The owner of Millie, who was stolen along with three other horses from a field in Peterborough, has been reunited with her cob thanks to the efforts of a family in Lincolnshire.
Pauline Barnes was at her local pub with the owners of the other stolen horses for a morale boosting drink on Monday evening (30 June) when she got the news she had been praying for.
“I was having a drink when my husband came in and said: ‘thought I might join you and by the way I know where Millie is’,” explains Pauline. The police had rung to say they thought they had located Millie.
“I simply couldn’t believe it,” she says. “I was just so relieved to hear that she had been found and it has really helped keep the others’ hopes up. I couldn’t wait to see her and made my husband drive up so we could make sure it was definitely her.”
The story of how Millie was found starts late in the evening on Tuesday 24 June when a horsebox stopped on the Lincoln bypass, just up the road from a farm in North Hykeham, Lincolnshire.
A tall, heavy-set man with an Irish accent and scarred face knocked on the door asking whether he could leave his horse at the farm for a couple of days as his lorry had broken down and he needed to get it fixed.
Because itwas getting dark, the owners of the farm agreed and Millie was lead off a green horse box, described as “having seen better days”. She was put in a spare paddock and the scarred man and his companion drove away.
It is though that no other horses were on the lorry, as there didn’t seem to be any movement inside and Millie didn’t call to anyone when she was lead away.
When nobody came to claim the mare, the farm owners began to get suspicious and, on the following Monday, they decided to try and trace Millie’s freezemark.
“They rang Farmkey and discovered who Millie was,” says Pauline. “To say Millie landed on her feet is an understatement: the people who she was left with were wonderful. They even brought her back to my yard for me, complete with a travelling companion.
“Millie doesn’t seem to be any the worse for her ordeal, although she seems to be missing the others. I just wish she could tell us what has happened.
“I think there are two reasons why Millie was dumped. One is she is freezemarked and the other is that she is quite difficult to handle – either way I am delighted to have her home!” says Pauline.