersen described as being “torn off.” It was evident Diva was suffering, so Gregersen proceeded to call her neighbor to the property where he assisted in euthanizing Diva.
“Horses are not like dogs,” Gregersen explained. “If a dog loses a leg, it can learn to adapt and survive. Horses aren’t built like that, they are too heavy.”
An officer with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control unit was sent to inspect the property and horse. The officer determined Diva was shot from U.S. 2, but has yet to determine what kind of gun was used or whether the shooting was accident or intentional.