Horse found lying in ditch after allegedly being beaten with rope dies, accused abuser remains jailed

Published 11:16 am Sunday, September 12, 2021

A horse that Adams County Sheriff’s Office detectives found lying in a ditch on Lee Road in Natchez Wednesday died on Saturday evening as an animal abuse investigation continues.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten confirmed the horse had died after receiving critical veterinary care since Wednesday.

Karen Ewing, who represents ACSO on animal cases, said in an email Friday evening that she gave the horse the name Takoda.

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“While I’m awake and can’t stop thinking how much I always believe every animal needs a name. I’m naming him tonight. Takoda is going to be his name from now on. Maybe a beautiful Indian name will bring out his fighting spirit and the strength in him to keep him fighting to pull through this horrible abuse. Keep up the fight beautiful boy. We’re all praying and pulling for you,” she said.

ACSO arrested Lavelle Ikard, 24, for allegedly beating Takoda with a knotted rope and riding the animal until it collapsed on Wednesday on Lee Road near U.S. 61.

Ikard is charged with malicious injury to an animal and is being detained at the Adams County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Ikard told detectives he had ridden the horse between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. that day, starting from U.S. 84 at Highway 33 in Franklin County, and stopped only once and had not given the horse water.

Witnesses said they saw Ikard beating the horse around the face with a red rope with a knot in it as the horse lay on the ground.

“He said he was trying to get it to get back up,” ACSO Major Frank Smith said Friday, adding deputies observed numerous abrasions around the horse’s face and its eye was swollen shut. The horse’s temperature was also extremely high and it took several hours to try and cool it down, Smith said.