Kent Horsewatch is warning owners to be on their guard following a number of attempted and successful thefts in the north of the county.

One owner in the Maidstone and Malling area arrived at her yard last week to find all 11 of her horses in a make-shift corral.

It appears that despite the horses being freezemarked and microchipped someone had still tried to load them into a vehicle. However, the thieves are believed to have given up after either being disturbed or losing control of the horses.

Another owner, also from the Maidstone area, had a coloured mare stolen at the beginning of January, while in Sittingbourne a Shetland pony was stolen from a secure back garden.

A spokesperson for Kent Police said: “There are currently no leads following this latest incident, but if anyone does have any information we urge them to come forward.

“We have offered crime prevention advice such as lighting and alarming but the best way of deterring thieves is to permanently mark your property.”

This advice is echoed by Kent Horsewatch who say that anyone with a horse or pony should get it freezemarked.

“A permanent visual mark on your horse or pony is the best deterrent against theft,” explains a Horsewatch spokesperson.

If you have anyinformation regarding these or any other horse thefts then contact Crimestoppers free and in confidence (tel: 0800 555 111) or visit the UK Horsewatch website: www.ukhorsewatch.org.uk