CANAAN — A 4-year-old appaloosa mare was dragged nearly half a mile after it was struck by a vehicle Wednesday, gutting the animal and leaving a trail of blood on Hubbard Road leading to nearby Route 23, owner Sierra Miner said.

“I’m devastated – I had to lose my best friend yesterday,” Miner, 21, said Thursday morning. The horse, named Lucy, was tethered at the end of a driveway when it was struck, she said.

The Maine State Police are searching for a tan or gold full-sized pickup truck that was seen by a neighbor on the road at about the time the horse was struck. There were no witnesses to the accident, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

If the truck was involved it likely will have front-end damage, McCausland said. He said any charges against the driver would be determined once police and the District Attorney’s Office have completed their investigation.

Trooper Jill Monahan, who is investigating the incident, confirmed that the horse was struck in Miner’s yard. She said there were hoof prints in the road indicating that the horse was running at one point before falling and being dragged.

The carcass was located on Route 23 still attached to a rope tethered to a concrete block, the trooper said.

Miner, who works at Ruby Tuesday’s in Waterville, said she received the horse as a gift about a year ago. She had tied the horse to cinder blocks at the end of her driveway while she took a shower. When she got out of the shower she found her phone “blowing up” with calls telling her the horse had been killed.

Miner said she “started running in disbelief – I didn’t believe it at all – there was no way that my horse was dead.”

“At first I didn’t see all the blood on the road because I was in a panic running to her. I get to the main road and I just see my horse’s insides dragged down the road. There was blood on my road and blood on the main road.”

The horse weighed about 1,000 pounds and stood about 5 feet tall, Miner said.

Hubbard Road is a dead end, with about 10 seasonal camps and homes. The mile-long dirt road curves sharply just before the Miner property. Miner said the vehicle must have swerved to where Lucy was grazing and hit her from behind.

“I really think it might have been an accident at first,” she said. “It looks like they swerved into my front yard, and the blocks got caught somehow. You could see how my horse tried to get away. She dug her back hooves trying to fight. I know that she was dragged.”

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Miner, along with her sister Liberty, 13, and cousin Tegan, 17, were out by the roadside Thursday morning with handmade signs expressing their love for Lucy.

“We’re going to put the signs up, so hopefully whoever did it will see that this horse meant something to all of us,” Miner said. “Lucy was my best friend. She was like my kid. She was just my world. All I worried about was taking care of her.”

Miner said she has received messages, texts and condolences from passers-by. On Thursday afternoon, a logging truck went past, then backed up so the driver could tell Miner how sorry he was.

“I think it’s disgusting that somebody would do something like that,” Jeff Lindsey of Albion said from the truck’s cab. “It’s deplorable. You feel a hole that can’t be replaced.”

Miner said her horse was tortured.

“I call it torture because not only did they hit her, she struggled, she fought,” Miner said. “They didn’t just hit her and leave her. They hit her and she got caught and they dragged her. She fought the whole time.”

Miner said a neighbor with a backhoe moved Lucy from Route 23 and opened a grave for the horse behind Miner’s grandparents home across the street. A photo taken by Miner’s aunt and posted on Facebook shows Miner hugging the horse before it was buried.

No one has come forward to claim responsibility for the incident. Police asked that anyone with information about the incident should call state police in Augusta at 624-7076.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at

[email protected]