Heartbreak after girl, 7, finds pregnant horse dead with broken leg after 'deliberate attack'

  • ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins spoke to Lauren who says she's devastated

The mother of a seven-year-old girl has described the moment her daughter found their pregnant horse dead in a field, covered in blood with a broken leg.

Lauren Stapsted received a call on Monday morning (16 May) telling her that her three horses were on the loose.

She rushed to the stables to find both gates at St Francis Fields in Northiam open, with the horses nowhere to be seen.

The family immediately began searching the surrounding area, which is when they made the shocking discovery.

Lauren said: "My daughter Bella started screaming, 'mummy mummy mummy', and I said 'what's wrong' and well she couldn't even say, so I just ran and then came round the corner and then Alice was there with about six inches of bone sticking out of her leg, obviously dead.

"She obviously struggled a lot and there was a fair bit of blood and she'd dug a hole as she'd obviously gone into labour because stress would have made her."

Lauren says her horse Alice was the "sweetest, kindest mare". Credit: Lauren Stapsted

Lauren fears the horse was attacked deliberately.

She said: "The fact that her head collar and lead rope has been taken, the other ones they've ditched in the field but her head collar and lead rope has totally gone so they've obviously taken that with them."

The other two horses were found nearby in good condition.

Alice was a former show jumper, then a breed mare. Lauren says she was a gentle horse who was part of the family.

She said: "I went out every day and we had cuddles and she was the sweetest, kindest mare and the only horse on this site that would have let anyone anywhere near her. It's just heartbreaking.

Lauren's other two horses were found in a good condition. Credit: Lauren Stapsted

"Intentionally they've hidden her around the corner and she's been left there to suffer. I'd rather she was stolen."

Sussex Police's rural crime team are investigating and would like to hear from anyone with information or dashcam footage of the area at the time of the incident.

Information can be reported to the police on 101, quoting crime number 47220087627.