Photos of horses stolen from SAU overnight

This horse, along with four others, were stolen overnight from Southern Arkansas University.

Last night, a trailer and five horses—all belonging to Southern Arkansas University students (who are scheduled to compete in a rodeo tonight)—were stolen from Mulerider Stables at SAU in Magnolia, Ark. We’d like to pass on this information from the SAU Police Department with the hopes of helping to speed up the recovery.

• 2003 Featherlite trailer, silver in color, Georgia license plate TL7W102, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 4FGL020223C058456.
• American Quarter Horse, 16 years of age, gelding, black in color, bearing a rocking “M” brand on its left hind quarter.
• American Quarter Horse, 7 years of age, female, gray in color.
• American Quarter Horse, 14 years of age, female, buckskin in color.
• American Quarter Horse, 15 years of age, gelding, Sorrell in color, bearing a rocking “V” brand on its left front quarter, as well as a “K” brand on its right hind quarter.
• American Quarter Horse, 12 years of age, female, black in color, bearing a circle “M” brand on its left hind quarter.

The suspect vehicle is reported to be a dark colored Ford truck. The theft occurred sometime between 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, and 6:30 a.m. Thursday, November 3.

If anyone has any information regarding the theft, please contact the SAU Police Department at (870) 235-4100. Read on to see photos of the stolen horses – the photos were provided by SAU!


UPDATED INFORMATION: (From the Banner-News, Magnolia, Ark.)

A horse trailer stolen from Southern Arkansas University’s Mulerider Stables late Wednesday was recovered Thursday evening two hours away in Tom, Okla., but authorities are still searching for the five rodeo horses that were also taken during the theft.

“Due to the close nit (relationship) of the rodeo and horse industry, we were able to re-acquire part of our missing property,” said SAU rodeo team coach Rusty Hayes late Thursday. “We are extremely happy, but we still need to find the horses.”

He said early today that there have been no new developments in the case, and reiterated his hope that the students’ horses will be found and safely returned.

A spokesman for the SAU Police Department confirmed today that the trailer was recovered in McCurtain County, Okla. That spokesman declined to comment on whether or not authorities have any suspects in the case, and said investigators continue to seek information on the whereabouts of the horses.

SAU President Dr. David Rankin had not responded by press time today to a request for comment on the theft.

The five stolen horses belonged to members of the university’s nationally acclaimed rodeo team and were slated to compete in Thursday’s 30th annual collegiate rodeo at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. According to members of the rodeo team, the horses were among its best and had a combined estimated value of more than $180,000.

Team member Ashley Mills’ horse – a 16 year old black gelding – was one of those stolen. Mills, who said she has turned down offers of $60,000 for the quarter horse, has had the animal since he was four years old and started riding him when he was six.

“He knows me more than I know him,” Mills said. “He’s kind of like my best friend. I’ve had him forever.”

“It’s been pretty rough on me,” she added. “He won a lot for me last weekend, and it’s tough not knowing where he’s at, and not being able to compete on him this weekend.”

According to several agricultural students, rodeo team members and Hayes, a dark-colored Ford truck was seen leaving the stables at an unspecified time between 10:30 p.m., Wednesday, and 6:30 a.m., Thursday, with the trailer. The trailer belongs to a member of the rodeo team, Wallace Brown.

Witnesses who spotted the dark-colored Ford truck didn’t see any horses in the trailer, and when they went to the stables, they didn’t immediately notice any property missing. They believe the culprit may have returned later in the night to steal the horses and the other missing property, officials say. That other equipment included saddles and riding gear.

The stolen horses are described as follows:

• American Quarter Horse, 16 years of age, gelding, black in color, bearing a rocking “M” brand on its left hind quarter.

• American Quarter Horse, 7 years of age, female, gray in color.

• American Quarter Horse, 14 years of age, female, buckskin in color.

• American Quarter Horse, 15 years of age, gelding, Sorrell in color, bearing a rocking “V” brand on its left front quarter, as well as a “K” brand on its right hind quarter.

• American Quarter Horse, 12 years of age, female, black in color, bearing a circle “M” brand on its left hind quarter.

Anyone with information on the theft should contact the SAU Police Department at (870) 235-4100.

UPDATED INFORMATION: (From the Banner-News, published Mon., Nov. 7, 2011)

In spite of numerous leads from across the United States, authorities have yet to recover any of the five champion rodeo horses stolen from Southern Arkansas University’s Mulerider Stables last week, said Southern Arkansas University Police Chief Eric Plummer.

Plummer, in an interview late Friday, said law enforcement agencies are following up on all leads and tips that have been received since the horses, a trailer and several pieces of riding equipment were stolen between 10:30 p.m., Wed., Nov. 2, and 6:30 a.m., Thurs., Nov. 3. Plummer said investigators believe the horses were actually stolen after midnight Wednesday because several students were at the stables preparing for Thursday’s 31st annual collegiate rodeo until that time.

The rodeo began Thursday night and ended Saturday with a victory for SAU’s nationally competitive rodeo team. The stolen horses were slated to ride in the rodeo, but after the theft, students used borrowed horses in order to be able to compete in the event.

“We do have several persons of interest (in the theft), but we cannot release any information on that at this point,” said Plummer, adding that those individuals are not classified as suspects at this time.

The stolen trailer was recovered in Tom, Okla., Thursday, but the horses and riding equipment were not found at that scene, Plummer said. The trailer was discovered by the McCurtain County, Okla., Sheriff’s Office, he said, noting that SAU PD has remained in constant contact with that agency.

“We are still conversing with them, and they have been unable to locate the horses,” Plummer said. “They are doing a phenomenal job of trying to recover them. They’ve been working their connections and using their investigators to make contact (with sources of information), and providing us with information.”

According to Plummer, tips have been received from North Arkansas, North Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

However, Plummer said, of all the leads received in the early hours of the investigation, the “most promising” was from McCurtain County. The trailer located in that county was processed for evidence by the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office, and was released late Friday afternoon to its owners, he said.

Plummer attributed the number of tips to the media attention surrounding the theft, and noted also that “the nationwide horse community is a very tight-knit group” that has been helpful in the investigation.

“They all know each other, and they have connections,” Plummer explained, adding, “We want these horses found in a safe manner and returned to these students. These horses are like family to these kids. They grew up with them, and they have a lot more invested in them than just money.”

“We are doing everything we can to locate these valuable and loved horses,” confirmed SAU President Dr. David Rankin in a press release issued early today. “The loss of these horses is very personal to our students, and we are all hoping and praying for their safe return.”

In the meantime, rumors persisted over the weekend around the university’s campus that SAU Rodeo Coach Rusty Hayes was arrested late Thursday and charged with obstruction of justice for failing to provide law enforcement officials with information he allegedly had about the location of the stolen items. Plummer confirmed that there is no truth to those rumors.

“He was not arrested. He was never handcuffed (or charged with any offense). Those rumors have been floating around all day,” Plummer said late Friday. “Those rumors are false.”

The chief said there “was a lack of communication,” and that Hayes was asked late Thursday to come to the SAU police department office “to discuss information that he might have” that might further the investigation.

“He provided the information he had,” said Plummer, adding that the university’s staff and students have worked together to solve the case. “We all have the same goal, and that’s to bring a successful resolution to the case.”

When asked by a Banner-News reporter Friday at the 31st Annual Collegiate Rodeo at SAU whether there was any truth to the rumors, Hayes declined to comment on the record.

A university spokesman referred questions directly related to the investigation to Plummer, but confirmed that Hayes had not been arrested.

“He was not arrested, and he is still employed by the university,” the spokesman said early today.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Photos of horses stolen from SAU overnight

  1. bj robison says:

    Prayers to recover your horses >

  2. Tommy Sands USMC/USAF (Ret) says:

    Have this posted to my FB account, lots of my friends are in NE Texas, Oklahoma, Ark, and Louisiana. They can’t hide these horses from the eyes of all of us watching for them!

  3. c grooms says:

    I’ve forwarded info to the owner of The Trailer Store in Columbia,TN. Maybe a long shot but still a shot!

  4. Jen says:

    Also really wondering why the trailer was left overnight, fully loaded with horses. Not to mention, not even hooked up to a truck. That can’t possibly be safe….

    • carlee says:

      Where at in the article does it state that the trailer wasnt hooked up to a truck??? I must be missing it every time i read the article…

    • Debora says:

      Seriously?????…., yet ANOTHER uneducated person making comments about something they have no clue about. Your comment is clear that you are NOT a HORSE/RODEO individual. Please refrain from making rediculous comments and JUST HELP FIND THE HORSES….. PLEASE!

    • J Thompson says:

      Jen, Sorry you didn’t understand. The trailer belonged to a SAU student and was parked at the SAU barn. It was empty. The thieves brought their own truck, hooked up the trailer, loaded the 5 horses several saddles and other items that belonged to the SAU students and stole the whole kit and kaboodle. The empty trailer was located in Tom OK , about 2 hrs from Magnolia, but the horses and tack have not yet been located.
      Hope this clears up the picture for you.

  5. Lori White says:

    A lot of us are sharing this story on Facebook. Praying for their quick, safe return!!

  6. Regina Powell says:

    I don’t own a horse. But I cater and we use to do a lot at OKC FAIRGROUNDS OK . Have you thought about sending the information to AQHA . Maybe they can SPREAD
    this around as well. Hope it is help full. Regina Powell

  7. Cheryl says:

    If ANYONE knows any of these families or anyone that knows the families, please have them contact A.S.A.P.! Time is critical. We need the families to file reports on the horses, trailer and tack, etc. We cannot help them if they do not contact us and file reports. Thank you – cml

  8. Donna says:

    Prayers going up for the safe recovery of these horses.

  9. carlee says:

    @ jen…where at in this article does it state that the trailer was not hooked up to a truck??? It doesnt!!!! Learn to read please. My prayers go out.

    • Leiah Atchison says:

      Your right it doesn’t say that in the article, however if the trailer were hooked up to a truck it would be impossible for someone to steal it without stealing the truck it was hooked up to.

      • Steph says:

        How about the fact that any trailer shouldn’t HAVE to be hooked up to a truck…that stealing is wrong AND illegal!!!! Lets not tell these people what they should have done, lets help them find their horses and their property that NEVER should have been taken from them in the beginning. It’s not their fault that there are poor excuses for human beings in this world! I pray that they get everything back in the condition that it left.

      • Tabitha says:

        True, but the horses weren’t in the trailer. They were in the barn. It is VERY common practice to leave an empty, not hooked up trailer out. And if only it was stolen it wouldn’t be nearly as large of a concern.

  10. Paula says:

    Learn how to read people. No where does it say the horses were “IN” the trailer. Also, no where in the artical does it say the trailer was loaded & hooked up to a truck!
    It states “five horses AND a trailer…”

    No wonder why the “gossipers” can’t say an ounce of truth in this country.
    Be worried about the safety of these animals! And not only these animals what about the owners, the kids, the parents.

    I pray these horses & trailer are recovered soon, and these “atheletes” are brought home safe & sound. (And for those who don’t get it; “atheletes” = horses)
    God Speed.

    • Lynn says:

      you are 100% right Paula people should not be trying to figure out weather trailier was hooked up or horses were in the trailier, what does it matter,who cares the only thing right now is to get those “ATHLETES” home safe and sound to thier owner’s the poor owner’s must be going though hell, I feel for them
      Praying they make it home safe

    • beverly Adams says:

      Read Below –evidently the horses were in the barn -the thieves picked out the horses -put them in the trailer that was sitting there-hooked up to their truck and took off. Simple as that…. Quarter Horse News reported yesterday that a Featherlite trailer, five roping horses, and saddles and bits were stolen sometime early Thursday morning, Nov. 3. According to the Southern Arkansas University System Police Department, the trailer has been found. However, the horses and the equipment are still missing. Photos of the missing horses may be seen by following the link at the end of this page.
      The police department officially reported that between the hours of 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 and 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3, five horses, a horse trailer and riding equipment were stolen from the Mulerider Stables on the campus of Southern Arkansas University located in Magnolia, Ark.

  11. Ed says:

    Hey Horse Thieves;

    I think Horse Stealing in Arkansas is still punisable by HANGING! ! !

    When we find you,
    we’ll have a special NECKTIE PARTY just for you! ! !

  12. Mandy Cook says:

    I send prayers out to you and hope that your beloved horses are returned safely. I can’t believe people these days that was just plain wrong if it don’t belong to you people then just leave it alone.

  13. Lynda Tanner says:

    They had to gas up somewhere so hopefully there is some cameras at the station. On the other hand, they may have planned out another source for fuel.

  14. Kym R says:

    The World Quarter Horse show will be at the OKC arena from Nov5-11. I know zilch about stuff like this but live a short distance from the arena and can darn sure go there today to look around. Can you plaster this all around the area and barns?

  15. Larry says:

    I’ve posted everywhere I can think of, all of our FaceBook horse sites in Missouri and forwarded to friends in OK who have done the same. Some now as far as CA are reposting. Have to keep getting the word out.

    My horses are so trusting and willing, they would walk right into a trailer for anyone so I can see how this could happen.

  16. Bosie says:

    This has been posted all over FB even here in
    washington state! These horses will be found! I pray for a quick recovery and unharmed horses!!!

  17. Just put up a notice on the Trinity Trail Riders web site. We have over 250 members in north Texas – southern OK area. Hopefully if the horses are in this area someone will see them and report it. Created a downloadable flyer ( to put up at local feed stores and trail heads. Hope the horses are found quickly.

  18. Angie Cowell says:

    Our prayers go out to the owners oh these horses,word has gotten out in the Cape Girardeau,Mo. area. In this area of the state alot of our kids and young adults are into rodeo, again I pray for a quick and safe return of the stolen horses,my family has horses and they are like my kids.

  19. Dana says:

    All I have heard is people saying watch the Mexican border. I would not want to see those kind of comments if my horses were stolen. Yeah it’s a good idea to watch that but if someone had pained to steal horses to take to Mexico I wouldnt think they would steal horses with brands on them and ones that everybody see’s all the time. I think someone didnt want to compete with SAU students at the rodeo so something was done about it. There are lots of crazy parents and kids out there that will do anything to win! I bet they turned the horses out in open pasture somewhere and ran. But that’s just what I think.

  20. Amanda says:

    It’s spreading throughout Canada and the US. Best of luck. So sorry you have to go through this. I hope they arrive home safe and sound. Keep us updated. I’ve posted to fb page and to groups. The group covers more people…spread the word. You never know who will see it!

  21. Kathie says:

    Have you posted this at the sale yards? My heart aches for your lose.

  22. rich says:

    where was the trailer found?

  23. Hank Wilson says:

    I’ve posted a copy of your blog post on my site and a link to the pictures.

    Hope the horses are found soon.

  24. Tabitha says:

    Keeping you guys and these babies in my thoughts/prayers/ Hope you find them safe and soon.

  25. MMM says:

    It is very sad for someone to steal a member of your family like that. I hope they find them and what do they say what goes around comes around. It’s too bad people can’t decide the fait of horse thieves anymore like they used to.

  26. Debbie Brookhart says:

    I’ll keep a look out up here.. the sale barns are all on my list.. let find those horses!!!!

  27. Linda Shrull says:

    Sharing this info. Best wishes!!!!

  28. sharon says:

    post this posted on my facebook and will look for them on for sale sites. we pray for their safe return. i know how their owners feel

  29. traci moneymaker says:

    i pray these precious animals are found and returned safely! How sad for everyone, goes to show how evil ppl can b.. I hope they prosecute to the fullest extent of the law!

  30. kansasbashkir says:

    Have the horses been found yet? I’ve cross posted this to my twitter and facebook accounts a couple of times now, with the hope that the information will help to bring these horses home to the people who own them.
    Keep us posted on what’s going on. We’re all pulling for you, hoping they’ll be home safe and sound, very soon.
    And we’re all keeping our eyes open for them too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>