Two Sussex men have been found guilty of charges relating to the theft on loan of former racehorse Dr Cool.

Dr Cool, a retired Flat horse from the Canisbay Bloodstock stable, was loaned to 31-year-old Liam Cornford in March last year by Brian and Pam Tetley, who have retrained and rehomed horses for 25 years.

Cornford told the Tetleys he was going to use the 11-year-old bay gelding for riding club activities, but in May he sold Dr Cool to a horse dealer for £400.

He had not signed a loan agreement with the Tetleys.

In December, the couple found Dr Cool in a yard in Essex, where he was being kept by a woman who had bought him for £2,600 from another horse dealer.

Mr Tetley, who runs a horse transport business in Cranleigh, Surrey, said: “It was a 100-1 chance that a girl on the Essex yard saw one of our adverts asking for information on his whereabouts.”

On 8 May, Cornford was found guilty of theft and his partner Christopher Lazarus, 24, both of Cavalry Crescent, Eastbourne, of perverting the course of justice, at Guildford Crown Court.

Adrian Russell of Farnham Police CID said: “Lazarus had contacted a former stablelad of the Tetleys asking him to make a false statement to police that Dr Cool had been a gift to Cornford and Mrs Tetley had said she didn’t want him back.”

The pair will be sentenced on 5 June.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (21 May, ’09)