A Shetland pony who was stolen from Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire on 19 October has been reunited with her owner.

The nine-year-old mare was one of eight stolen from properties in Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire between 11 and 21 October. The Northamptonshire pony was also found after local enquiries.

In a bid to find her pony — Helawi Cotton Candy — Shelley Coates called all her contacts in the horse world and found one of them had been offered the pony.

A call from an anonymous man followed and he returned the pony to her in a lay-by near Borehamwood on Friday.

Garry Porter, chairman of the UK Horsewatch Alliance said: “Sadly the owner had to pay to recover the mare, the full details are not clear at the moment.

“The amount paid was many times the cost of a freeze brand, something that would have probably prevented the theft in the first place.

“It’s a simple choice really, mark the horse or risk losing it, together with all the heartache and panic a theft will bring you.”

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