‘It makes you feel sick’: thieves steal Shetland pony then dump him ‘hopping lame’

The owner of a pony who was stolen and dumped “hopping lame” a few miles away said she feels “violated” and does not feel safe keeping her ponies at her yard.

Rachael Colton, from Glasgow, saw a post on Facebook around 8.30am on 22 September about a pony who had been found on nearby greenbelt land and realised it was her eight-year-old Shetland Woody.

“I did a double-take when I saw the post and realised it was Woody,” Rachael told H&H.

“He’s kept with our donkey, Buzz, and we had been at the yard at 7pm the night before and everything was fine. There’s no way they can get out because there’s two locked gates.”

Rachael rushed to collect Woody, who was around three miles from her yard.

“When I got there he was at the same spot he had been found but I couldn’t get him out because of two staggered pedestrian gates. The person who found him came out of their house and helped me move some fencing to get him out and I had to walk him home using a dog lead as a makeshift headcollar,” she said.

“He was hopping lame and exhausted. I think someone had been riding him around.”

Rachael said she believes the people who stole Woody, who is still recovering from the incident, also tried to steal Buzz.

“The chain was missing from the gate and it had been left open. I think Buzz had refused to move and go with them,” she said.

“I have four ponies in a field at the yard and I think someone had been in with them. We have a generator and tools at the yard but nothing was taken.”

Rachael reported the incident to the police and moved Woody, Buzz and her other four ponies to a friend’s yard.

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“The yard had been our happy place for almost 20 years but I don’t know what we’ll do with it now, it’s sitting there empty. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve lost faith and I can’t keep the ponies there now that this has happened,” she said.

“We’ve always had chains and padlocks and warning signs around the yard for security. I feel violated knowing someone has been on our property – it makes you feel sick. Someone must know something and if it was kids I wonder if anyone has seen anything on social media. There’s some bad people out there and people need to be aware and vigilant.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland: “Officers have to date pursued all possible lines of enquiry but would welcome any further information that would help find those responsible. Anyone who can help should call 101, quoting incident 1477 of 22 September.”

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