Owner’s anguish as stolen horse is found dead

A WOMAN was left distraught after her horse, which she hand-reared from a foal, was found dead in a ditch.

Owner Diane Knight told how the tragic discovery, in Welham Green, left her “devastated”.

The 22-year-old mare, called Annie, was stolen on March 7, from her paddock in Marshmoor Lane.

It was thought 14.1 hands-high Annie had drowned, but Ms Knight disputed the cause of death as there was no sign of struggle.

Ms Knight told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I still think it’s suspicious because she wouldn’t have gone where she was found.”

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She said Annie’s rug had been taken off and other horses had also been interfered with in a series of mysterious raids at stables in the village.

On March 2, we reported how intruders had been breaking into stables and stealing items of seemingly low value.

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Ms Knight said she saw a man in a field at midnight one night before Annie was taken, but she assumed he was ‘lamping’ foxes.

But she said she had seen “suspicious” people lurking around the area at night since and had started “suspecting anyone”.

She added: “I brought her up on the bottle because her mother wouldn’t have her.

“I’m just devastated really.

“She was 22 but she was perfectly healthy.”

While Annie was still missing, Ms Knight had commented on a web forum run by Horse & Hound to speak of her desperation to have her back.

But Annie’s body was found by a passer-by in a ditch, off Marshmoor Lane, just 100 yards from her field, on the afternoon of March 12.

Police are still investigating the theft and urged anyone with information to call them on 0845 33 00 222.

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