The owners of three coloured horses stolen in Leicestershire are appealing for more information after they disappeared from their field last week.

Whinny (pictured top), Philip (middle) and Zodiac (bottom) were taken some time between the evening of Thursday (20 February) and the following morning. The horses were kept in a field along with eight others off Empress Road in Loughborough, but it appears that the thieves were only interested in the coloured horses.

Thieves ripped a gate off its hinges in order to get the animals out – it is believed that the horses were then led up a dead end road where they were loaded up into an trailer and driven away.

The three horses were then spotted at Cambridge Horse Sales at around 1pm on Friday 21 February.

Whinny, a five-year-old, 14.1hh skewbald roan mare and Philip, an eight-year-old 15hh piebald gelding both belong to Tina Hicks, a 19-year-old cashier from Loughborough.

“When I found out they had been stolen, I was totally shocked,” she said. ” I still went looking and calling for them even though I knew they were gone.

“All three horses were really friendly – too friendly in fact. In my heart I’m hoping they are still together, Whinny and Philip have been together for morethan three years and I hate to think of them being separated.”

Zodiac, a four-year-old 15hh Appaloosa gelding belongs to Mel Sunderland, who said:”Zodiac’s winter coat means he looks more like a fleabitten grey and he hasn’t wintered very well so has dropped quite a lot of weight.

“I would ask everyone to check any new horses that they see arriving on their yard or in their area to make sure they are not ours.”

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “This theft is unusual as there are not many horses in the Loughborough area – we have had reports of tack stolen, but as far as I am aware no other reports of horses being stolen.”

Wendy Peckham from the BHS said:” In recent years, coloured horses have had a change of image. They used to be regarded as gypsy ponies, but in the past few years their success as competition horses has seen an increase in their popularity both in breeding and ownership terms.”

Anyone with any information on these missing horses should contact PC Gareth Palister at Leicestershire Police (tel: 0116 2222222) or Horsewatch (tel: 07947 377751 or email Tina at katdogkat@hotmail.com