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Horse shot in pasture in Scotts Bluff County

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A young horse woman, Kayellyn Hall, continues to mourn her retired rodeo horse and still seeks answers about his death. Finally on Dec. 7, she went public in the media to find out a few answers about the mystery surrounding J.K.’s death.

J.K. Tonto suffered a shooting in mid November that proved fatal to a horse. One of his shoulders had been shattered and that is a death sentence for a horse. The decision to euthanize J.K. was unavoidable.

According to Krisa Hall, Kayellyn’s mother, the family was away the weekend of the shooting at the Big Ten Rodeo Championships for a competition. The old horse remained at home in the pasture. When Kayellyn’s grandfather checked on the turned-out horses, he found J.K. standing off to the side - he did not come over. He was unable to walk.

Krisa Hall told the Star Herald,

J.K. couldn’t walk. We don’t know how long he stood there, in pain.

The Halls believe the horse was injured by hunters during the first weekend of deer-hunting season.

Mark Overman, sheriff of Scotts Bluff County, confirmed that the first week of deer hunting in the area near and surrounding the Halls’ ranch brings out countless hunters. It was a strong possibility that the horse was shot by accident. However, no one contacted the Halls to tell them a horse was injured. The family is well known in the area.

Kayellyn Hall owned J.K since she was seven. She remains grief-stricken and the mere thought that the horse had suffered adds heavily to her grief.

She told the Star Herald,

Rodeo is my life and he is the horse that got that started. He started that dream. ... I won my first belt buckle on him and I’ve been addicted ever since.

He will always be my favorite horse. I didn’t think that when I left for college, I’d never get to see him again. It is hard, not being able to say goodbye like I would have wanted.

J.K. was bred, born and raised on the Hall ranch and was only 15 years old.

Krisa Hall wishes that someone would speak up about what might have happed when J.K. was shot.

The Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office continues their investigation of the horse shooting and is seeking any tips. Information can be phoned to Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Department at 308-436-6667, or emailed/texted to Also, persons can phone the Scotts Bluff County Crime Stoppers and be eligible for a cash reward at 308-632-STOP (7867).

Source: Star Herald

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