DOWN by the creek, unable to move for days - that is how Rod and Dorothy Watters' beloved family horse Kakadu died, after being shot in the hip by an intruder sometime last weekend.
It is an incident that has left the Upper Clarence couple absolutely devastated, and determined to find whoever is responsible.
According to police, the shooting happened between 6pm on Sunday and noon on Tuesday, when Kakadu's body was found.
Richmond duty officer Inspector Suzie Johnston said it appeared that an unknown person, or persons, had entered the property on Deep Creek Rd, just north of Malabugilmah, and shot at least five bullets through windows of an unoccupied farmhouse. They then broke in through the front door and, while on the property, shot the Watters' horse.
Crime scene investigators have since attended and the RSPCA has been notified, Insp Johnston said.
Mr Watters has also offered a reward leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. He said the 27-year-old horse was deeply loved by his family, especially his grandchildren, who live overseas.
"We had him the whole time and he was a friendly old horse. He'd play with the kids and always come up to say hello," he said.
"He particularly liked carrots."
Kakadu also shared a special bond with his paddock mate, with whom he was inseparable.
"On Monday my wife realised something was wrong because she could see his companion standing in the middle of the paddock," Mr Watters said.
"We mounted a search on Tuesday and found him in the creek. The vet thinks it probably took two days for him to die.
"Anyone who shoots an old horse and leaves him to die, it's just unbelievable.
"What we need now is for someone to come forward."
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to phone Richmond police on 6626 0799 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.