Police are appealing for witnesses after a horse was stabbed to death between 9:30pm Friday 13 July and 8:30am the following day in Chesterton, near Newcastle-Under-Lyme in Staffordshire.

The horse, Sandy, a 13-year-old dun mare, was found by her owner with two stab wounds.

The RSPCA were called to the scene. Inspector Shane Sheridan said: “This was a horrific attack on what was a very friendly pony. Evidence suggests that she didn’t die instantly so in all probability suffered horrendously.”

John Hughes of Staffordshire Police confirmed that an investigation was underway “in cohesion with animal welfare charities”. Forensic tests had been conducted at the scene of the crime.

If you have any information, call the RSPCA (tel: 0870 5555 999) or Staffordshire Police (tel: 08453 302010).