Owners of eight stolen horses from Christchurch are celebrating the return of two of them found dumped in a field less than two miles from where they were taken.
But the desperate search for the remaining six of Jo and Dan Everett’s missing miniature horses goes on while the couple also have to contend with ongoing break-ins to their farm off the Sixteen Foot.
Jo said she screamed and broke down in tears after being notified of the whereabouts of chestnut mare Salsa and her foal Falerie.
“It was very emotional, I just broke down. We straight away to collect them. They were in a field about a mile and a half away. They were very distressed, very dehydrated and very thin. They were also very clean which suggests they haven’t been out in the elements but have probably been kept in somewhere.
“When we brought them home last night Salsa gave a call and all the other animals who have been silent since the theft started calling back. It really was a celebration,” said Jo, who said mother and foal have done nothing but sleep since getting home.
But the joy of Salsa and Falarie’s return was marred by another intruder incident last night and Jo says the couple have been dealing with attempted break-ins every night since the eight horses were stolen last Wednesday night.
“Me and my husband are having to stand guard all night and all day, we have the police out every time, but they haven’t been able to catch anyone. Last night they searched the property but couldn’t find anyone, but we later found evidence of where they had been hiding.
“We are upping our security but it takes time to do that,” said Jo, who added she is being bombarded with possible sightings of the missing horses from all over the country.
“I am getting around 1,000 messages a day, we have had sightings in Manchester, Gatwick and all over the place. I am reading each and every message and trying to reply to them all but it is taking me a lot of time to do that, but I want people to have that personal touch and no that we are grateful.
“All I ask is if someone sees a horse they think is ours is take a picture and send it to us. We will know straight away, like we did when I saw the picture of Salsa last night.”
Jo added: “Just because Salsa and her foal were found close to home doesn’t mean the rest are still local. We have no reason to narrow the search, it really needs to continue nationwide. It could be that whoever had Salsa realised they had bought a stolen horse and drove her back here to dump her so she could be found. We just don’t know.”
Anyone who has any sightings or information about the theft of the remaining six who are described as: Kiri - a grey yearling; Barbie a Palamino yearling; Melikehim a four-week-old silver black colt; Kiss (Melikehim’s mum) a four-year-old silver coloured mare with white mane and tail; Promise a very rare but very elderly black and white overo painted mare with blue eyes (she is deaf and blind); and Farada a chocolate and white three month old foal with one blue and one brown eye. taken from her mum.