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Thieves steal 30-year-old Shetland pony from animal sanctuary

This is Eric, a 30-year-old Shetland pony, stolen from Dorney Animal Sanctuary in Lake End Road, Taplow.

Sanctuary staff noticed Eric missing when they went to check on him at 7am this morning and are desperate for him to be returned.

They are increasingly worried as he has a broken shoulder and needs regular medication. Eric's stable friend is also very distraught as they have been together for a long time.

Staff are desperate for Eric to be returned home Credit: Thames Valley Police

Staff and police believe that Eric was stolen between 1am and 7am.

Eric is approx 3ft, chestnut and white in colour and has a freeze marking on his back.

Anyone with information should call PCSO Kiffin on 101.


White horse gets make-over

The White horse at Uffington has been getting its annual make-over so that it can continue to be seen for miles around. It's a difficult task though, and this year a team of staff from the National Grid volunteered to help. Kate Bunkall has been to see how they got on.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Micro horse enjoys international fame

There aren't many one-month-olds who can claim to be internationally famous but a youngster from Tonbridge is exactly that.

But this infant is an American miniature horse who, when he was born, was one of the smallest in Britain at just 36cm tall. He's called "micro Dave" and we sent our own Dave along to meet him.

Reporter David Johns spoke to micro-Dave's owner Jen Baldwin-Murphy and groom Claire Murphy.

Health improves for emaciated horse found on hillside

An emaciated horse found on a dark Harlow hillside is getting stronger every day and an appeal to help her has already raised an amazing £8,200, with more than 480 people donating.

The RSPCA appealed for information after Lara, a red and white mare was found on the 14 April.

Laura was found tied up by a chain last month Credit: RSPCA

Lara was discovered just 40 miles from where Gizmo, the foal who was found dying by the side of the road in February, was found. She was tied up by a chain with every bone on her body visible in Canons Brook at 8pm.

Lara is thought to be around a year old and weighed 161 kilograms, less than half the weight she should have been. She was so weak when she was found that she couldn’t stand on her front legs and had collapsed.

She was rescued by the same team as Gizmo, which as well as the RSPCA included the police and a vet, vet nurse and yard manager from Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic in Halstead, where she has received the best of care ever since.

Lara gained 6.5kgs in 21 days and continues to gain weight* but her recovery hasn’t been without difficulties. She has had problems with very sore feet after her deformed and overgrown hooves had to be trimmed. Vets at first feared she had had laminitis which could have damaged her bones. However, this week X-rays revealed that Lara’s bones are fine and she is now able to walk without padded feet.

Lara and Gizmo’s stories are sadly not uncommon. The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses. The RSPCA alone has more than 600 horses in its care and receives more than 400 complaints relating to horse welfare every week.

Like Gizmo, a Facebook appeal concerning Lara has already received an overwhelming response with many people asking how they can help. Those wanting to donate towards Lara’s care should visit

Any surplus funds will be used for the rescue and treatment of other equines in a similar situation.

Anyone with any information about how Gizmo and Lara came to be dumped so callously like this should call 0300 123 8018.

Pork sausage was nearly half horse meat

A food import company has been prosecuted after a pork sausage product on sale at a Kent shop was found to contain 46% horse meat.

The case at Dartford Magistrates Court today was the result of a test purchase at the shop in Market Street by KCC Trading Standards in October last year. Tests were carried out at Kent Scientific Services and produced the results.

The subsequent investigation found that the product, a Lukanka Chumerna sausage, had been imported by Expo Foods Limited, based in London. The vacuum-packed food was manufactured in Bulgaria and was labelled as containing pork sausagemeat.

Despite the large media coverage concerning the presence of undeclared horse meat in various food products in January 2013, the company undertook no tests on the sampled product which was imported in September 2013.

The company pleaded guilty today at Dartford Magistrates Court to a charge under the Food Safety Act, that the product was not of the substance demanded. It was fined £5,000 and an award of £2,500 made towards council costs plus a £120 surcharge.


Horse dies in suspected deliberate attack

George the horse had to be put down after getting caught in an electric fence Credit: Sussex Police

A horse had to be put down after it became entangled in an electric fence to such an extent that its owners believe it was targeted in a deliberate act.

The horse, called George, was discovered in a field in Blackgate Lane, Pulborough, on Tuesday, September 9. It was lying on the ground with the electric fence line wrapped tightly several times around its left fore and hind legs. It was released, but the incident had caused irreparable injuries to both legs and George, sadly, had to be put to sleep a few days later.

"At first we thought it was just an unfortunate accident where George had got himself tangled up in the fence. However, the number of times that the fence line was wrapped around each foot aroused our suspicions and we called the police. Unfortunately, the line was so tight that it cut off circulation to both feet and the vet was unable to save them or ultimately, George."

– Zoe Walker, who runs Soul Equestrian at Scrase Farm

"There's no apparent reason why this horse or these stables should have been targeted in this isolated incident, but we would like to hear from anyone who has any information about the incident or who has experienced anything similar. Blackgate Lane is fairly remote, but were you around the area at any time from late afternoon or overnight on Monday, September 8 and if so die you see anything suspicious? If so, please email or call 101 quoting serial 1096 of 18/09."

– PC Jonny Walker

Warning after horse is rescued from bog

The horse got stuck in boggy ground in the New Forest Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Horse riders in Hampshire are being urged to stick to bridle paths after a horse got stuck in a bog and had to be rescued by firefighters.

Earlier this week a horse got stuck in boggy ground near Ibsley after the horse and its rider left a nearby bridle path.

Rescuers pull the horse to safety Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

The 12 year old 16 hand dressage horse lost its footing on the uneven terrain and sunk its legs into the bog.

Animal Rescue Specialist Jim Green, Officer in Charge of the incident said: ""Riders may feel that due to the recent good weather that going across forests and fields will be safe.

"However, given the rainfall experienced earlier this year, many areas are still heavily waterlogged and may be hazardous to horses and their owners."

Hampshire riding school burglary

A £12k car and specialist horse equipment has been stolen from a farm in East Hampshire.

Hampshire Police are looking into the burglary which took place between 9pm and 6.45am on Tuesday 1st April at Hewshott Farm.

The burglar is thought to have climbed through a window of the stables, between Liphook and Haslemere, where they removed keys to open storage containers full of equipment.

A John Deere HPX Gator 4x4 car worth £12,000 and a vast amount of horse tack was taken.

More than 28 leather saddles, from £300 to £3,000 were also taken, as the burglars used the stolen vehicle to transport the equipment across the fields towards the A3.

If anyone saw or heard anything at the farm or saw any vehicles on the A3 transporting the 4x4 vehicle and the tack please get in touch. The farm is in a rural location and the offender(s) have selected only the higher valued saddles and other items. This is detrimental to the riding school business as well as all the other riders at the stables who have had property stolen."

– Sarah Newman, WPC at Hampshire Police
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