Braw Lad Gavin Young has spoken about his shock and anger after discovering someone had slashed the face of one of his family’s horses.
Police are investigating the incident, which happened on the family farm near Heriot overnight on September 17 and 18.
Millie was discovered with deep cuts to her face on Friday morning.
“It is pretty sick that someone could do that,” Mr Young said.
“To try to steal a horse first and then do that to her because it hasn’t worked – there’s just no need for it.”
He added: “We reckon it happened at about 3am.
“We heard the dogs barking, but thought nothing of it as there are always foxes running about or the tups looking for their feed early.
“You hear about it happening to other folk, but never think it will happen to you.”
Mr Young said he was hopeful that the horse will recover, in time, but added that she was still wary when anyone puts their hand near her head.
He also said it was important that other horse owners in the Borders are vigilant following the incident.
Mr Young added: “Someone tried to steal her and it has gone wrong, and she has not loaded into the trailer or lorry and they have hit her as they realised it wasn’t working.”
This year’s Galashiels principal went on: “Someone has definitely tried to take her, though – there were skid marks on the road and the grass had been flattened, and they cut off her rug and cut her mane.”
The Horsewatch Scotland Facebook page posted a picture of Millie’s injuries and at the time of going to press more than 30 people had commented on it.
All expressed their disgust at the attack.
It is not the first incident of its kind this year in the area.
At the end of July, a horse at Troweknowes Farm, near Hawick, suffered two large deep cuts to its legs, which the police treated as a deliberate act of cruelty.
And earlier this year, in May, a Kelso family spoke to The Southern about their shock at discovering that one of their horses had its tail cut off and the field gate, leading to a busy road, left open.
The owners believed the incident may have been connected to ‘marking’, where animals are located and their tails cut or pleated to mark them for stealing later.