Meanwhile in … Hokkaido

Horse Racing Taiki Shuttle
Taiki Shuttle: 1998 Horse of the Year had part of his mane cut off. Photo: netkeiba.com

Woman arrested in curious case of mysterious mane mutilation

Japan: Police have made a breakthrough in a long-running investigation into a bizarre case involving a spate of incidents in which famous racehorses on the ‘Horse Island’ of Hokkaido have had parts of their manes cut off.

Among the horses involved was Japanese pathfinder Taiki Shuttle, Horse of the Year in 1998 when he added the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville to a string of major successes at home. He won five G1s altogether.

According to local reports, police have arrested a 55-year-old woman from Saitamo Prefecture in connection with the incidents. The woman, who was detained last month, is being investigated for allegedly damaging property after a knife was used to remove an 8cm long, 15cm wide chunk of Taiki Shuttle’s mane. She was rearrested on Friday.

The 2010 Japan Cup winner Rose Kingdom also lost part of his mane in the same incident which occurred at Kimura Farm in Hidako, Hokkaido, where both horses spend their retirement. 

These were not isolated cases after the discovery in the same week that a piece of mane had been cut from 1993 Japanese Derby winner Winning Ticket, who lived at a separate facility in the Hokkaido area, and been put up for sale online. The post was subsequently deleted.

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