A JOINT investigation has started after a horse died from a stab wound in what has been described as a "deliberate" attack.

Seven-year-old Tilly, owned by Michelle Steeples, was kept in fields near Broad Carr Road, Hoyland.

But on March 29 a passing walker noticed the mare "suffering greatly" having sustained a stab wound to the abdomen.

RSPCA inspector John Lawson said: "The police called us about this horse on Sunday morning after a dog walker discovered her and called them.

"When I arrived the owner was already there, and had called a vet to the scene.

"The poor horse, a very sweet small grey mare, was suffering greatly and was put to sleep on humane grounds.

"From local enquiries it seems whatever happened to her happened between 2.30am and the dog walker finding her at 6.40am.

"We would like anyone with any specific information to contact us on 0300 123 8018."