Derby

Horse 'annoyed' over theft of his tail

Horse
Image caption Pie, a retired racehorse, had his mane hair stolen about two years ago and now his tail hair has been stolen too

A horse-owner claims her animal was left "visibly annoyed" after his tail hair was hacked off and stolen.

Pie is among three horses to have had their tail hair removed in a spate of unusual thefts in Derbyshire.

Owner Jane Donaldson initially thought the hair was taken for a joke, but now think the thefts were for financial gain.

The most recent happened between 12 and 13 February, from the field in Mickley Lane in Stretton where the horses live.

'Nothing to swish'

Ms Donaldson, said she was so "furious and angry" at Pie's loss of his tail she could have cried.

"He's forever standing there swishing his tail and there's nothing left to swish, and you can tell he's annoyed about it," she said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Horsehair is used to make wigs for barristers

The 12-year-old retired racehorse also had his mane hair stolen about two years ago.

"I couldn't believe they had the nerve to come back a third time, well a fourth time actually," said Ms Donaldson.

Horsehair has many uses, including in wigs, upholstery, brushes and the bows of musical instruments.

Horses themselves use their tails to communicate and swat away flies.

Image caption Breeze previously had a "really full tail" that went nearly down to the ground

Alicia Johnson said she was very cross when the tail hair of her horses, Breeze and Poppy, was stolen.

Speaking about Breeze she said: "Usually it's a really full tail, it comes nearly down to the ground, it's a lovely long tail and now he's just got a couple of little straggly bits left.

"It will probably take two or three years before it gets back to the length that it was before they did this, so now come summer time they are left without their natural fly protection."

Derbyshire Police has asked anyone with information to contact them.

Image caption Poppy's tail will take two or three years to grow back to how it was before
Image copyright Reg Speller
Image caption Horsehair is also used for making jewellery, such as these strings of pearls

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