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Pet Theft Awareness

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Case Studies - Horses

All these horses have owners who desperately want them returned. Please share this page with others. If you recognise any of the horses, please see contact the stolen horse register on 0870 870 7107 or email



"I will never forgot the early morning phone call that changed our family life or the shock and strange panic in my mother's voice immediately afterwards, saying: "THE HORSES HAVE BEEN STOLEN..."

At the time the teenage owner of Ballymoss and her family where among the first wave of horse theft victims that was emerging in Britain in the 1980s, and which has been continuing to this current day.

Ballymoss (known as "Mossy") was a chestnut thoroughbred gelding that was stolen from his stable in 1981, and is still greatly missed by them today.

His owners were an ordinary, hard-working family doing their best to care for him and he was a much-loved member of the family who was their pride and joy and the centre of their world.

Mossy was kept with several other owners' horses at a secluded yard and field off a quiet country lane unattended at night. Like most people at the time, horse theft had hardly been heard of, especially in the county of Hertfordshire in the south of England. Even so, padlocks were attached to all the heavy doors and the yard's large front gate during the night, with the family's father driving by the stables at evening time to check on the horses. Unknown to the family - the place was being watched, and the organised thieves had learned of this routine.

Mossy was stolen one night, along with 3 other thoroughbred horses from the stables. The padlocks were broken and forced open. The family notified the police immediately of the crime, and the theft of the horses was publicised in the local newspapers and then notices were placed and flyers sent out wherever possible. The mother of the family contacted auctioneers and even slaughterhouses and abattoirs for any information.Ballymoss

At this time there was no horse passport system or stolen horse register, or the wealth of communication methods we have available to us today so getting the word out was difficult. Even though a long time has passed, no certain information ever arose on the theft or whereabouts of Mossy, leaving the family with a ream of questions, an indescribable feeling of continual loss and a lasting impact of violation.

More information about Mossy can be found by visiting this page on


Stolen on Loan! Pet Theft would like to highlight a prominent problem of horses being sold on/stolen and missing whilst on loan. We’ve even heard of horses being loaned only to be sold for slaughter.

Loaning is common with horses as owners might outgrow their horse but they want it to be ridden but they still want to retain ownership. If you are loaning please take as much legal advice as you can and research whoever you are loaning to. Make certain that whoever you loan your horse to understands fully that anything they do which concerns YOUR horse must be done so in writing. Make sure they are aware that even changing stables or fields will be subject to your permission.


Stolen: 18/12/2012

From: Llanharry


Notes: Corky, a 19 year old 16.2hh bright chestnut thoroughbred gelding, was out on loan to a loanee in Llanharry. The loanee sold Corky without the owner knowing a month later. Understandably Corky's owner is very upset.

The loanee has not hidden the fact that they sold Corky to someone in Carmarthen way. Corky has been reported to the police as stolen and is listed on the Stolen Horse Register. Corky is an 18 year old French ex racehorse (he has a French passport). He suffers with severe mud fever.

Corky has Weatherbeet scarring on his rump, old overreach scar on offsite front bulb, nearside bottom of shoulder two round scars and they are horizontal to each other, white hairs on his withers from old rug rub. Offside back by his hock he has a line scar. Very worn down peg like front teeth. If unclipped he has two whorls on each side of his cheek bones (this horse hates being clipped). He may well be lame due to past ligament damage and recurring lymphangitis. When in the stable he tends to lean over the door very low as if asleep. Very good to catch and to handle, very well mannered.

More detail Corky can be found here: Tracing Equines Forum

Heidi (now recovered!)


Stolen: 14/05/2009

From: Glinton, Peterborough

Gender: Mare

Notes: Bright Bay (Irish Draught x Cob) Height: 163cm (16 hh) White Markings: Star, Blaze to Fleshmarked Muzzle. Right white hind sock and a small white half an oval of white hair towards the front of her left hoof. Age - 12 years old in 2009.

Heidi was stolen from her field in Glinton. It is believed she was taken in a horse box or trailer.

Heidi needs specialist back treatment and must not be ridden. She has a very distinctive blaze which may have been obscured by dye or altered slightly. She may also have a different name now. Heidi may have been in foal at the time.

As with all other owners who have had to deal with this terrible type of situation, Heidi's owners searched extensively for Heidi but without success in finding her. They also set up a Facebook search page for her (details below). They told Pet Theft Awareness that they didn't know their horse could 'just disappear' and that although they still desperately need to know where she is and that she is ok, they have had to 'get on with their lives' but that 'it doesn't go away.' Heidi's owner also said: "I miss her dearly I just want to know she is happy and safe I know one day I will get her home".

Heidi has been recovered!

Tip Toe Sooty

Tip Toe Sooty

Stolen: 18/01/2014

From: Rownhams, Hampshire

Gender: Colt

Notes: Small, Black, 6 months old

Chip/Freezemark: 826038NFEQ04557