The owner of a horse whose tail was “hacked off” has warned others to be aware of and report suspicious activity.
Sara Roch-James, of Camrose near Haverfordwest in Wales, discovered her Welsh section D Homer’s tail had been cut from just below the dock some time between the 26 and 27 February.
Sara told H&H: “I went with my daughter to get the horses in and as I was walking behind Homer I said ‘oh my god’. My first thought was his tail had been caught on something but I had a good look round the field and couldn’t find anything. I think it was hacked off with scissors, I found one piece near the gate as if it had been dropped.”
The 14-year-old gelding was in the field with Sara’s mare Seren who wasn’t touched.
“Homer is a friendly old boy and had a beautiful thick, long tail. I spoke to a neighbour who owns horses and she mentioned people in showing use extensions to make tails look nicer and will buy hair on the internet but I had never heard of that before,” said Sara.
“It’s bizarre, you just wonder why it’s happened. I feel sorry for him – it’s going to take a long time to grow back and he won’t be able to swish the flies away in summer.”
Sara said the horses have been kept in at night since the incident.
“Thank goodness he wasn’t harmed – it would have been awful. I’ve always kept Homer in at nights to keep his weight down because he had laminitis in the past but it was 19C here and the field didn’t have too much grass so we left them out that night,” she said.
“I want to make people aware it happened. It’s really upsetting and was a shock to think someone was in with the horses. We have a smallholding and had a trailer stolen two years ago but have never had anything happen around livestock. People need to keep their security up, check on their horses as much as they can and report things.”
PCSO Jude Parr of Dyfed-Powys Police Pembrokeshire rural crime team, who attended the scene, told H&H the tail was “definitely” cut with scissors in a deliberate act.
The mare has sustained injuries
The gelding was found in a pool of blood, with the bulb and back of a foot missing
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
“I think someone possibly climbed over the gate which is visible from the road,” she said. “The horse had a flaxen tail which stood out a lot – I own horses including show cobs and Welsh cobs and I know what horses’ tails are worth to the showing world. It’s the only thing I can think of, it’s been cut off by someone on purpose to use for showing.
“It’s very odd, it’s a very quiet rural place. There is nothing to make us think children did it and there isn’t a problem with anti-social behaviour in the area. People should report things if they see anything suspicious.”
Anyone with information can contact Pembrokeshire rural crime team on 101.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.