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Brainerd area resident's horse shot

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When rural Brainerd resident Trista Pankratz woke up Friday morning what she was about to find out would traumatize her.

Pankratz received a telephone call from a neighbor who thought Pankratz’s painted mare was giving birth. But that was not the case.

“She thought she was having a baby because of all the blood,” Pankratz said. “When I saw all the blood ... It was pretty devastating.”

What had happened was that someone shot Pankratz’s horse who was with foal late Thursday night or early Friday morning while it was in its pasture along Crow Wing County Road 9. The Pankrantz family live on the 10000 block of 70th Street, just south of Brainerd and raise horses on their property.

Pankratz said the horse, named Roxi, was still alive. Pankratz called her veterinarian who examined the horse and found the bullet shattered two of its bones.

She said the veterinarian said they could transfer Roxi to the University of Minnesota to have a surgery that would cost about $100,000 to try to save her, but there were no guarantees that the surgery would be a success; or they would have to put her down.

Pankratz made the heart-breaking decision to put her beloved horse down.

“I’m a horse person, but I’m broke,” said Pankratz. “Our horses are our children. Roxi was my gaming horse. I took her to shows for the past two years. She was 12. We did barrels and pole bending and stuff like that.”

Pankratz is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for the person who shot her horse. Pankratz said she needs to find out who shot her horse and to make sure the suspect doesn’t do it again.

“People who raise horses don’t do it for a living, they do it as a hobby,” said Pankratz. “Horses are just like our kids ... I don’t want anyone to go through this ... Not knowing how long she was laying out there before we found her ... It’s pretty devastating.”

Pankratz said in the past years neighbors’ animals have been shot, including two cows and another older horse. The rural Brainerd resident believes the animals were shot by the same person.

Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Debi Backdahl said Tuesday that the sheriff’s office is investigating the incident. At this time there are no suspects.

Anyone with information on the shooting of the horse can call the sheriff’s office at 829-4749.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at