SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The search for a horse in Suffolk that went missing Sunday is now over.
Diana Klink with Suffolk Animal Control said that the horse, Bella, was found around 6 p.m. Wednesday off of a gravel road between Greenway Road and Carolina Road.
Bella disappeared after she threw her rider and galloped into a rural wooded area near Greenway Road and Cypress Chapel Road. Officials believe Bella was spooked by a golf cart.
Klink said officers and other volunteers were searching for the 13-year-old horse in the Whaleyville area. Officers were told about the missing horse Tuesday.
Riders from the "Easy Does It Ranch" in Virginia Beach joined the search on foot and on horseback.
"We took as many paths as we could push ‘em through," said Malinda Scott from Easy Does It Ranch. "We probably went places most people have never been before because there were no horse tracks."
Unless you know what it's like to own a horse, it is an animal that most would consider as simply live-stock. For Bella's owner, Donijo Atkins, this horse is much more.
"It's a family member. It's very, it's very upsetting," said Atkins during the search. "She's out there and she doesn't know where she's at, and she's probably either hung-up or you know, I'd hate to think of her as injured."
A friend of one of riders in the search party, Kevin Wright, went for a walk, and came across Bella in the woods.
"I got a good look and saw Bella's white face, so I walked in and, trying not to scare her, brought treats with me and she came right up to me," said Wright.
"Nothing was broken, she doesn't' seem to be injured, and she came back with everything that she had on her," said Atkins. "Now she's home and I'm a happy person."
Other than numerous ticks found on Bella, she's completely fine.
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