Case of the Prancing Horse

About twenty five years ago, I worked on a troublesome case. It started when I was handed an envelope with a knot of horse’s hair, and a list of ten questions.

A well-known horse trainer had been accused of smashing in the skull, and thereby killing, a prized horse he was training. The owner was suing for several hundred thousand dollars.

The trainer knew this accusation to be entirely false but could not prove it. The horse had dropped dead suddenly during a normal training session. The owner had organised for the dead body to be sold for meat and, when taken off by the butcher, apparently the skull had been smashed in. At the time, this seemed odd but it was only months later, after the body had been well and truly disposed of, that the accusations and lawsuit started.

The trainer was a fellow member of the South Australian Dowsers Club and asked if I could look into it. He gave me ten questions regarding the cause of death. Was the cause of death a heart attack or a haemorrhage? Was the skull smashed before or after death? Were any of the trainer’s staff involved? From dowsing the questions, it came up that the cause of death was bleeding from an artery, the cracked skull was post mortem and the stable hand was involved.

I spoke with another member of the Dowser’s Club as I couldn’t figure out the sequence of events. He thought about it and gave me two more questions, sealed in an envelope – both yes or no questions. It came up yes to both questions. When I opened the envelope, the questions were – was the horse poisoned, and was the owner involved?

The final story came out that the owner had given the unsuspecting stable-hand poisoned horse feed. When the horse finally succumbed to the poison the owner cracked the skull in order to frame the trainer for insurance money.

With my insights, the trainer confronted the owner who was so aghast that he knew what happened that he dropped the charges.

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