Horse found tied up, perpetrator unknown

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The day before Thanksgiving, Crest resident Dawn Flores received a phone call no horse owner would expect in the quiet countryside of East County.

Her horse, Gretchen, was found tied up with rope inside the stall at the boarding place in Blossom Valley, El Cajon, where Flores has kept her horses since 2009.

The ranch belongs to Marilyn Gramse, who discovered the horse tied up in the middle of the night.

The day before Thanksgiving, Crest resident Dawn Flores received a phone call no horse owner would expect in the quiet countryside of East County.

Her horse, Gretchen, was found tied up with rope inside the stall at the boarding place in Blossom Valley, El Cajon, where Flores has kept her horses since 2009.

The ranch belongs to Marilyn Gramse, who discovered the horse tied up in the middle of the night.

“When I came down to feed the horses in the morning, I heard this horse Gretchen banging on the door and she never does that,” said Gramse. “I walked over there and went, ‘oh, my God.’ She had this rope tied around her right rear leg pulling up and the rope coming around her neck and coming back around by her foot and her tail was up tied and attached to one of the bars.”

Gramse said she took the ropes off immediately without thinking to take pictures or call the police right away.

“It was not my rope,” Gramse mentioned, adding that the rope did not belong to any of the people who board horses at her ranch. She stored away a small foldable piece of furniture she said she found inside the other horse’s stall. The object looks like it could be used as a round side table. Gramse said the stall door was unlatched too.

Initially, Gramse thought some kids did this as a joke, but after talking to her roommate, she said she considered that it might be a man who did this to Gretchen.

“We don’t know is a he, but it would be a little hard for a girl to do this,” she said.

Gretchen’s owner, Flores, said she got the call early on Thanksgiving morning.

“Marilyn already called the police and they were here. They took a report, told us to get DNA samples. We took her over to the vet and turned the samples to the police,” said Flores.

Gramse’s barn did not have surveillance cameras installed at that time, but the owner said she intends to purchase security devices right away.

“This is a really quiet area and that’s why we think it was a little easy for this person to do that because the streets are quiet and the barn is enclosed,” said Flores.

Flores said she will continue to board her horse at Gramse’s ranch.

“I’ve been here with a couple of horses for about nine years,” she said. “I love this place; it’s really nice and quiet. There are only three horses here, so no drama.”

Gretchen is a 13.3 hand quarter pony, which means she has quarter horse and pony, and she seems to be doing alright.

“Physically she is fine, mentally she seems fine,” said Flores. “Time will tell.”

Gretchen is creamy white with a big heart on her left side the color of dark chocolate. As her owner talks about the incident, she sneaks her big neck under Flores’ arms for treats, appetite as good as ever.

“This is a community safety issue,” said Flores, adding that having the perpetrator on the loose is of a huge concern for all the horse owners in East County. “I really want them to be caught.”

El Cajon Sherriff Department has no information at this time about the ongoing investigation.

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