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Dogs kill Prized Shelby County Show Pony

SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. —The horse community in Shelby County is in shock tonight after a prized pony used to teach dozens of children to ride was killed by two pit bulls.

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Residents in the tight-knit horse community in Shelbyville and Simpsonville contacted WLKY after the death of a popular show pony at Premier Stables.

According to the investigation, it appears two pit bulls mauled the pony to death.

"She raised them from pups. They've never been raised to fight or be mean," said George Tapp, the father of the dogs' owner. "They're good-natured dogs. There's no meanness in them at all."

Investigators said the dogs turned violent Friday evening.

The two pit bulls managed to get out of their cages and run next door to Premier Saddlebred Riding Stables, owned by Sarah and Rob Byers, one of the top names in the saddlebred industry.

They killed a barn cat and then focused on a well-known show pony.

"It shocked me, and how it happened and how they could've gotten into the barn," Tapp said.

Crystal Tapp, the owner of the dogs, declined comment at the advice of her attorney.

The Tapp family has owned the property next door for years.

George Tapp said the dogs never gave any indication of aggression toward horses. He has 18 horses on the property.

"We got some horses that a neighbor keeps over here and they've never bothered any of them. Nothing," Tapp said.

Parents who contacted WLKY said dozens of children learned to ride on the female pony, saying she was a superstar in their eyes.

The two pit bulls are being held in quarantine at the Shelby County Animal Shelter and it's their lives that are now in question.

At the advice of their attorney, the Byers also declined comment. The Tapp family said this is a horrible situation for all involved.

"Well sure I feel bad about it. I love animals," George Tapp said.

For those in the community who enjoy riding lessons at Premier Stables so much, they hope that the Byers family will be OK to continue.

As far as the Tapp family is concerned, they hope that their business with the Byers family will continue as well and they hope this issue can be resolved.

The Shelby County Animal Shelter remains closed until Tuesday.

It's still uncertain as to what will happen to the two quarantined pit bulls and who will make the final decision.

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