On Jan. 21, the horse's owner found Bender lying in a pasture on Old Homeplace Drive with a gunshot wound to its leg, deputies said. A veterinarian was summoned to euthanize the horse, NBC Washington's Derrick Ward reported.
"Over the years he just became a champion," said Kimberly Fullerton, the horse's owner. "He was national champion three times. He was world champion."
There have been other incidents involving horses in the area since 2008, deputies said. One horse was struck by another and one horse was struck by a paintball, according to the Sheriff's Office. A suspect was developed in one of those cases, but there was not enough evidence to charge the suspect.
Prior to those incidents, another horse, Ike, was shot on multiple occasions, Fullerton said.
While there is no evidence linking the incidents, deputies are investigating any connections.
A reward has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of suspects in the most recent incident, the Sheriff's Office said.