CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) - A mystery is brewing in a Chesapeake barn. Who is sneaking onto horse farms and cutting the tails off horses? One Chesapeake family wants to know.
It's a short but pleasant walk for Shane Hollar from his backyard to his barnyard. Horses are the main attraction on the farm, but to Shane and his wife they're more like family.
You better believe Hollar treats them like his own children.
"I have guilty feelings like I haven't been able to protect my family," Hollar said.
About a year ago around this time, he walked out to check on the horses in their stalls.
"It was obvious that somebody had been in our barn in the middle of the night," he explained.
He didn't see anything taken from the stalls, but then he looked close at one horse, Chloe. Most of her tail was missing.
"They cut hers all the way across," Hollar said.
It was the same thing with his horse, Matt. Then across the street he found out three other horses also had the hair cut off their tails. Hollar didn't know what to do.
"I slept a couple nights in my barn, the first time around," he said. "But you can't sleep in the barn your whole life."
So he bought security cameras and new locks. For a year, he had peace.
"That couldn't happen, they wouldn't come back again," he said he thought. "There's not much tail left."
Then this week, his wife woke up to see Chloe's tail-snipped again.
The hair cut back another foot. If you're wondering why anyone would take a horse's tail hair, it could surprise you.
"There's a big market for horse tail extensions," Hollar explained.
That's at least one reason to sneak into Hollar's barn. So now he's working on new security.
"How can I catch them? I thought of the old World War II trick of getting tin cans on a string," he said.
Like any parent protecting their children, he'll do whatever he has to do to keep his horses safe.
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