Megan Flamer’s young Arabian horse brought a bit of enchantment to the Cheney Middle School student’s life.
That’s how the the brown mare got her name, Fantasia.
“I just got this feeling the first time I saw her,” said Flamer, 12. “She was magic.”
The spell was shattered early Saturday, when Megan’s grandfather discovered Fantasia bleeding from a gaping wound in her left shoulder.
It was a bullet wound. Spokane County sheriff’s deputies said it was no mistake, either. Someone took aim at the registered horse, valued at $10,000, and fired a round at it from a high-powered rifle.
Deputy Ron Hudson described the shooting as “malicious mischief” in his report.
“That means it wasn’t an accident,” sheriff’s spokesman Lt. David Wiyrick said. “That means intent.”
It’s a conclusion Megan’s family has trouble believing.
“It’s taken me a while to accept the fact that someone actually shot this horse,” said Bruce Snow, who found Fantasia limping in the barnyard next to his Four Lakes rancher.
“I kept looking around for some other explanation, hoping it wasn’t true. But it was. It’s awful.”
Snow and his wife, Mary Ann, dressed the wound and called a veterinarian, who applied an anesthetic and hoped Fantasia’s front left leg would heal. For two days, the couple cleaned and medicated the wound.
“She just let us do what we had to do,” Mary Ann Snow said. “She put her head on (Bruce’s) shoulder and was very still and good for us. A perfect lady.”
On Tuesday, another veterinarian examined Fantasia and determined her humerus bone was fractured into tiny pieces. The doctor also told Megan and the Snows that the horse was in pain and likely wouldn’t heal properly.
There was no other choice, Mary Ann Snow said. Fantasia was put down with an injection that stopped her heart.
“She was the sweetest, nicest horse we have,” Mary Ann Snow said. “She loved people.”
At first, the Snows said they thought a hunter accidentally shot Fantasia as she stood in the barnyard with several other of the family’s horses. Hunters often come around the Snow’s property to shoot ducks at a nearby pond, they said.
But hunters use shotguns to kill birds, they were told. Fantasia’s wound was from a single bullet.
“We don’t know what direction it came from or anything,” Mary Ann Snow said. “We just hope they know what they did, what pain they’ve caused.”
Megan’s mother, Heather Flamer, is a horse trainer who bought Fantasia for her daughter two years ago. A white dapple marking along the horse’s nose prompted her former owners to call her Pigeon Poop - a name Megan quickly tossed out.
“She was much better than that,” she said, noting that Fantasia has ancestors who are noted for famous performances in national Arabian shows.
Around home, Megan said her sweet horse was known for something else.
“She gave me kisses,” the seventh-grader boasted. “Good ones.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo