Appeal for help in tracing sanctuary’s stolen horse

  • “Devastated” staff at a sanctuary from which a horse was stolen have appealed for help in finding her.

    Skewbald mare Heidi was taken from The Retreat in High Halden, Kent, between 15 and 16 June.

    The sanctuary’s horse manager Fredericka Durham has been looking for her ever since.

    It’s absolutely devastating,” she told H&H.

    “We may have 54 horses here but they’re all our horses, it’s the same as for someone who’s only got one or two.

    “Heidi had a 14-month-old foal, who was still feeding from her in the herd – it’s a sad state of affairs for her too. We certainly wouldn’t have whisked her mother away like that.”

    Ms Durham said Heidi, who is about 15-15.2hh and has distinctive markings, had been badly treated before she arrived at the sanctuary and “isn’t the nicest mare” to handle.


    I don’t want to think about what they would have had to do to catch her,” she said.

    She wouldn’t willingly have left her foal, she’d have objected to having a headcollar on, it wouldn’t have been as simple as walking up and catching her.

    “I feel awful as she was treated badly before she came here and she’s probably back with that sort of people, it’s horrific.”

    The Retreat suffered further bad luck last Saturday (25 June) when intruders broke into a building and left gates open, allowing 14 of the horses to escape on to the A28.

    A motorist who followed them managed to let them into a cricket ground and all were unhurt.

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    Ms Durham said: “It’s been tough.

    “I can’t think of anyone who would do things like this, people who clearly have no regard for any animal.

    “My horses have all had hard lives and some I’ll never be able to re-home. That includes Heidi, who doesn’t like people, and I don’t blame her. That’s why it’s so horrible she’s been taken.

    “I don’t want to know names or anything, I just want my horse back.”

    Anyone with information should call Kent Police on 101, quoting crime reference ZY/019949/16.

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