Missing foal feared stolen

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 11:08 24/01/2014
Bill Keeler
PUZZLING: Bill Keeler with the mare of the foal which disppeared from its paddock.

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A Central Otago couple are baffled after their foal disappeared. 

Horse trainers Bill and Rosanne Keeler were shocked to find their three-week striking black colt was missing from its paddock on January 15.

Bill Keeler said he believed the male foal went missing about two days earlier, because his mother's milk had already dried up.

The paddock - located in Millers Flat, just south of Roxburgh - was surrounded by high fencing and there were no holes it could have escaped through. None of the other horses in the paddock had disappeared. 

''I find the chances of it being stolen are pretty minimal, but the chances are even more minimal of it disappearing by itself through two paddocks surrounded by deer fencing,'' Keeler said. 

He did not want to speculate on who may have taken the horse and said he had ''no idea'' why it was stolen. 

''We find it hard to believe that anyone could do such a thing and are seeking information from all avenues we can think of on its possible whereabouts.''

The foal was a standardbred, bred to be a racing horse, and had not yet been named. 

It came from a long line of celebrated racers, with an uncle once winning $140,000 in a race, and another relative winning more than $80,000. 

Keeler said the incident was reported to police, but he did not hold out much hope of getting the horse back.

''It's actually very much [a mystery]. I just hope that we find out something so it can never happen again.''

Anyone with information on the horse's disappearance should call Alexandra police on 03 440 2500.

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- The Press

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