Cruel attackers target ponies in Hebden Bridge and cut off their tails

Darren Cole with Shetland ponies Tinkerbell and Twinkle

Darren Cole with Shetland ponies Tinkerbell and Twinkle

The owner of two Shetland ponies has spoken of his fury after their tails were cruelly cut off by an attacker.

The incident is thought to have happened last Wednesday or Thursday on Horsehold Lane, Hebden Bridge, where Tinkerbell and Twinkle are kept.

Darren Cole with his Shetland Ponies Tinkerbell and Twinkle whos tails have been stolen.

Darren Cole with his Shetland Ponies Tinkerbell and Twinkle whos tails have been stolen.

Owner Darren Cole, 37, from Cornholme, made the shocking discovery when he made his nightly visit to check on his ponies, which he has kept for around 15 years.

He said: “I went up at night to see them and I found the tails had been cut just below the bone.

“They haven’t been injured, but they will be in discomfort with it as at this time of year, they use the tail to swat away flies.

“It’s happened before. I’m really annoyed by it and I just can’t think why somebody would do it. Last time, it was said that people make things out of the hair.”

He added that it would take a year or more for the tails to grow back and they are being fitted with false ones over the weekend.

PC Jonathan Sutton, of the Valleys Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Any incident involving pets is extremely distressing for the owners, and whilst the animals were not physically harmed there will be concern in the community, particularly amongst those who keep animals or livestock outdoors. We would remind people to be vigilant and report anything, or anyone acting suspiciously to the police using the 101 number.”

Leanne Plumtree, of the RSPCA, added: “While it can be normal practice for owners to trim the hair on their horse’s tails, it’s concerning that a stranger appears to have done this. Sometimes other horses can chew manes and tails but if it’s a clean cut, it’s good to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour.”