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Horse shot to death on farm
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies are investigating.
By S.I. ROSENBAUM, Times Staff Writer
Published February 8, 2008
Clarke Osborne stands with his horse Cody on Thursday evening at his home in Lithia. Wednesday night, someone shot and killed one of his other horses.
[Skip O'Rourke | Times]
LITHIA - From the gate, the horse looked like he could be sleeping, except for the blood on his white-and-brown coat.
Clarke Osborne, 62, could see the bullet wound in his side. "They gutshot him," Osborne said later. "Plain and simple."
Marvin was a 2-year-old, and Osborne's favorite horse. He'd watched him being born.
He figured out all on his own how to round up the cows for feeding. He liked to play with the cows, like a puppy. He had never been ridden.
Osborne doesn't know who shot Marvin on Wednesday night, and neither do Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies.
After Osborne found the horse Thursday morning, the rest of the day was spent in an on-site necropsy. The examiner couldn't find the bullet, but found Marvin's trail from where he was shot, out in the field, to where he'd died, closer to the gate.
It had taken him hours to bleed to death.
Osborne comes from generations of cattle farmers. You can't make a living at that any more, so he also has a small demolition business. He keeps about 52 cows and four horses on his parents' land off Lithia-Pinecrest Road.
In the afternoon, they buried Marvin on that land. Osborne's wife, Lou Anne, said a little prayer.
"Dear God, wherever animals go, take care of Marvin, because he was a good boy."