St Ives owners alerted to thieves by pony 'tag'
WARNINGS have been sent out to horse owners in the St Ives area after a pony was 'tagged' last week.
Abbie Rowe went to collect her daughter's pony from a field belonging to the Lower Bussow Livery Farm last Tuesday as the pony was being sold.
But as she went to get him, she noticed the mane was plaited with an intricate design.
Mrs Rowe said: "I immediately panicked because I knew such signs are used by horse thieves to mark out specific animals that can then be stolen.
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"I called the police and, with the owner of the livery farm, we quickly moved all 11 horses in that field to two other fields close to his house.
"My daughter's pony was an easy target – Draco's very small and could even be taken away in a van."
Since then, with the help of the Horsewatch scheme, laminated signs have been put up around the farm urging owners to be vigilant and take precautions for their animals' safety while extra chains and bolts have been purchased to make the fields and paddocks more secure.
Before the incident, two women, one in her late forties, the other in her late fifties, had been seen on two occasions in the field containing the horses.
PC Darren Saint stressed that no criminal act had taken place but added: "The aim of Horsewatch is to improve communications between members of the public and horse owners.
"The scheme is now up and running in the St Ives area as well as other places in the South West.
"There is no cause for alarm but if anyone sees anything suspicious, please do not hesitate to contact us on 101 or, if it is urgent, 999."