US man dies after being attacked by stallion

magic104

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I have never heard of anything like this before, cattle yes but not a horse killing someone. But why on earth would anyone want to keep a stallion that was mean enough you had to carry a stick???????

A man from Tennessee has died after being attacked by a stallion.

Sixty-eight-year-old Travis Oliver Beard died on Thursday 21 January from injuries inflicted by the horse.


Mr Beard was attacked in the field on Spring Valley Road by the stallion.


He had told his son William and a friend Bruce Higgins that he needed to stay home to "feed the animals" but when they returned they saw the horse with something in its mouth. They initially thought it was a feed bag but when they heard the man's shouts they realised the stallion had attacked Mr Beard.


Mr Higgins hit the horse with a large rock, causing the animal to release Mr Beard. His son then the shot the horse when it charged at them.


Mr Beard suffered severe injuries to his chest, abdomen and one leg. He also lost an arm in the attack, which was discovered "some distance away." He was conscious when they found him and and airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, but died later due to his injuries.


The horse's head was sent to the Tennessee Health Department for rabies tests, but the department this week confirmed that the horse was not rabid.


Mr Beard had reportedly carried a stick when feeding the animal as it "was mean"


Houston County Sheriff Kennith Barnes told local press: "They thought (the horse) had a feedbag. Bruce ran to Oliver and William ran to the house to retrieve a gun.


"William did what he had to do, I don't blame him a bit. I would have done the same thing." "Bruce and William told said that Oliver turned around to close the gate and the horse hit him in the back.


"It's a terrible tragedy. I have never seen anything like it."
 

Faithkat

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Depends on how good a stallion it was. St Simon was famously "difficult" but that didn't stop him standing at stud for 22 years until his death at 27; and he passed his temperament on but they were brilliant racehorses so people overlooked the temperament.
 

cruiseline

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That is just shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why on earth would someone want to keep a stallion that was so aggressive. It should have had its b*lls of years ago IMHO

Such a tragedy for the family concerned and a truly awful way to die.

Aggressive stallions, should be castrated no questions asked regardless of how much their owners love them or how well bred they are.
 

marmalade76

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Native Dancer was another nasty one. He featured in the pedigree of a horse I used to own who was the sweetest of horses!

I'm sure if this stallion was a particularly good one, the article would have said so. Personally, I would not want to breed from any nasty horse, no matter how good.

What shocks me about this is that it sounds like it was a rather prolonged attack. I don't think it is unusual for stallions to attack people, but to carry on dragging someone around leaving body parts 'some distance away'?
 

Simsar

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All stallions have the potential to hurt you in my eyes, caution with every Stallion is a must. A friend of mine had a pony Stallion that was the sweetest in the world but that nearly killed her and she had a spell in hospital. Something just went in his head, normally he was so sweet, but that day (nothing was different) he decieded to attack her. She had it put down! But she had had him for years, so you just don't know. I would rather carry a stick than get injured!
 

levantosh

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Personally it's his own fault, stallions or any horse that has a temperament like that should be shot!!! Tragedy for the family, but keeping a stallion like that is just asking for trouble IMO!!!!!!!!!!
 

Enfys

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[ QUOTE ]
Depends on how good a stallion it was. St Simon was famously "difficult" but that didn't stop him standing at stud for 22 years until his death at 27; and he passed his temperament on but they were brilliant racehorses so people overlooked the temperament.

[/ QUOTE ]

Similarly, I knew a stallion down in Devon that was notorious for his temper, yet he was very popular. His stock were quirky but useful.
 

hippomaniac

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I can understand a horse kicking to kill or rushing in and taking a chunk, but for any horse, Stallion or whatever to tear someone apart that is not its nature, there is something very odd about this.
 

JanetGeorge

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Many years ago, a new TB stallion (aged 17) arrived on the yard where I was head girl (owner was TOTALLY useless). He'd bought the stallion cheap - from another country - and thought he had a bargain.

The day it arrived, so did a letter, from the stud groom at his old stud. This stud groom claimed the stallion had killed 3 grooms at different studs! Never found out if that was true - but if they'd done 'the wrong thing' around him, then I'd believe it.

One of the 'wrong things' was going within his reach with anything that resembled a pitchfork, broom, whip! I once popped into his walk-in stable (he was in the adjoining yard) with a pitchfork to tidy his bed. He literally screamed, then came at me. I cleared a 6 foot fence!

Once he'd settled down I examined him closely and found two sets of scars on the top of his rump - they exactly matched a wound that could have been made by someone driving a 3-pronged pitchfork into his rump from right above him!) They could not have been defensive wounds.

He HATED people fairly generally - and he was a brute with his mares too! But he was almost ok to handle as long as you were VERY careful!

If this man always had to carry a stick, one would guess he used it at regular intervals. If he used it to excess - or without fair reason - then it was an accident waiting to happen. Stallions will accept fair and consistent discipline but they WON'T tolerate abuse.

My stallion is about the best-mannered, kindest stallion in the world. But he bucked me off big-time when I'd only had him a few weeks. Totally my own fault - I was a bit unsure of him and was wearing spurs. He got a bit 'keen' when we hacked past a field of mares and one was in season. He went past, then tried to go back to her - I got a bit over-anxious - and used the spurs too hard. He thought that unjust (he was right) and he dumped me from a very great height! I landed on my back on top of a 4' post & rail fence!
 

KarynK

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[ QUOTE ]
Native Dancer was descended from St Simon . . . . .

[/ QUOTE ]
Most modern TB's are, he was hugely influential and credited with his sire Galopin for giving the modern TB its shape. He was inbred upon a lot in future generations because of the talent he passed on.

Northern Dancer is line bred on him quite heavily (3x6, 4x7, 8x8 and 6x9).

Another of his line bred descendants was Nasrullah a notoriously temperamental horse that produced iffy temperaments when inbred on himself. A notable inbred on Nasrullah was 2x breeders cup distaff winner Bayaoka inbred 3x4, she ate grooms!
 

Gingernags

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Native Dancer was descended from St Simon . . . . .

[/ QUOTE ]
Most modern TB's are, he was hugely influential and credited with his sire Galopin for giving the modern TB its shape. He was inbred upon a lot in future generations because of the talent he passed on.

Northern Dancer is line bred on him quite heavily (3x6, 4x7, 8x8 and 6x9).

Another of his line bred descendants was Nasrullah a notoriously temperamental horse that produced iffy temperaments when inbred on himself. A notable inbred on Nasrullah was 2x breeders cup distaff winner Bayaoka inbred 3x4, she ate grooms!

[/ QUOTE ]

You made me curious so I went a digging. There were 2 main TB stallions where I used to work. One was the sire of our bay mare, Wonderful Surprise he was called. He was a proper git. Always had to go in with hay or feed so you could get in the door and tie him up.

The other, Alfie Dickins, was an absolute sweetie we used to teach the YTS students how to boot and bandage on. Yet looking at the breeding, he has Nearco and Nasrullah 5 generations back, so when I looked at Nasrullah - see what you mean about how many times St Simon appears!

Mind you, when you then look back at Wonderful Surprise, almost all of the dams and sires 5 generations back - they have 2, 3 and 4 St Simon's in each!!!!

I have never heard of a stallion doing what this one has though, nasty or not.
 

Rollin

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Pat Parelli has a section on his website called 'Stallion Savvy'. He describes a woman killed by a stallion who grabbed her by the throat.

Monty Roberts in one of his books describes a very aggressive stallion which had to be run to the breeding barn - and wasn't handled at all.

Would never send a mare to a stallion like that.
 

hettie123

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It is not common for horses to attack, if they do it is usually because they feel threatened. Once the thereat they perceived has gone they should calm down. This was not just a mean tempered stallion, for a sustained attack of the this ferocity something was not right mentally. Or it could just be the facts of the story have been adjusted.
 

maestro

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All stallions can be made aggressive imo they have to handled with respect from day one but then you could argue that with any animal. Manmade or not a horse with a bad temperment should not kept though so I would be interested to know why they did?
 

cruiseline

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Does anyone know what breeding this stallion was? The attack took place in the paddock, was the stallion out running with mares or on his own?

I think there is more to the story than being published.

However, I know of one showjumping rider (not in the UK) who was riding a stallion in competition. It dumped him during his round, then chased him around the fences. He had to fight it off with a jump pole, the horse was owned by a governing body and was regularly used for breeding, it was evil!!!
 

S_N

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[ QUOTE ]
Monty Roberts in one of his books describes a very aggressive stallion which had to be run to the breeding barn - and wasn't handled at all.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's so long since I read that book, that I cannot remember if he only mentions one or 2 like this. There was one that was an extremely valuable racehorse, that was made vicious when he went to stud, by a 'Stallion Man' who was scared of him and attacked him. This stallion sired many, many racehorses and whilst a slight disappointment at stud, in terms of progeny, he has become an awesome Broodmare Sire!!

There are many, many TB stallions with dodgy temperaments, past and present! Hoist The Flag, Halo, Native Dancer, Northern Dancer, Danzig, Storm Cat, War Admiral, Bull Lea, Machiavellian....

Also LOTS of sportshorse sires, some I have worked with and I bear the scars!!
 

TarrSteps

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On the St Simon subject, I own a TB that's about a close to him as you'll see these days - he is nearly 30 and was the last crop of an old horse by Round Table. He is SERIOUSLY quirky and the most naturally aggressive horse I've ever seen, although his is targeted towards other horses rather than people. Round Table himself was a mutilator. . . Ribot apparently used to attack the trees in his paddock . . . so, yes, a very odd bunch.

I think part of the problem is though, people tend to differentiate between "almost bitten" and "bitten". I know someone who got her thumb bitten off by a gelding, who thought it was a carrot. (She had essentially been teasing him by trying to feed another horse under his nose.) Yet, I know someone else who had hers bitten off by a stallion and everyone assumed he "meant it". Horses are big and when the make contact they can do a great deal of damage. Sometimes it comes down to dumb luck.

I've been seriously bitten twice, both times by geldings who had their reasons. But I had the very unpleasant experience of being grabbed by the back of the neck by a stallion (War Doe breeding and a right prick, by a stallion known for being equally evil). He should definitely have been a gelding. But he jumped (when it suited him) so the left him entire. And he ended his days a virtual shut in because the worse he got, the less they did with him and the worse he got. Some people shouldn't have horses.
 

Rollin

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Well if lots of sport horse sires are like that - we should all be working to preserve our sane, sensible and gentle CB stallions.


I have my first stallion(CB) and was very nervous about buying one - his lovely temperament went before him - just like his dad.
 

henryhorn

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I agree there must be more to the tale than has been told.
Our stallion has only once bitten and meant it, and to be fair I think I'd have been cross had I been him.
He hadn't been turned out that day due to fencing being renewed round his paddock, and my daughter had thrown him some haylage but not enough, and when she returned several hours later he was hungry and mad.
When she bent down in front of him to fill another haynet he reached over and picked her up by the bum, biting very hard and drawing blood. She yelled and he dropped her.
It has left a permanent scar, and although she walloped him for biting, I reckon he was entitled to be cross !
I think anyone with a stallion tends to stay always aware when around them, I know I do, I've avoided injury a few times by a spoken warning, and you learn never to get between them and a mare when going to cover etc, and to ensure they get sufficent turn out or exercise which keeps them happy.
Re some bloodlines being agressive I used to have a top obedience labrador who won many many times competing, but who would suddenly attack much bigger male dogs when loose walking.
Although I always punished him he carried on doing it and yet he would lie without agression for a ten mins stay in a ring with 50 other dogs in comp situations, but I never fixed the problem out of the ring.
Then they showed a tv programme where they had proved interbreeding of field trial yellow labs had physically enlarged the agressive part of their brain, causing that problem.
Poor dog couldn't help it.
I reckon that's where the stallion problem may have come from if it wasn't handling, shame no-one has done a post mortem on it.
 

magic104

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You would have thought that as they took his head for the rabies test they would have checked his brain. Unless it was man made there is no need to keep an agressive animal for breeding.
 

Alec Swan

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henryhorn,

I've never faced a determined attack from a horse, and never want too. Many years ago there was a delightful and very experienced breeder of Shires who was attacked by his mature, and importantly, home bred horse. Apart from the fact that he was a stallion, he had never shown any aggression. The man's life was saved by his wife rushing into the yard with a fork, and very bravely in my view, beating the horse off. The horse was shot, immediately.

The interesting point is that the stallion after taking hold of him with it's teeth then threw him to the floor and was doing his best to kneel on him, he sustained broken ribs, and would most probably have died, were it not for timely intervention. Enquiring further, it seems that this is generally the preferred method of sustained attacks from stallions. That the man was dismembered whilst alive seems very strange to me, and I suspect that as others have suggested there is a great deal more to this tale, than we know. I'm not sure that I believe it, in its entirety.

I have very little experience with stallions, but I suspect that if a stallion decided to retaliate against an act of violence, then it's a fight which the human will most certainly loose, possibly along with his life. Once such a horse has you frightened of it then you're on a loosing wicket.

There's a sig on this posting somewhere which goes along the lines that "Violence begins, where knowledge ends". Spot on. There's a world of difference between discipline and violence. There's an equal distinction between "Reaction" to bad behaviour, and "Retaliation".

The principle of temperament is generally fairly well adhered to in the equine sport horse world,,,,, I THINK! In the canine world, however, it is rare to find breeders who actually understand the meaning of the word. When I struggled, many years ago to earn a living from training gun dogs, there were most certainly, at the time, known blood lines within Golden Retrievers, too a greater extent than most other breeds, who displayed particularly aggressive tendencies.

Alec.
 

FinnishLapphund

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I suspect not many of you are that into harness racing but what you have written about made me remember Nevele Pride. To this date, Nevele Pride is one of only eight horses to have won the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for trotters but from what I've heard, he inherited his temperament from his mother, Thankful and if that is so, a more unsuitable name than Thankful on that mare, is difficult to find.

When Nevele Pride raced only his groom dared to get close to him and though being careful and fond of "his" horse, the groom was bitten more than once. When he retired from racing and was at stud, Nevele Pride had his own separate single box "stable" where he could go out in his own paddock as he wished. The paddock had double fencing and on the outer fence there were several warning signs saying "Nevele Pride will bite!"

Once in his younger years he managed to escape from the paddock and, according to what I read, the stud went out with a local warning to people to, if possible, stay indoors until the stallion was caught.




Some years ago there was a trotter stallion in Sweden who attacked the stud owner, so bad that it made the news, he was bitten, stamped upon and dragged about 200 metres (he would not let go of the stallion's lead rope).

Though the owner claimed it was all his own fault, when Self Confident (some people in the trotting world are really good with names, are they not?) had came to the stud some years earlier, he had big issues about not being the only stallion in the neighbourhood. If he could smell the smell from another stallion on a bucket or anything, he went for the other stallion = what smelled of the other stallion.
But the stud owner had worked hard with Self Confident and the stallion got much better, he didn't care any more about what buckets and other things smelled.


The stallion had behaved so well, for so long, that the stud owner forgot himself one day. On the morning of the attack he first needed to do something around another trotting stallion who, as I recall it, meanwhile had managed to rub his head on the stud owner, afterwards he was in a hurry and went straight to Self Confident to lead him out to his stallion paddock, without shanging his jumper.
On their way from the stable to the paddock, Self Confident also wanted to socialize a little with the stud owner, sensed the smell of the other stallion, forgot all his training and the rest as they say, is history...
 

FinnishLapphund

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Since you mentioned not going between a stallion and a mare when going to cover, I can't resist mentioning another trotting stallion, Quick Pay.

Quick Pay lived to be over 30 years old and was fertile up until late in his life. From that he retired from racing until his death, he had the same groom that he was very fond of, the groom only needed to have a usual headcollar and lead rope on him when going to cover mares. Then one day when Quick Pay was around 20 years old, his groom was sick for the first time, other grooms lead him to the mares and he just looked at them and refused to preform. In fact, he didn't cover any mares until his usual groom was back at work.

 

AimeeLou

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I was under the impression rodeo horses are bred for their nasty temperments......makes them more 'challenging' to stay on. This may not be the case with this particular horse or the case in general but thought i'd read that somewhere?
 

vecthom

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the thing is some stallions just do not take to being stallions and they show early signs of not being able to cope when there playful nipping as youngsters turns into bites and as you are l;eading them they want to keep biting you. Also some confront you like they would another stallion entering there field full of mares they will strike at you when they get angry. These are cases where there bits should be chopped even if they are a top stallion and you wanted to grade them and stand them at stud.

Alot of stallions are fine being left entire but some just do not cope and i the man knew he was a difficult stallion.
Alot of people do carry sticks when handling stallions as precaution and also safety but stallions are not for ametuers and need to be in pro hands with correct handlers as the fact is they are stallions and react different then a gelding especially when mares are about.
 

Alexart

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A horse will not attack unless given a reason to or it has been badly treated. No stallion should bite or behave differently and have the same manners that any horse does. For someone to have to have a stick with them when handling a horse really means they are not competent to have any horse let alone a stallion. As for colts "playfully nipping" - that is just down to being confident and competent enough to nip it in the bud when they are diddy - I've never had a colt nip me after they have done it once - a very loud OUCH is all it takes to totally freak out a foal - they don't do it again as long as you act calmly and confidently around them and when handling them and are fair.
Saying a horse is angry because it is hungry and biting someone that badly is a huge indicator that either your horse doesn't have any respect for people, it has been abused in the past, or bad management - ie total isolation from its own kind - whichever it needs to be gelded as it is a ticking time bomb!! Having access to turnout is part of the answer but horses are social animals and NEED other horses - if they can't behave with other horses in a herd then geld them!!!

I've had quite a few stallions over the years of various breeds, the first friesian we ever had was a prime example of previous abuse. He had been owned by a guy who had bought him as a macho thing and used to beat the hell out of it with a stick because he was scared of it - we only found this out after we had bought him! - as he really didn't like men and was quite aggressive towards them and we wanted to find out why! He was also socially isolated and had been on his own since he was a yearling and shut in a barn. Needless to say he got his nuts off to have a second chance - although he blew that when in training 5 years later and attacked his rider, luckily she just had bruises, but he meant it - we had him shot as you can never trust them again - it's like a dog that has bitten someone.

Our current friesian stallion Wessel is the most dopey horse on the planet and he runs with a mare or 2 to keep him company - if he were any other way he would be nutless!!! We can take people in to meet him when he is with mares and he couldn't care less - he loves to show off and struts his stuff! He covers visiting mares in a head collar and we have had owners watch their mare covered as they were worried after hearing horror stories about stallions being aggressive with mares - they were really surprised at how much of a gentleman he was and that he was more interested in the grass than the mare!!! Our rising 4 yr old colt is kept in a bachelor herd and is just the same - the way they should be.

I really don't know why people breed from nasty horses and would say they are not really interested in the horse just how much money it makes! I think aggression is more to do with the management of the stallion - in spain and the rest of europe colts are rarely gelded and stallions are the norm and ridden by children, although they are often kept in stalls which I don't agree with, but they are treated like any other horse and so behave like one. Yet in the UK it STILL seems people think it is ok to socially isolate a stallion/colt or even keep it stabled 24/7 - and then they wonder why they need a stick/chifney/chain etc and the horse is nuts and nasty!!! I know of one stallion that is bred from purely because it is coloured despite breaking someone's arm, leg and hand and is kept in a box 24/7. Another I heard couldn't be handled so what they did was tie the mare to a gate with her foal and then let the stallion loose - made me shudder at the thought - but the mare then ripped the gate off and ran with her foal and the gate across several fields with the stallion trying to hump her despite the mare not being in season!!! - I think people need a liscence to own a stallion!!! The TB stallion Zilzal is another nut - he has his own box in the middle of some woods as he likes to rip peoples stomachs out - again isolated.

So I think this guy that died in the US must have really done something to this horse to make it act like that!! I think also having men traditionally handling stallions can lead to problems as there is too much testosterone flying about!! which can lead to conflict in a horse that doesn't mix with other horses - who else do they have to let off steam with. Watching colts and stallions in a bachelor herd you see just how much rough and tumble they get up to to let off steam when playing - I would hate to think if I kept them in away from others what they would be like to handle after a long period of time - let alone years which is what most endure, and the stallions that are with mares expend alot of time checking their territory and grooming the mares to keep up their bonds, not to mention covering so have that to let off steam!
Sorry rather long post - just annoys me that stallions are always labelled the baddies!!!
 
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