Police have appealed for witnesses after a 34-year-old horse was left trapped in a barbed wire fence during a theft that went wrong.
Lisa Parrish found her 15.1hh gelding Kori missing from his box on the morning of Sunday, 5 January and searched the borders of her family riding school in Wrexham to see if she could find any trace of him.
She said she had walked three-quarters of the perimeter of the property when she discovered her former Pony Club horse, whom she has owned for 27 years, stuck on his side in a barbed wire fence.
“When I got to that section, I went to look into the land beyond that belongs to the farmer and that’s when I spotted him — if I hadn’t, he would still be there,” Lisa said.
“They had led him over the top of our muck heap, which is positioned there so the farmer can access it easily, and as he has come down the other side — because it’s steep and boggy and because of his age — he has fallen and got stuck and they haven’t been able to get him up.”
Lisa said her immediate thought was that she was not going to be able to get Kori to his feet again and would lose him.
“I phoned the police and the vet and called another person on the yard to bring wire cutters,” she said. “He had been propped up on a post but when we cut the wire away from his head he just laid down flat and I thought that would be it.
“But once we cut the wire away from his legs and put a headcollar on him, he had some fight in him and managed to struggle to his feet.”
The vet was concerned about Kori suffering serious side effects from muscle damage and his temperature had also dipped to a worrying sub-35 degrees.
Fortunately, he has managed to make a good recovery in the days following his ordeal and sustained only minor injuries.
“He was so, so lucky,” said Lisa, a riding instructor. “He had a cut to his offside fore heel and then a cut on the edge of his eyelid from the barbed wire. There were also some minor scratches to his eyeball that the vet could see when they put the dye in. He has come through it all like a trooper.”
In the unusual theft attempt, Kori had been taken through multiple shut gates to get him off the yard, including removing one from its hinges, and had been led using a tool strap attached to the chest of his rug.
“He’s not worth any money and hasn’t been ridden in eight years because of his age — he is very much a family member and deserves his retirement,” Lisa said. “The only reason we can think that they targeted him to steal was because he is one of the smaller ones we own and the quietest.”
“It makes you wonder what goes through people’s minds, it’s utterly heartless,” she added. “He has been here for 27 years and with his field partner for 24. She was very stressed the next day, even once we had brought him back, and kept looking in the direction they had taken him.
“It’s unbelievable that they just left him there like that.”
The incident was one of a spate of recent rural crimes in the surrounding area, which have included another elderly horse being removed from its field and found in the road in a neighbouring town.
Lisa said the riding school has now stepped up its security and she had posted on social media to warn local horse owners to be vigilant.
Smarty’s owner has thanked all those who shared her appeal
‘It was like a razor blade had just cut half her foot off’
A spokesman for North Wales police confirmed the force had received reports of an attempted theft of a horse, at 9.38am on Sunday, 5 January at Legacy Riding Centre in Wrexham.
“The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should get in touch by calling 101 quoting reference Y002024,” the spokesman said.
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on HorseandHound.co.uk completely ad-free