Nearly two dozen show horses at a North County equestrian ranch were poisoned by an unknown culprit, leaving the valuable animals in various stages of illness, a county official said today.
The proprietors of Rockridge Farm on Via de las Flores in Rancho Santa Fe discovered Thursday morning that someone had fed the horses leaves of oleander, a highly toxic plant, sometime during the previous night, said Lt. Dan DeSousa of the county Animal Services Department.
Veterinarians treated 23 horses at the ranch and took the three most seriously affected to an equine hospital, DeSousa said.
All of the animals were expected to survive.
The county agency took a report but found no witnesses to the crime or other solid clues about the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators.
"The investigation's come to a halt at this point," DeSousa said this afternoon.
The spokesman said he'd never heard of anyone intentionally poisoning horses with oleander in San Diego County.