A £500 reward has been offered for information leading to the safe return of a pony missing from an equine welfare group based in Devon.
Fourteen-year-old Jeremy — who has been with People4ponies since he was a foal — disappeared from a nature reserve on the Devon/Cornwall border on 27 March.
The part-bred Exmoor had been moved to the site on the Saturday evening, but vanished sometime between 6pm and 3pm the following day.
Faye Stacey, head of People4ponies, said: “We are all devastated that Jeremy has disappeared. What is so strange is that there is no trace of him anywhere — it looks very much as if he has been taken.
“If he has indeed been stolen, he may no longer be in the area. He may have even been sold on. We are all extremely concerned for his welfare and continue to ask for the public’s help in finding him.”
Jeremy, who is described as light bay and around 12hh, had been living with a family since 2013 but they had to return him to the charity when they were forced to move house.
“We’ve got a nature reserve site half an hour away from where they live and we thought that if he went there, he’d be with other ponies he’d grown up with and they could still come and visit him,” Faye explained.
“On the Saturday we loaded him up and took him to the reserve. We stayed with him all afternoon while he met his friends again and left him happily grazing just before 6pm.
“Sometime between then and 3pm the next day, he completely disappeared. We have searched everywhere for him and the most worrying thing is that there hasn’t been a single sighting. All we know is that he is definitely no longer at the site.”
As well as sending out four search parties for seven hours — including with dogs and on horseback — the charity have also leafleted local farmers and schools, as well as contacting the fire and rescue service and the coast guard.
“He was more tame than the other ponies at the site, so we think it is possible someone could have caught him and taken him out,” Faye said.
“One of our supporters has generously offered a £500 reward for information leading to the safe return of Jeremy in the hope that it might prompt someone to come forward with information. If someone does think they saw something, or think they have seen a pony matching Jeremy’s description we would ask them to get in touch.”
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Jeremy originally arrived at the charity with his “traumatised” mother as part of a herd and has since been out to several loan homes as a ridden pony.
The little bay had been stolen while on loan on a previous occasion — but was reunited with the charity when the family that bought him saw an appeal on social media.
“We’re hoping that the more people share this and get the word out there that we can find him,” Faye added.
Anyone wishing to share information or sightings of Jeremy anonymously can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They can also report information by calling Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 and quoting crime reference number CR022583/17; or by contacting People4ponies directly on 07968 071179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.