Urgent appeal launched after rescue pony stolen

  • An urgent appeal has been launched after a companion pony belonging to the Horse & Pony Protection Association (HAPPA) was stolen from her field.

    Lottie, a 12.2hh bay Welsh mare with a distinctive snip on her nose, was stolen from her borrower’s home at Amberswood Common, Wigan, on Thursday (4 June). The mare, who is microchipped, had been grazing with two other ponies, who were not taken.

    Amanda Berry, head of equine operations at HAPPA, told H&H Lottie’s borrower last saw the mare when she left for work on Thursday morning and discovered her missing on her return around 5pm.

    Lottie on the right

    “Her borrower is absolutely devastated – we all are,” Amanda said.

    “She was in a secure field and the fencing appears to have been cut. If she’d escaped the others would have followed, a pony doesn’t just leave her friends.”

    Amanda said a possible sighting was reported on Snapchat on Thursday lunchtime of a bay pony loose on land near Hemfield Road – a few minutes away from where she was taken – but there have been no further sightings.

    “People have been searching for her day and night. There has been a drone looking for her and riders in the area have been helping too,” said Amanda.

    “The worry is if she’s being hidden away somewhere. Lottie isn’t a suitable children’s pony and she can’t be ridden – we don’t want to think about what’s happening to her, we’re all frantic.”

    Lottie was reported stolen to Greater Manchester Police and a post on HAPPA’s Facebook page has been shared more than 8,000 times.

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    “We’ve been speaking with the Blue Cross after the pony, Basil, was stolen from his borrower in Gloucestershire and found 11 days later. They’ve told us to hang in there and keep making her too hot to handle,” said Amanda.

    “We have alerted the National Equine Welfare Council, and their members such as World Horse Welfare and Redwings have been sharing Lottie’s information too. Everyone is pulling together and helping to get her picture out there. We just need her found and brought home safe.”

    Anyone with information on Lottie is urged to contact HAPPA’s equine inspector Tracy Keaton on 07736 040978, or contact police on 101, reference 2544/0406.

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