Ponies have tails cut off in mystery attack

Darren Cole with his Shetland ponies Twinkle (left) and Tinker Bell  that had their tails cut off in an overnight raid on the stables at Blackshaw Head

Darren Cole with his Shetland ponies Twinkle (left) and Tinker Bell that had their tails cut off in an overnight raid on the stables at Blackshaw Head

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A pet owner was left furious after discovering that someone had cut the tails off his two Shetland ponies in a mystery attack.

The “distressing” incident happened overnight on Friday, August 9, at Higher Blackshaw Farm, Blackshaw Head, and the ponies have now been moved for their protection.

While the tails of mother and daughter Tinker Bell and Twinkle were cut below the bone, meaning the animals were not left bleeding, the loss of the tails will have left the animals in discomfort.

Owner Darren Cole, from Cornholme, said: “I went up to see the ponies on the Saturday and a friend of mine who owns a farm thought I’d done it.

“He said ‘what have you cut the tails off the ponies like that for they look stupid now’ and I said I hadn’t so he ‘you had better come with me’ and he took me up to see the ponies.

“He didn’t phone me because he thought I had done it.

“I don’t know why someone would do this.

“They use the hair for violins and I’ve been told that cutting off the tail is done as a marker for someone to come back and steal them.

“That’s why I have moved them now.”

Darren, a mechanic at CN Trading, has had the ponies for about 10 years.

He said the culprit knew what they were doing to carry out the act without hurting the animals.

“There’s not really been a change in them,” he said.

“What I’ve got to do is keep an eye on them for flies because they use their tails for getting rid of them.

“If it comes to it and it gets too bad,

“I’d have to go down the road of getting a fake tail and get something to stick on while theirs is growing back.

“Horse owners do need to be aware of what’s happened and keep an eye on their own to make sure they don’t have the same thing done to them.”

PC Fiona Igo of the Upper Valley NPT said it was an unpleasant incident and urged any witnesses to contact the police.

“The loss of the tails will cause the animals distress as horses use them to swat away flies and insects.

“Officers are investigating whether the tails may have been cut off to sell on.

“Anyone who has information should contact us on 101 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.”