Stolen Henry County horse ‘extremely stressed’ after being dumped

Stolen Henry County horse ‘extremely stressed’ after being dumped

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A group of law enforcement officials and family members went to Hartwell to pick up their horse Henry. (Family photo)

He’s a bit beaten up, but Henry’s home safe, the family of a stolen horse said Sunday.

Henry, a 23-year-old former race horse stolen from a backyard pasture in Locust Grove earlier this week, was dumped on Hart County property, Samantha McGinnis said.

Hart County is about 109 miles northeast of Atlanta and about 141 miles northeast of Locust Grove.

“The person we suspected in the first place sent a text,” McGinnis said.

McGinnis and her family have been working hard to investigate tips coming in from a flyer they created when their two horses were lured out of their pasture last week.

Buddy, a 14-year-old quarter horse, turned up in South Carolina on Friday.

McGinnis said a man called her and said he was about to buy a horse he realized was stolen after seeing the television news.

McGinnis, her fiance, her mother and two of her mother’s friends went to Commerce to pick up their horse, but they aren’t ready to bring Buddy home.

“We just don’t feel it’s safe,” McGinnis said Friday.

They aren’t bring Henry back to the family’s pasture yet either and said both horses are in a secret location.

The person who had Henry may have been the one who took him, McGinnis said.

He sent text messages that didn’t make sense because “he wasn’t great at spelling,” McGinnis said.

After sending the family all over Georgia on “a wild goose chase,” McGinnis finally texted back, “I want an address and I want it now.”

The man, who McGinnis isn’t naming because of the ongoing investigation, wanted her to call off the police.

He would only text about a five-way stop and Hartwell, but McGinnis said she didn’t know what that meant.

Fortunately, a woman called about 10 a.m. saying a horse was dumped nearby. McGinnis confirmed the horse was hers via text photo.

Rachel Moore, the mother of McGinnis, said the property owners who called about the horse had nothing at all to do with Henry's disappearance and "if it weren't for them we would have never gotten Henry back."

The family picked Henry the horse up about an hour later at fenced-in property near a five-way stop in Hartwell.

“His face is a little cut up, he’s missing hair, a little dehydrated and he was extremely stressed,” McGinnis said about the horse she called her best friend while growing up. “We re-introduced him to his pasture mate and he is a completely different horse.”

Watch raw video of the horses reunion

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