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Heartbroken owner’s appeal after pony strangled in field

The heartbroken owner of a Shetland pony who was strangled  in her field said her companion was found pawing at her to try to wake her up.

Ten-year-old grey mare Rosie, who was used for pantomime work, was discovered dead by a passer-by at around 6am on Wednesday morning (22 May) with a cord around her neck.

“The cord was tight and we believe it was done on purpose. No locks were tampered with and it doesn’t look like anyone has tried to steal her,” said the pony’s owner Ian Lucken. “It is just an awful way for her to go.”

The 75-year-old, who runs Lands End Equestrian Centre near Twyford, said the other 14 ponies in the field at Stanlake Meadows were unharmed.

“Her companion was standing with her — when they pull the Cinderella coach for pantomimes they are paired off — and she was pawing at her trying to wake her up,” he said. “When they went to load her up to take her away she went mad round the trailer. It’s heartbreaking.”

Mr Lucken added that it was not the first time they had trouble at the field, which has footpaths running through it.

“About two years ago, there were kids riding the ponies and we had to go and report it. We even had videos of them doing it as someone had put them on Facebook,” he said.

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Over the years, ponies have been stolen twice, though later recovered, a horse has been chased into a ditch by a dog and fences have been cut causing a horse to get stuck in a quagmire.

“Its very difficult with the footpaths running through, you can’t stop people walking on them and if you try to speak to people, you get a lot of abuse,” he said. “We’ve never had anything as bad as this though.

“We just hope someone saw something or can tell us what happened.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman confirmed the force is investigating, and asked anyone with information to call 101, quoting reference 43190153329.

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