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The owner of a carriage hire company is appealing for information after his matching pair of driving cobs were stolen last week.

Black cobs Max and Major were stolen from Any Occasion Carriages at Brook Farm, near Warmley in Bristol overnight on Monday 6 April.

Both horses were freeze-marked and microchipped.

14-year-old 14.2hh Major is marked DEB6 and eight-year-old 14.1hh Max with JJM1.

Owner John Myles is offering a substantial reward if the horses are found. The pair are used for driving and pull carriages at weddings, parties, shows and charity events.

Mr Myles found the pair were gone when he went to feed them on Tuesday morning.

He believes the thieves repositioned the CCTV cameras overlooking the main gate and the stable block with a long pole.

“They must have come in from the back and moved the cameras as no one was seen entering the yard,” he said.

“The cameras are 15/16ft up on a telegraph pole surrounded by brambles and they must have been moved by a scaffold pole or something as there were no ladder marks.

“I ran back to the house as soon as I knew they were gone to watch the CCTV and just ended up watching the sky and the clouds running past. The cameras had gone blank at about 10.30pm.

“I immediately called the police and the ferry port — who told me there had been a lorry load of horses left from Pembroke at 3am, but that they hadn’t checked the passports against each horse.”

Only Max and Major were taken out of the 22 horses on the yard.

“The thieves were definitely looking for them specifically — otherwise why would they bypass all the other horses and just take my matching pair?” said Mr Myles. “They left a pretty palomino, a 16.1hh Friesian, two riding ponies and a 15.1hh cob who were all in the same block.”

Mr Myles described both horses as friendly and “faultless under harness”.

“We’ve tried looking for them everywhere — I don’t know what to say. I can only sleep when I’m shattered,” added Mr Myles.

Major, who has a long flowing mane and tail, also has a liver problem and Mr Myles is worried about his welfare if he is not treated correctly.

“He could die if it’s not picked up in time,” he said.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: “Two horses were taken from a farm on Siston Road overnight between 6-7 April.

“It is thought they have been taken in a lorry and we are asking anyone who has seen anything suspicious or a lorry in the area to contact us on: 0845 4567000.”

“We would also direct people who have had horses stolen to go to our horsewatch page on our website: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/community_safety/horsewatch/index.aspx