Harassment? Or Horsing Around?

Midwest lawsuit claims one horse got too friendly with another.

BySCOTT MICHELS

June 19, 2007 — -- Everyone's heard of harassment in the boardroom.

But in the barnyard?

An Illinois woman whose mare allegedly kicked and killed another horse says in court papers that her horse was only fending off some unwanted touching.

Ruth Kay, of Bartlett, Ill., said in court papers that a gelding named Vinny violated her mare's "personal and private space" by resting his head on the mare's rear end, a common romantic come-on among horses.

The mare, named Gabby, kicked Vinny, eventually killing him, according to a lawsuit filed last year by Vinny's owner, Collette Sorensen.

Sorensen, who lives in Chicago, sued Kay and the stable that boarded the two horses for $50,000, saying Kay knew that her horse had a "violent and unmanageable" disposition and that the two horses should not have been allowed near each other.

Gabby "kicked, bit and otherwise battered" Vinny, the lawsuit says.

Kay and the stable's owner, Rita Hankins, declined to comment Monday. Kay's attorney also declined to comment. Attorneys for Sorensen and Hankins did not return calls seeking comment.

The lawsuit claims that Kay took her horse to a private area that was supposed to be reserved for Sorensen's steed. Kay's attorneys also claim that Vinny's death was caused by a separate injury that occurred 13 days after the kick.

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