Minn. Farmer ‘Shocked’ After Horses Put Down By State Patrol

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol had to put down two horses after they got away from their Faribault farm early Monday morning. They’d been trying to get the horses back onto their property when they say the situation just became too unsafe. But, as can be imagined, the horses’ owner is very upset — and has to foot the bill.

Suzette Clemens didn’t even realize her quarter horses, Roper and Frenchie, had escaped when a tree fell on her electric fence, until a Rice County deputy showed up at her door in the middle of the night. He told her the horses had to be euthanized.

“I was shocked, shocked, you know,” she said. “They didn’t even spend more than 19 minutes trying to catch them.”

Around 2 a.m. Monday, the horses made it to Interstate 35 near Mile Marker 55 in Faribault, a couple hundred yards from Clemens’ home. When Rice County Deputy Jason Witt first arrived, minutes after the call, he said one horse was on the side of the road and the other was on the freeway. He said once a State Trooper arrived, they unsuccessfully tried to get the 1,100-pound animals back over a 5-foot-high fence. Witt said there were some near-misses with trucks when the horses crossed into the lanes of traffic.

“It was chaotic, I guess, that’s the best way to describe it,” Witt said.

Witt said the brown horses were hard to see in the dark and got more and more agitated as the minutes went on. At one point, one of the horses kicked his squad after the noise of a semi slamming its brakes.

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