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Five horses missing from Pistol Creek area

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RONAN — A Ronan family is hoping for the safe return of five young horses after they disappeared without a trace from a herd of a dozen on a Pistol Creek tribal grazing lease area. 

Victoria Templer said she and her family moved the 12 horses to the area on Sept. 19. The family was out of town for a few days and returned on Sept. 30 to find every horse that was not branded or marked with a distinguishable scar was gone. The family left hay for the horses for a couple of days, hoping to lure them to the front of the heavily wooded 120-acre lease land. When there was no response to the hay, the family spent the weekend riding the entire area. 

“I kind of thought maybe a grizzly bear had knocked down the fence and they had gotten into another pasture or something,” Templer said. 

But the fence was not broken. Neighbors told Templer they had not seen the horses or suspicious activity in the area. 

On Oct. 7 Templer reported the horses as missing to tribal and county authorities. 

There are tire marks in the area, but those will likely not be of assistance to police investigating the case because the land is open to tribal members who can collect firewood on the property. 

Templer’s one hope is that the horses were kept together, so people might recognize them in a group. The horses are between five and seven years old and unbranded. Of the five, the two most distinguishable are a paint horse and a black Arabian with a broken shoulder. 

“If someone puts a heavy rider on him, he won’t last long,” Templer said. “Unfortunately when people don’t see value in something they often dispose of it. My fear is that people are cruel and they won’t see value in him. We did.”

Information about the horses’ whereabouts can be directed to Tribal Police or the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Photos of some of the missing horses area available to view at

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