Guilt-wracked thieves return tiny foal after owner's emotional plea

A tiny 15-week-old foal is back with his mother a week after he was stolen, after thieves had a change of heart and returned him.

The miniature colt - too young to survive without its mother's milk - was snatched from the home of small holder Libby Braithwaite, 55, in a night-time raid last week.

Libby made an emotional plea and pint-sized Blueberry Muffin - who would not have survived the week - was returned to his mother in the field at Monkton Deverill, Wilts.

Enlarge   Libby Braithwaite

Libby Braithwaite was very relieved when her miniature foal Bluberry Muffin was returned following a newspaper appeal

Nestling his mother Blackberry Jane's neck yesterday, the colt seemed no worse for his ordeal - and oblivious to the fuss his theft had caused.

Libby said: 'We were at the field at lunchtime on Saturday with the other horses feeling a bit mournful and we went home for some lunch.

'Then, at around 3pm, my husband went down there and came running back in to tell me. I ran out there and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was weird because whoever took him brought him back in broad daylight.

Enlarge   foal

The foal could not have survived long without his mother's milk

'I don't think he's not been hurt or badly treated because he's not running away from humans or anything. He seemed hungry though. It's remarkable and wonderful.

'His mother is very protective of him now, very wary of people and keeping him close, kicking a bit if someone gets too near and keeping herself between anyone and her foal.'

Libby was touched by the support of friends and wanted to tell the thieves 'they had done the right thing.'

She added: 'Everyone rallied around and the response of people has been just wonderful, offering their support and asking how they can help.'

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Mother horse Blackberry is now very protective of her returned foal

There were concerns the foal might not survive the theft as Blueberry Muffin was yet to be weaned.

He also had a traumatic birth when he was fed by a tube for several weeks.

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