Police are appealing for witnesses after horses at a Kent Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) centre had their tails cut and rugs stolen off their backs during the night.

The attack took place at the Arrow Riding Centre in Darenth, near Dartford, overnight on Sunday 5 October.

Staff noticed the thefts when they brought the horses in at 7am on Monday 6 October.

A 16.1hh horse called Hugo and a 15.3hh mare, Mia had both had their tails cut to the bone. Another two horses’ tails were also cut but not as badly.

Two 13hh ponies, Tuppence and Truffles, had their New Zealand rugs stolen.

The horses targeted were kept in three separate fields.

“Luckily they weren’t injured but it was very upsetting to find the horses with their tails cut and see them so stressed,” said Val Blake, the centre manager.

She reported the incident to Kent police and has now upped the security at the centre, checking all the horses late at night.

The centre has been running riding and carriage-driving sessions for disabled adults and children for more than 20 years.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them on 01474 366212 quoting reference XY/35523/14