Well-known horses stolen

STEPHEN PULLINGER A landau driver who has given rides to tourists on Yarmouth seafront for half a century has been left reeling by the theft of his three horses.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

A landau driver who has given rides to tourists on Yarmouth seafront for half a century has been left reeling by the theft of his three horses.

William Yaxley, 63, found that 12-year-old mares Spud and Dolly and 16-year-old gelding Hovis had gone when he went to their field next to the Acle Bridge Inn, Acle, on Christmas Eve.

Mr Yaxley, of nearby Martham, who began driving laundaus at 13, said: “The discovery completely wrecked my Christmas.

“I am very attached to the horses and driving the landau is my only income, but I won't be able to return to the seafront next year unless I get them back. It would cost me £9,000 to replace them.

“Even then I would need to find horses with a special temperament to cope with all the noise and distractions. I have one other young horse but he won't be ready to do the job next year.

Most Read

“Everyone knows the horses round Yarmouth because they have worked on the seafront most of their lives”

A farmer has told Mr Yaxley that he saw the horses being loaded into a grey, side-loading horse box lorry with a red stripe on the side last Saturday. Mr Yaxley said: “The farmer said he was parked half on the verge and half on the road and there are some tyre marks left behind. The access is right by the Bridge Inn, and that is a busy road, so someone must have seen something between 10.30am and 1.30pm.”

The thieves removed pins from the gates to enter the field where the horses are wintered from September to April. There is shelter and water available, so they are not checked every day.

Dolly has a scar from the top of her mane to the bottom of her neck, from an accident as a foal. Both Spud and Hovis have the hair above their hoofs cut off to stop them getting muddy.

Norfolk police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the horses being loaded or the lorry being driven off or who may know where the horses are. Contact PC Paul Fox at Acle Police Station on 0845-4564567.

A black and white horse was stolen from a field off Rectory Lane, Hedenham, near Bungay, between noon on Christmas Eve and 11am on Boxing Day.

Anyone with information can call Norfolk police on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.