Desperate search for Ringo

2014-05-05 00:00

GUCCI beat the odds to be born.

Born to an emaciated mother, his owners had not realised she was pregnant because she was so thin.

She was nursed and later gave birth to Gucci, who never grew to the expected size and always had a nervous disposition.

The horse was found drowned by fishermen in a dam in the Mondi Forest near Cedara, having been stolen, along with another horse, from the Silkwood Stables in Merrivale over the Easter weekend.

His owner, retired Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School principal Susan Allison, is heartbroken.

Art teacher Helen White, the owner of the still missing horse — Ringo Star — is convinced he is still alive and is desperate to find him.

Claire Hughes, of Silkwood Stables, is also not giving up the search.

“He was my horse at first, a gift from my husband Gareth. I sold him to Helen to buy my wedding dress. I cannot give up on him,” she said.

Of Gucci and his mother, White recalled that Allison had bought a neglected-looking horse from the Table Mountain area, with the aim of caring for it and nursing it back to health. White said the horse was so thin, they did not realise it was pregnant. Nevertheless Gucci was born and survived, thanks to Allison’s love and care.

However, he never grew fully and also had a nervous temperament that was only understood by Allison, who loved him unconditionally.

“I’m sure he was unable to endure the harsh treatment and was abandoned and that is how he died at the dam,” she said.

The popular former headmistress said that losing Gucci was like losing a child.

Both White and Allison are convinced that their horses were stolen to take part in the traditional “Easter bush races”.

Hughes is less convinced. She said both horses resembled ponies and would not have been much use as racers — “unless children were sent and they chose the wrong horses to steal”.

The last time the stables had a horse stolen over Easter was two years ago. That horse was a racer. It was later found in an neglected state and needed extensive treatment before recovering.

Police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley said the stock theft unit was investigating. He would not speculate on the reasons for the thefts.

Ringo is a dark bay with four white socks and a blaze of white down his nose. He has a brand on his left shoulder: SW14 or (Anomaka: SW14). A reward is offered for his safe return. Call Claire on 0724598263 or Bruce on 0836529788.

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