A family southwest of Edmonton is pleading for the safe return of their horses they say were stolen right from their yard.
John Cameron lives on a ranch in Wetaskiwin County, between Buck Lake and Winfield along Highway 13, where six of his family’s horses went missing.
The family said the horses were stolen sometime between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Thursday.
The horses are worth close to $100,000 —but for the family, the value goes beyond monetary.
Cameron’s daughter, Cornelia, discovered the horses were missing. The 17-year-old said she is heartbroken and could not hold back tears as she spoke to Global News about the loss.
“After school, I went back to check on them and I noticed the lock on the gate wasn’t adjusted completely right and there were tire tracks. So I went into the pen, and I counted them and we were missing six horses,” she said.
One of the missing animals is Cornelia’s show-jumping horse, which she described as “one-of-a-kind.”
“The one thing that crossed my mind when I first saw they were stolen was, ‘Am I ever going to see him again?’ My horse is among them, so that was really hard.” she said.
Another missing animal is her sister’s childhood pony and some of the others have been with the family for over 10 years.
Cornelia Cameron said she could see tire tracks backed right up to the gate and a pile of oats could be seen on the ground, suggesting the feed was used to draw the animals in.
“The one horse that was stolen is a Hanoverian jumper gelding off of a stallion from Spruce Meadows. So he is very valuable with all the training he has had as well,” Cornelia said.
She said the horses could be seen from the highway so she isn’t surprised something like this happened.
“I was shocked and heartbroken, but some of these horses are so valuable and it was right off the highway as well.
“I am appalled someone would do this and I never expected it would happen to us, but we hear of this stuff happening all of the time and just our luck it happened to us. “
The family has notified a brand inspector, and Cornelia said they will hopefully forward the information to other auction markets.
Cornelia also posted about the theft on Facebook Thursday night, and the post was shared over 1,600 times as of early Friday morning.
Below are descriptions of the stolen horses and their names:
- Socorro – 2006 all grey Hanoverian gelding, at least 16.3 hands high, Hanoverian brand on back left hip, scar on back right leg
- Peppy – 2001 red dun Quarter Horse gelding, white blaze on face, around 14.2 hands high, brand on front left shoulder
- Willard – 2001 red roan Quarter Horse gelding, around 16 hands high, brand on front left shoulder, wide white blaze on face, three white stockings – front right and both back legs
- Solstice – 2009 chestnut Hanoverian mare, around 16 hands high, four white socks, half stripe and star on face
- Buddy – 2010 all grey Quarter Horse gelding, around 15 hands high
- Zorro – 2008 bay Quarter Horse gelding, his back left leg has a scar, around 14.2 hands high
Breton RCMP confirmed it is investigating the incident.
“It’s a bit unusual. I don’t think it’s something we see very often,” RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said. “These horses are like family to their owners.
“They are devastated by this. It’s our hope that they can be returned safe and sound as soon as possible.”
Since it happened near Highway 13, Peters is hopeful someone might have seen something that will help RCMP in their investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Breton RCMP at 780-696-3502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Buck Lake is about 140 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.